Jake has made some nice banjos. I can’t believe the low price he’s asking for them.
We went to Makkal Chon (1975 Lawrence Ave E, near Warden) and had truly amazing Korean food. It’s such an unassuming little place, but worth it. Kal bi frenzy!
I’m getting slightly better with my drawing tablet, but have a long way to go.
Just changed the batteries in my Mini Maglite. Check the battery date:
I bought the batteries (and the torch) in an outdoor store in Truro, Cornwall in July 1993. I needed it to stop and start wind turbines at Carland Cross at night. The batteries still worked, if a little weakly. There are people driving younger than these batteries.
One of the batteries was, like Mr Belpit’s legs, a bit swollen with age. After several fruitless attempts involving rare-earth magnets and superglue, I took off the lens, bulb (well, LEDs) and tail cap, and smacked it sharply against the floor. I could then lever the battery out with a sweetcorn skewer.
Retired from office duty, Zephyr North‘s old fax machine does sterling duty testing phone lines at Cultus Wind Farm.
I recently bought a basic ukulele from MusicGuyMic’s Ukulele in Hawaii. It’s a Kala concert uke. MusicGuyMic ships things really quickly, and unfortunately, he sent me a cheaper Makala one by mistake.
I really hate querying sales on eBay, but Michael was exceptionally reasonable: he sent me the proper Kala uke, and told me to keep the other one to play with a friend. I think I need to do better than that, so I’m wondering who really needs a uke, and I’ll give it to them. It’s not the greatest instrument in the world, but it’s a good starter one.
I’ve heard of The Ukulele Project, but it sounds like they have all the instruments they need. I wonder if my uke friends Cathy & Skizz near Baltimore know? Closer to home, anyone at the Corktown Uke Jam?
(One other thing I’ll say about MusicGuyMic – he does an unbelievable setup job on his instruments, even the cheap ones. The fretboards are oiled, frets filed and polished, bridge adjusted for intonation, and really good Nylgut strings fitted as standard. That’s the sort of thing that makes an instrument so much easier to play.)
… is what Translation Party makes of “lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”.
(originally posted on Banjo Hangout)
I’ll give you a hand with this …
Yeah, that’s my right hand. Spare me the tree-frog comments, but note how I’ve carefully numbered the fingers.
You play banjo, so you know stuff in the key of G. So you know three chords: G, C and D7. Musicians are fiddly bunch, with all their sharps and flats and all, but notes go A B C D E F G, then back to A as they go up. If you start with G = 1, you’ll see that C = 4 and D = 5. Let’s not worry about the fact that you (probably) play a D7 chord, but look at the key of G hand:
For some reason (look up chord theory, or chord progressions) the 1, 4 and 5 chords sound good together. Some people write ‘em as I, IV and V if they’re feeling all fancy and classical like.
I hate to break it to you, but not all tunes are in the key of G. I know, it’s hard to take. What if it’s in A? Well, use the hand, with A as the first (or root) chord:
So to play those nice sounding 1-4-5 chords in A, you need to know A, D and E (or E7, if you’re feeling folky). In this case, the D pretty much has to be the real finger-stretching D chord (hard for us tree-frogs) or it’ll sound naff.
If you’re singing along to your old Pete Seeger 78s, yer traditional folk/gospel/church songs are in C. Hand to the rescue!
So, for the key of C, you need the chords C, F and G (or G7). F is a nightmare on a guitar, easier on a banjo, easiest of all on an autoharp.
Just in case you ever need a song in D, here’s that hand again:
You guessed it – D, G and A (or A7).
That’s how Chris Coole taught me it. It’s a bit of a simplification, but it works for me.