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Rich Lafferty's Journal

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No more room for cello!
pinkie pie
mendel
I took my rental cello back yesterday.

I'm a little disappointed that it didn't work out, but hey, it didn't. I enjoyed playing it but it was a time sponge -- I couldn't practice "enough" and while I was pleased with my progress I often found myself stressing out about upcoming lessons. I think there was a couple of things going on there: one, I was determined to become A Cellist, partly because I wanted to make up for not being A Bassist in university; and second, I let it become part of my identity right away, which didn't accomplish a whole lot. I should've said "I'm learning some cello" and not "I play the cello" all along.

In fact there was one conversation in the sheet music department of the Sound Post where the guy behind the counter recognized my name as a tinwhistle player thanks to the forums I used to maintain, and asked if I was still playing if he needed a tinwhistle player for a gig, and I said no, these days it was really just cello -- which was true, but augh, wrong answer.

I kind of felt bad about putting it down because I felt like I never finish anything: flying, playing bass, motorcycling... although really, all of those sort of consumed me and then didn't have staying power. Who knows if I'd have enjoyed them if I'd just taken smaller doses?

But to prove myself wrong, there are things that I've stuck with for a long time: Irish music, Buddhism, and system administration, to name a few. I'm looking forward to getting back into Irish music, and in fact I recorded myself playing and singing "Arthur McBride" in GarageBand. Here's the mp3.

I'm not thrilled with the singing or the mastering but I do like how the instrumental parts sound. It's all me, playing DADGAD rhythm guitar and flatpicking, two or three tracks of flute (on two flutes, my rosewood Sweetheart and polymer Dixon), three tracks of tinwhistle (on three whistles: a cheapy Clarke, an Overton given to me years ago by Colin Goldie, and a Howard low D), and singing poorly. It was a little out of my range, but unfortunately the whistles and flutes don't exactly transpose easily!

And for my own benefit and to power our household with the rolling of nyxie's eyes, a couple of lists:

Instruments I play and/or own:
  • Double bass (play)
  • Electric bass (play and own one, and nyxie has one too)
  • Guitar (play and own)
  • Irish flute (play and own two)
  • Tinwhistle (play and own a dozen or so)
  • Bodhran (play and own, although it needs reskinning or maybe replacing)
  • Button accordion (own a toy one, can play a couple tunes)
  • Harmonica (just own, can't do much with it)

Instruments I would like to try/buy:
  • Banjo
  • Mandolin
  • Ukulele
  • Viola da gamba
  • Real button accordion
  • USB keyboard for GarageBand
  • A nice classic blackwood Irish flute
  • Fretless electric bass, if I get playing electric bass seriously again

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The title/subject line of this post amuses me muchly.

USB keyboards are affordable, and soft-synths will get you hooked, and then suddenly there's a few rack modules and a wall or two of keyboard synths. There's no new playing brick wall to climb, yet every family of synth will have its own feel and characteristics that suit a particular purpose.

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