I finally had a formal music lesson, the first in my life (that I can recall). The best part is that it was with none other than Clarke Buehling.

We had exchanged info at the opening of the America Banjo Museum. He was in Ft Worth for Thanksgiving. So we got together, had lunch, then went to our "old west" town.

He is a true gentlemen.

Scales and accompaniment, along with discussion of historically informed performance was the agenda. He listened to where I was at, and where I thought I needed improvement. He also took into account that I mostly play pre 1900 pieces and of those the majority are around the 1880s-early 90s.

We worked in "A" notation. If you did not already know, I am a former TAB user. Yes, I was an addict. On September 14, 2009 I quit cold turkey. It only took about a hour of scales in A and E and I could play basic early pieces.

I am now focusing on minors and other keys that turn up. Also learning higher positions. It is coming along surprisingly easy.

Another treat was that he brought along some original examples of thimbles, the common shield type, like advertised in Stewart. I took the chance to measure them, but more about that on the minstrel group.

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Comment by Carl Anderton on December 6, 2009 at 23:16
Wish I could have been there. Clarke is a real treasure in the Classic and stroke styles, which often intersect, especially in the 1880's and 90's Classic era. I look forward to hearing more of what you got from the lesson.

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