Week 6

Elfin Waltz (Banjo 2)

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With this week's addition to the practice list, I believe we will have covered the whole book. 

I finally printed a copy and bound it together with the first forty pages of Herbert J. Ellis, Ellis's Thorough School for the Five Stringed Banjo (London: John Alvey Turner, n.d). More about that later.

My plan is to spend this week working on the new material and then to take the next two weeks to make the best recordings that I can of the pieces I've worked on as that little exercise forces me (in a very good way) to see where things are at. 

At times, I find myself realizing how much the Weidt tunes sound like the material in beginning piano books. Part of me wants to rush ahead--to work on wonderful tunes that are more musically interesting--but part of me understands the value of moving slowly through simple pieces, which allow me to focus on the basics. Am I using the suggested fingering? Do I have control over the tone of every note? (Answers: trying hard and not yet.)

One delightful thing is that the repetition has given me some familiarity with simple notation in C and I'm now able to pick up other easy tutors and sight read for pleasure. Last Sunday, that little exercise led to my husband banging out second-line chords on the piano from the Ellis book while I did my best to keep up with the melody line on banjo. Who cares what it sounded like? (Well, maybe the neighbors but I wasn't worrying about that.) It was lots of fun and I hope to do it again soon.

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