adventures in dysthymia

Thursday, July 16, 2009

THE PEAR tree is starting to drop semi-ripe fruit (with these hard pears, it's hard to say just when they're ripe) out back, most of it already nibbled (rabbits, squirrels, blue jays, even deer) before I get to it. There was almost no fruit within reach of the ground this year -- I blame that on the torrential rains back in the spring when the lower part of the tree was coming out in bloom. Lots of fruit up high; maybe I'll try to knock some down with a rake or the like.

Anyway, I'm gathering the pears up this year, edible or otherwise, so I can plant them and try to get some seedling trees. Like the peaches, they seem to hold up well to the heat here.

* * *
I've tried for years to get into playing my six-string banjo, but it has too many issues. Aside from the fact that the low strings pretty much always sound pretty 'plunky' on a six-string, there are the drawbacks arising from the cost-cutting measures Aria used to get it on the market. The primary problem being that they simply attached a dobro neck to a banjo pot. The scale is short-ish at 24 inches (though that's longer than a tenor) which doesn't help the sound of the low strings. Worse is the narrow string spacing -- I only have one-and-three-quarter inches at the bridge and that's mighty close together for finger-picking. Even if I only do two-finger.

So I'm seriously considering either selling it or losing a string (or two). Probably not worth much and it would be easy enough to redo the nut and bridge. If I were ambitious, I could even put on mandolin tuners and try it with eight strings. Anyway, I'm not any sort of traditional (i.e. neither 'old time' nor bluegrass) banjoist but much more inclined toward the Irish four-string sort of sound and tend to either strum in a ukulele fashion or finger-pick like a guitar. (Steve hates picks. Guitars, like women, should be caressed with the finger tips, not poked at with sharp objects)

* * *
I suppose the recording studio is more-or-less open now, but not to the public. There's just no way I could handle being a 24/7 caregiver and doing that sort of business at the same time. Shoot, considering my age and current ambitions (to get back into performing when it is once more practical), I may never go fully commercial here. Just record myself and the occasional friend, maybe. The music room (or salon, as I like to call it) is essentially finished, now that the acoustic ceiling is up and everything is in place. I will, in time, add more acoustic treatment but it's quite usable as is and a decent sized space at 22' by 14'.

And there are other suitably large rooms in the house here at Peanut Road to spread out some, if need be. Who knows when (or if) I'll ever get that carport converted to a tracking room, though. At 26' by 22', with high ceilings, it would be nice but I guess I don't really need it at this point.

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