Thursday, May 10, 2018

Musical Distractions

I haven't completely forgotten about boats, boat stuff and boating, in general, but I have been heavily distracted at times, since starting this blog several years ago. Music, of which I am miserable at playing, but great at appreciating, has been my latest in a long line of shiny things to catch my attention.


Less than a year ago, my daughter bought me an ukulele with money she earned in a garage sale, it was her Fathers Day present to me. I've worn the frets clean of their silver paint and I'm starting to whittle my way through the plastic fretboard with every chord I take a poke at. I love the plinky-plunky plastic sound of the little soprano instrument and it means a lot that she chose it for me.

That gift started the ball rolling on the cigar box builds I've done in the past six months - a couple of three stringed slide guitars, a tenor tambourine banjolele and a tenor cigar box uke. Currently, I'm working on a second cigar box uke for a coworker's father-in-law.

Cigar Box Guitars 001 and 002

The vintage tambourine banjolele build is done!

Completed cigar box ukulele

Which brings me to this, a 1970s Harmony banjo that I was given by the coworker mentioned above. I'll be restoring it in the near future and hope to learn to play something on it to be of interest around a campfire.

1970s Harmony Banjo 5-String

Also, I still hope to build this, a fretless tackhead banjo from a vintage teak bowl that I found. I'm also planning to build a fretless mountain banjo and maybe an even earlier minstrel style instrument, at some point.

Making full-size banjo plans

Something else that I've dusted off, my 1960s Sears Silvertone parlor guitar. When I took guitar lessons 16 years ago, I had this little cheap guitar and a really nice and expensive Gibson acoustic. As I lost interest, I sold the Gibson and kept this, it had much better tone and waaay more character.

1960s Sears Silvertone Guitar

Yesterday, my daughter gave me a second musical gift. She invited me to play backup at her school talent show. She sang a simplified version of Surfer Girl by The Beach Boys while I accompanied her on my CBU. The mic quit working on us while we were performing, so we decided to record it again before bed time, last night.

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