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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
WyoWoman BS: Thanks, Who-HOOO! and Keep Going! (35) Thanks, Who-HOOO! and Keep Going! 05 Mar 02

Hello Friends, This is written as a thanks for all your encouragement over the past couple of years, and as an expression of relief and sense of accomplishment and also as an exhortation to anyone who's trying to learn an instrument or learning to sing to keep on keeping on:

The other night at a singaround in Kansas City, I actually took up my guitar, played a song (Townes van Zandt's "Tecumseh Valley"), played with other musicians and didn't die, and sang WHILE I WAS PLAYING THE GUITAR!!!!

It wasn't great, but it was playing and singing at the same time. and I can say that the entire experience was thanks to my participation in Mudcat. Here's why:

1. Given the encouragment on Mudcat, I bought myself a guitar a couple of years ago, and even though it sat around staring at me for a year, I finally did pick it up and start playing it. My fingers hurt, I was disappointed and frustrated, and everything else that goes with the learning curve. But I kept plunking around on it because that's what my Mudcat friends said would make the difference.

2. I found the chords to the song because this forum has taught me where to look.

3. I transposed the chords to a key I could sing in because this community taught me how.

4. I was singing with this particular group of people, who have now become one of my communities, because Gary T, whom I met through Mudcat, introduced me to the group when I moved to Kansas last summer.

5. I could participate in the jam because my involvement in Mudcat gave me the information I needed to know about how to participate in a song circle or jam.

6. I had the courage to ask the musicians who were there how to let them know I wanted someone to do a lead because of the discussions we've had here, and because of the way my involvement here has demystified the music-making process.

7. I've gotten over some of my singing-and-playing-in-front-of-people paralysis because my fellow Mudcateers have let me know the world wouldn't end if I didn't do it perfectly.

So ... if you're just starting out, either with an instrument for the first time, or a new instrument, or if you're just coming out as a singer or whatever, I want to let you know that what THEY say is true: Just keep after it. Do a little playing every day. HAve fun. Don't be too hard on yourself, but be hard enough on yourself to learn and do well. And trust that other musicians are your friends, and if they're snots or snobs, you don't have to hang out around THOSE people -- there are plenty of other generous musicians out there who are a lot better investment of your time and energy.

And, well,


Mwaaa, ww

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