White Belt: A Book of the Way

My Patreon sponsors can download the first pages of my book in progress, White Belt: A Book of the Way. Whoo! https://www.patreon.com/posts/40308255

White Belt: A Book of the Way has had many false starts over the past couple of years. Exploring the learning process in plain language without resorting to mysticism or gobbledygook is a daunting task. I have gone through reams of paper with my handwritten notes just getting the ideas in order, and now I am sending typed pages to my dad for editing.

If you are not a Patreon sponsor, the completed book will be for sale in various formats once it is finished.

In other news, Dear Old Dad is almost completed the massive job of reformatting (and correcting) the tab for the second edition of The How and the Tao of Old-Time Banjo.

This will not just be a new cover with the same old text. I am completely overhauling the original manuscript and including sections from my more recent works. It is a HUGE undertaking, but it feels like this is the right time to make this happen.

No Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Society Meeting This Week

Patrick has some pretty horrific dental work happening on Wednesday, so we are not having a meeting this week.

Feel free to get together on the society’s Facebook group and host your own shindig.

We will reconvene on August 19th, minus most of Patrick’s teeth.

In other news, there apparently is a Facebook group for folks who learned to play through our video workshops. I know nothing about it, but it might be a good place to meet up with fellow frailers: Tribute to P Costello Frailing.

Ode to a Theremin!

Banjo Jack in Catonsville, Maryland writes:

Hi, Patrick –    Your video on your new Theremin and approach to playing it inspired me to send you a silly poem I wrote a few years ago. My dad made one for me when I was a kid, but I never worked to master it. This is one of a number of silly poems I posted at http://forums.familyfriendpoems.com/djackmac.   I love your videos and approach to music – keep it up!

To my knowledge there has never been
A poem about the Theremin
The what? You rightfully ask
To explain it now becomes my task
Well, to be concise
It’s an electronic device
Full of capacitors and more
Resistors and diodes and an oscillator
Two antennae make it complete
One for each hand; isn’t that neat?
(If you prefer, you may use your feet)
One controls volume, the other the pitch
It produces a sound that is eerie and rich
(But some folks find it makes them twitch)
An instrument the player doesn’t touch
You’d expect it not to sound like much
No calloused fingers or embouchure dystonia
As is typical with instruments of symphonia
It makes music not to be found
Among orchestras of renown
Not likely to hear it in a church yard 
But in sci-fi movies and the avant-garde
It should be spelled with a capital ‘t’
Since it’s the name of a man, you see
Leon Theremin lived in the Soviet Union
And started an aural revolution
Now there’s a poem about the Theremin 
My task is done, so I’m turning in.

Next Meeting: August 5th!

The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society (you can learn a bit about the group’s origins in Just This Banjo) will be held on August 5th. We meet at 2:00 PM Eastern Time and again at 7:00 PM Eastern. Musicians of all levels, styles, instruments and genres are welcome. The meets are held in round-robin format, giving everyone the opportunity to share something or play a tune in a safe, low-pressure, noncommercial and noncompetitive space.

Don’t be bashful. You are as welcome as the flowers in May.

The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society

2:00 PM Eastern Time
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89826372585?pwd=cDcyUFJrTkRlVGVxbDRjMlowVktpZz09

Meeting ID: 898 2637 2585
Passcode: 751324
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,89826372585#,,,,,,0#,,751324# US (Germantown)
+19292056099,,89826372585#,,,,,,0#,,751324# US (New York)

Dial by your location
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 898 2637 2585
Passcode: 751324
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbsut99avC


The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society

7:00 PM Eastern
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84891182114?pwd=Sm1zNHV3dWkwaklxOURNcllYVEVWUT09

Meeting ID: 848 9118 2114
Passcode: 869014
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,84891182114#,,,,,,0#,,869014# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,84891182114#,,,,,,0#,,869014# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 848 9118 2114
Passcode: 869014
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdkHPPRF79


This week’s song isThe White House Blues. You can find chords, lyrics and even tab in The How and the Tao of Old-Time Banjo, The Outlaws and Scalawags Songbook, Mechanics of Frailing Banjo and The Crisfield Folk Musicians Retreat Songbook.

We have covered The White House Blues more than a few times in audio and video workshops over the years. You can find a list of them on the Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society home page.

Fake Karate and Fake Banjo

Before you read this, watch the video.

I am serious. This won’t make much sense unless you watch the video.

Ready? Let’s boogie!

If there is anything I love as much as bad movies, it is watching fake martial artists getting smashed. It’s right up there with crunchy peanut butter in my book.

I was twelve years old when I started out in the martial arts. 1982 wound up being a brutal year. The first schools and dojos I attended were about as genuine as a rubber tomahawk.

The first place dad sent me was a kung fu academy where two senior students jumped me in the locker room.

Continue reading

The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Society meets at 7:00 PM Eastern TONIGHT

There is always risk of a scheduling mix up when the guy posting the information has dyscalculia.

Here is the login information for tonight’s meeting:

Patrick Costello is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society
Time: Jul 29, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82817074875?pwd=MFp4R0IveGVGSFg4VHBXNkdYV3hlQT09

Meeting ID: 828 1707 4875
Passcode: 154955
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,82817074875#,,,,,,0#,,154955# US (Germantown)
+19292056099,,82817074875#,,,,,,0#,,154955# US (New York)

Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 828 1707 4875
Passcode: 154955
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kKurqBJgd