Pete and I went to a concert on Friday night and something happened that I feel compelled to post about. Partway through the show, the lead guitarist pulled out a banjo-guitar (or banjitar) and people lost their minds. I heard a lot of gasps of joy. I heard people all around saying “oooh, a banjo!” and applauding.
I felt the need to tell Pete “that is not a banjo.”
A banjitar looks a lot like banjo, with its round head. It also sounds similar to a five-string banjo in some ways. But it has the neck of a guitar and is strung like a guitar. Anyone who plays the guitar can play the banjitar.
Pete could tell I was a little huffy about all this applause over a banjitar, and told me that people just like the sound of the banjo, even if it’s not quite the real thing.
Point taken. And the guitarist, who was amazing throughout the concert, was using the banjitar to enhance a song that, in the words of the lead singer was “fasty-folky.” Fasty-folky music is all the rage right now.
If I seem a little defensive, it’s because I haven’t been playing much lately. I’ve been trying to prioritize, and banjo-practice has fallen by the wayside. My poor banjo has been neglected, and I almost feel as though I can’t properly call myself a banjo-player, since I haven’t played in months.
So I’ve decided that to combat this, I’m going to learn a new song once a month and post about it. I’m hoping that someday I’ll even become technologically adept enough to record myself playing them.
In the meantime, here is a video of Steve Martin and the late, great Earl Scruggs playing one of my favourites: