Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rudderville Ramblers

My son has taken guitar lessons for about the last 3 years. He made it clear pretty quickly that he preferred electric guitar vs. an acoustic one. So each week, he straps on his Squire ax and spends another 30 minutes with his instructor learning how to thrash more classic rock riffs. He also digs Guitar Hero of all flavors and has been doing a pretty good job transferring what he hears in the video game to working out the chords on the real thing.

About a year or so ago, he got an opportunity to try another form of music - bluegrass. His social studies teacher from that year invited him to play in a newly formed bluegrass band comprised of kids from 6th through 9th grades. He and several other kids jumped aboard the offer, and they've now been together about 16 months or so. They didn't lose anyone as all of them moved to the next grade level, and a few new pickers even climbed aboard.

I admit I was surprised at how much he has enjoyed it. And I've been even more surprised at how versatile he's become. His teacher has had him play dulcimer, acoustic guitar, bass, and now Dobro. Like a utility infielder, he'll pretty well pick up any assignment she gives him and start pickin' and a'grinnin.

While I have no evidence to support it, I'm willing to bet the number of kids with a bluegrass song on their Facebook or MySpace profile may be...oh let's say a dozen or fewer. But these kids have really done an exceptional job learning the songs and playing regularly.

Here is his debut performance as the bassist on Pretty Little Miss.

And here he is playing the opening lead on Ol' Joe Clark before the rest of them climb aboard.


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