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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Chicken Charlie GEFF and Proud of it (258* d) RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it 10 Apr 08


First off, on the subject of "professionalism," I believe it was Plato, in one of the early Sokratic dialogues, who said that flute playing and getting paid for flute playing are two entirely different things. I have a dictionary too, thanks, but I tend to rate "pros" in a performance context by how well they do, not how much they are paid. I know a duo--how they met, I have no idea--one of whom is a high-powered accountant for a world-class megafirm and the other of whom cleans pools for a living. Their rendition of "Angel from Montgomery" is so drop-dead spell-binding that when they do it for free at an open mike, I think to myself, "Self, now that's professional."

Now, not that I want to take sides, but I find Captain Ginger coming close to how I feel. Besides, I remember a quick little snippet from "Upstairs, Downstairs" in which somebody was doing 'Captain Ginger' in a music hall. But I digress. Recalling that once upon a time I had difficulty singing on key and playing up to three chords on anything but a bongo drum, I am not against "beginners." I'm all for self-actualization.

But, Captain, here's where I'm stuck, and maybe you can help me with this. I see too many folks who, IMO, have not grasped the idea that ye folke house is an opportunity to make progress. I use to sometimes say, when introducing myself, "Well, I've been playing for 40 years, but I plateaued 39 years ago." In the meantime, I was giving a lot of time and thought to making that not true, or at least trying. At whatever glacial rate, I am nonetheless trying to improve. But there are those who come back week after month, who can be counted on to continue forgetting how the second verse goes, using a one-strum-fits-all approach to rhythm, and showing off their latest instrumental "improvisation" which goes nowhere in any known key or mode, and next to which taiko drums sound downright melodic.

What do I do? (a) Rise above it and hope that their in their next incarnation they know where the downbeat goes? (b) Risk being a pompous ass by suggesting subtly that that wonderful song would sound even better if ....? (c) Give Guido their address and 100 bucks/50 quid? No, all their fingers, Guido. All of them.

As you say, Captain, there are good nurseries, but what if no one wishes to suckle? "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink; you can send a boy to college, but you cannot make him think."

Suggestions?

CC


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