This weekend I went to the Dam Jam (for those like me who have no idea what that is: a bluegrass get together at a campground next to the Rockport Dam where all kinds of folks gather together and play their fiddles, banjos, mandolins, and upright basses plus or minus a few other instruments I don't know what are) with Jo.
If any of you are unaware (which might be likely because she keeps it a secret sometimes) Jo is extremely musical.
Talent doesn't begin to describe what she has.
She's brilliant with music.
Put any instrument in her hands and she will make beautiful tunes with it.
Don't even get me started on her voice. Makes me melt.
I played the flute from the sixth grade to the twelfth grade when I decided to switch over to the tuba. I played the tuba my whole senior year and I became the first chair tuba (meaning I was the best of the three tubas in our high school band--says more about the lack of talent in our band than it does about me).
After high school I pretty much quit all musical endeavors. Although I did join a couple of my church's ward choirs where we sang the same church hymns I'd sang all my life.
My sophomore year in college I met a boy who had a guitar. He showed some romantic interest in me, so I took advantage and convinced him to give me guitar lessons. He lost interest in me and I lost my guitar lessons--but not after learning one of the most depressing songs EVER: You Are My Sunshine.
Then my junior year I met a whole apartment of guitars. I learned few more chords after making it a habit to stop in their apartment every time their door was unlocked so I could play one of their five guitars sitting in their living room.
Music at that point had become my new solace (and by music, I mean banging on the guitar and screaming my lungs out with whatever words I came up with that day). I turned to the guitar every time I felt sad or unnerved or restless. After a few times of the neighbor boys' door being locked I decided it was time to get my own guitar. So I did. His name is Freddy.
The summer after I got Freddy I met a guy at work who is a guitar master. He started teaching me Blackbird. I learned the first few little parts and quit practicing. Two years later here I am trying to learn the rest of the whole damn song. I will finish it. I will learn something other than you are my sunshine (who left me sad and depressed).
But here's something I've been thinking about a lot lately, and I don't' even know where the idea came from exactly: I want to learn to play the upright bass.
I've always loved the bass. I love the simplicity of bass sounds (like the Tuba) and yet how they carry an entire tune. I love the way they look. Big. Majestic. Tough. Like me :)
I think there's just something amazing about being able to produce sounds that I couldn't do otherwise. I can't sing like a bass. But playing bass notes on the tuba was so satisfying.
Going to the dam jam with Jo this weekend solidified my desire. I've been looking online here and there for an upright bass. For lessons. Just kind of wishful hunting, really. But this weekend I got a mini lesson from a friend. I touched a bass. Held it. Plucked the strings. It feels good and I want more. I want to stand in a circle with the fiddles and mandolins and the guitars and I want to thump the strings of a bass to their tune.
Music scares me. Especially since I live with one of the best musicians ever.
But something in me just hurts for it.
I think it's time for me to turn up the bass in my life.