Tuesday, December 16, 2008


After hearing a NPR special on the Celestina I had to look it up. http://home.vicnet.net.au/~wolff/mechmusic/Celestina/Celestina.htm
It makes a very ethereal sound.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Doumbek Drum

I got my doumbek out today, dusted it off, and found some tutorials on line to help me brush up my skills and learn new ones. I wish this tutorial thing had been around in the 70's when I first got my drum. Or maybe it was early 80's. At any rate, I took a few lessons before my money ran out, and for years I didn't learn anything new. So I'm glad to see progress.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Musical Instruments I Have Played

I was pondering the different musical instruments that have come and gone throughout my life. When I was a eight, my parents got us an upright piano so I got to take a few lessons on that. And I remember a neighbor letting us try out her organ.

My father had a trumpet he would play once in a while. I was going to play it in the high school band, but my sister decided she was older so she should get to play it, and my mother said neither of us could. Later on my younger sister did play it in a band of some kind.

In high school I took guitar, choir and snare drum. Come to think of it I was in choir in grammar school, Jr. high and high school.

In college I kept on with the guitar. And somewhere along the way I started playing dumbek. I also have a clarinet I toyed with, a fife, numerous recorders, rattles and so on.

And then about 1999 I bought a mandolin on Ebay. Sad to say I'm not really very good at any of them. I could be a one woman band. Oh and I forgot the didgeridoos we made.


I was most intrigued by a PBS special I just watched about freelance orchestra musicians in the San Francisco, CA area. If you think that might interest you they have a website here. To see their dedication to their careers is very inspiring. I particularly liked Robin, who plays the cello. I can see he clearly loves his work. People with that kind of passion are so appealing to me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Last night I pulled my didgeridoo down off the wall and played it until my lips were tingly. In my case that's about five minutes. Then my boyfriend asked me to keep it down so he could watch the Family Guy. To which I said, "You mean people actually watch that on purpose."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Where Does Music Come From

I was talking on line about playing guitar and I realized that if you have the heart of a bard, you can turn even the most mundane of objects into an instrument. In ancient times and even today in primitive cultures, they don't get their instruments at fancy high end music shops. They use what is at hand. Reeds and bamboo to make flutes, gourds to make rattles, drums and banjos, sticks to make percussion instruments, hollowed out logs to make droning instruments and so on. So even if you are broke that is no reason not to get up and make some noise. Remember when you were a kid and you filled an empty plastic container with bottle caps or beans and made a rattle? So no more saying you can't be a musician without a $2,000 instrument. The rhythm is inside you. And me. And everyone.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I just signed up for Tagfoot. http://ping.fm/lfV6m Come see all my links and comments and my wishlist.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Want to join ping.fm too? Go to http://www.ping.fm.Use the code 'legendofping' and you could have the luxury of posting to all your blogs in one fell swoop like I do. Way more efficient than doing it one by one.
I'm not sure what 'ping my default' means but I guess I'll find out when I hit send.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The week sure went by quick. I had a lot more planned but didn't have the energy to do it. My hands are still sore from woodcarving, and so I've had to lay off the knitting and crocheting. I'm looking forward to the weekend. My daughter may visit. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Come view my Flickr photo stream. Over 3000 photos I've taken are waiting there for your pleasure. http://ping.fm/3TTAi
I just signed up for Ping.fm to make social networking more effiecient.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Live music

I went to hear my friend John Joseph play at It's A Grind last night. He plays at 3 of them (the ones that pay). I wish he played at the one closer to my house but they don't pay anything. John said he can't believe how much places will play for a DJ, yet they won't support live music. So true, so true. I don't get it either. People want to hear cover songs so they can sing along I guess.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ice Cream Truck Music

There is a new ice cream truck on our street. It's not every day that you hear Auld Lang Syne, Oh Come All Ye Faithful and the theme from the Godfather played back to back. I guess it beats the usual ice cream truck music, which is Turkey in the Straw on a loop tape. Will somebody please let that turkey out of the straw?

Friday, June 13, 2008

John Chafe and I

I worked on making my hand stronger for barre chords today. Or is it bar chords? I listened to my CD by John Chafe. I hope I can learn all those songs so I can sing and perform them. I don't want my music to be lost just because he moved to Iowa, but my skill levels are so far below his that it's going to be hard to pick up the guitar part. Memorizing the words is the easy part since I wrote most of them. I appreciate more than ever what a skilled guitarist he is.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chat Log: Fear

This is a conversation I had in an IM. It gave me lots to think about myself as in Know Thyself. Reaching out for my goals has brought up all kinds of repressed feelings that are giving me nightmares. No wonder I haven't succeeded with all this gunk clogging up my brain.

4:29 Other Person : lol im like that right nwow, i can barley sit down but im bored somehow
04:29 zenchantress : do the thing you fear most and you will no longer be bored

04:30 Other Person : I don't know what my fear is.
04:31 zenchantress : I used to do hypnosis shows...my biggest fear is of having a show that flops
04:31 zenchantress : otherwise I'd be rich now
04:31 Other Person : lol
04:31 zenchantress : I would wake up in a cold sweat at 3 AM after a bad show
04:31 zenchantress : night terrors
04:31 zenchantress : so one of my biggest fears is the fear of being humiliated
04:32 zenchantress : its not like they kill you for doing a bad show
04:32 zenchantress : maybe they won't pay you
04:33 zenchantress : I'm not scared of the usual things like snakes or spiders
04:34 zenchantress : I have a very strong fear of rejection that gets in my way in music, entertaining, relationships and all types of performing

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuning Mandolin

My mandolin was very out of tune when I took it down from it's nail on the wall today. I found this handy site for tuning the mandolin: http://www.get-tuned.com/index.php It also shows how to tune other things like banjos and guitars.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Music Theory

I was reading a book on music theory and that book is dryer than a popcorn fart. There must be a better way.

writing songs

I have a friend named John Chafe that I write songs for. That is to say, I write the lyrics and he writes the melody and performs them on his guitar. That was never my plan. I always wanted to write my own lyrics and music and play them in public on my guitar, but I was never good enough. I can't seem to get the guitar part to go with the word part. Frustrating. Anyway, last night I was out on the patio practicing and started writing a song about my friend Tom Mills. I thought it would be a cool song but it just sounds corny. I vidoetaped it on my cam and my face scared me. It looked so fat I barely recognized myself. All I could think was how am I going to perform on stage if I'm not attractive. I know that's silly because a lot of musicians play on stage and they are not exactly super models. But the thing is, it doesn't help your music career any if you are unattractive. So that means I am still hanging on to the illusion of having a music career. Strange that that is ingrained in me & I just won't let go of it. Or can't let it go. So I'm just going to keep plugging away at it. Maybe I am grasping at straws but they are my straws to grasp at.

First Post Learning Music & how it's been a part of my life

I am a challenged musician. To quote Walt Ribeiro 'learning music is like a giant mountain and you have to chip away at it a bit at a time'. I am an inconsistent musician. My practices are few & far between & I get frustrated a lot.

I first took piano lessons when I was eight. I still have that piano today. In first grade I was in my first choir. I was in choirs up through high school, at which point I got mad about a public school singing religious songs in their choir & I dropped out. But by then I was taking guitar lessons in high school too, and then in college.

I was never a music major, deciding to focus on dance instead of music. The two are so interrelated that it seems silly to label them as separate. Oh, and I also took a snare class in high school. So I have had a fair bit of music theory. But even so, I've never felt like an accomplished musician. But lately I've decided to give music another try, and I've started this blog to talk about it.