Effects Pedals for Banjo or Mandolin?

Tony Trischka once played Earl Scruggs’s “Reuben” through a wah pedal. It was crazy, an experiment I would guess… I actually liked it and still listen to it occasionally to this very day… However, I would also be the first to admit that I enjoy the challenge of working out new arrangements and tunes by ear in their normal ‘acoustic’ setting with no amplification. If I added anything at all to the signal today, it would be bit of reverb, but nothing else. OK, I’m off the soapbox. Enjoy the poem below…


Special Effects for Banjo, Mandolin?

Don’t gimme no pedals, no special effects…
Turning acoustic music into audible train wrecks…
Maturity is a thing that oft comes with age…
Why not spend your dime and your time, “learning to play?”

When I was fourteen, I was ALL about FUZZ!
And also BIG DECIBALS and all that that does…
Now I’m near 60 and my hearing’s impaired…
I prefer ACOUSTIC MUSIC to all others compared…

Harmony and melody sound better from wood…
But I traded it for FUZZ, DECIBALS and other things not good…
Eventually, I smartened and studied the ‘notes’…
I learned scale and chord theory and loud music I smote…

Now much older, I see through the noise…
I no longer desire special effects or other such toys…
Pedals and effects, loud amps, whammy bar…
I prefer traditional music on banjo, mandolin, fiddle and acoustic guitar…

Traditional music helped bring me around…
The Norman Blake, Doc Watson and Tony Rice sound!
Them fellers can play, and they do it so good…
They got me to practicing so that some day, I could!

John Hartford, Earl Scruggs and William Smith Monroe…
Ralph Stanley, Doyle Lawson, there’s plenty more, I know…
Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, David Grisman and the like…
Bluegrassers and old-timers, stand close to the mic…

Nowadays I’m a picker that can read, write and draw…
Notes, chords, scales, diagrams and musical law…
I can listen to music and play it by ear…
Then program it in Tabledit, so that others may hear…

Music education was a long, hard, tenuous fight…
But now I turn out arrangements, night after night…
For banjo, mandolin, fiddle and guitar…
Desktop publishing has taken it far…

Spend your time wisely, lads and lasses do learn…
For tomorrow is yours, you have time to learn…
The benefits of study and a practicing life…
Will reap its rewards as you live out your life…

BanjoTom2, 4/15/2019


 

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