And another thing…


In my first post, I forgot to say why I named this “The Sound Hole”. The sound hole is the round hole on the front of a guitar that allows sound from the strings to be directed out into the air. I have one on the front of my face, too, and well, you get the point.

I forgot to say in the other post that music is an enormous part of my existence. My skill level is comfortably situated at dangerously mediocre. I have been playing acoustic guitar since i was in junior high, and that’s my favorite instrument to play (mainly because it’s very social, but also because i really like the sound). i also play the piano a little, and that’s the first thing i learned to play. The second thing I learned was the traditional flute; the piccolo came much later, as nearly afterthought. I’ve also dabbled with the mountain dulcimer and the mandolin, and the 5-string banjo. i’m barely competent on those, but i can make a joyful noise. I’m much more at home with the acoustic guitar, and lately i’ve gotten back to playing nearly every day, just for enjoyment. I must qualify that a bit to add that I’m most competent on the acoustic 6-string that I’ve had for a while – a Takamine small-body Santa Fe model, cutaway, that I enjoy. It has a good electronic pickup, which Takamine is noted for. I bought a Taylor low-end 12-string a couple of years ago, and naively believed it would be pretty simple to become comfortable on it. Nope. I’m still kind of struggling with it, although as with the dulcimer, mandolin, and banjo I can make a joyful noise. I enjoy the sound, though, so I’ll keep dabbling. I really love the sound of double-stringed instruments for some reason, so even if I’m not terribly fancy, the sound does me good. Oh, and I can play a 5-hole or 6-hole wooden flute, the Native American styled. I have a couple of those, but have not played them for a bit…screwed up really badly at a memorial service for a dear friend a couple of years ago, and have not touched it since. Ugh.

There’s a part of me that feels as though I should have pursued music lessons when i was much younger. I may have been able to develop well beyond the mediocre stage. I remember when i was about 8 or 10, I thought I wanted to play the flute in the symphony. It seemed as though it would be fun and exciting to travel all over the world playing, and see other cities and other people. (I dreamed big in those days.) One of my great aunts chuckled at that, and said that I wouldn’t be able to see much of any of those places I talked about, because I would be locked up in rooms practicing for the concerts; i would be hard at work. I can still hear the thud of that dream crashing to the floor. Oh, well.

Regardless of skill level, I love music. All kinds of music. I would say country is my least favorite genre, but I can get into some Montgomery Gentry or even Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash even. Johnny Cash is a fascinating character. He could cover anything. I actually have an MP3 of him covering “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode. Amazing. Anyhow, my iPod has that followed by James Taylor, followed by NWA and Eminem. I still enjoy the Indigo Girls, more the older stuff but really find their acoustic stuff of all eras sets off a resonance in me. Still listen to Janis Joplin and Patti Smith, who were my first female rock star she-roes. Joan Armatrading, Joan Jett, Joan Baez – full Joan power. I[m pretty partial to female voices, even in hip-hop (Lady of Rage and Heather B I can bounce with), but enjoy Michael McDonald’s voice, and old Motown Sound stuff, like The Temptations, and Stylistics, Tower of Power, all that. B.B. King was my guitar-playing tutor, even though he never knew that. I could go on and on and on about the many artists that I cannot live without, but…another time.

I also like classical music…orchestral, mostly. Opera, not so much but I can appreciate it. Musicals can be pretty cool…I am very partial to “Gypsy” since I can remember hanging around a college production of it when i was a kid and my mother was in graduate school. Miss Mazeppa was my big-time hero. Godspell was also a favorite of mine – i liked the music, and it was pretty creative and contemporary. These days, I’ve revived some of my affinity for musicals with “Hamilton”. I listen to that incessantly, and sing it (poorly) frequently.

I’ve never been much of a singer, and while i can carry simple tunes without dropping them, i have absolutely no vibrato to my voice. I am convinced that’s because i do have a lot of vibrato when i play the flute; the vocal chords are handled differently, i think. Regardless, i consider myself more of an instrumentalist than a singer, but some days i feel like making noise. Just for the hell of it. (See how that works, with the blog title and all that?)

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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