A new feature for Fretmentor’s Blog is to hear about the experience of other music lovers, students and performers . Today, I have invited a guest (Chick Veenstra) to contribute a story about his attendance at his first music festival. At Fretmentor’s Blog, I look forward to other contributions and musical articles of interest. Please contact me to see how you can contribute such articles.
A Recipe for Fun!
- Take 50 acres of cut cow pasture complete with patties.
- At two intersections in the middle of nowhere, put up a big circus tent
- Add 4-500 pickers and fans
- Mix in 10 bands and open jams over 3 days
…and you have Yee Haw Junction—Good music, good people, and a lot of fun.
As a first time attendee I was a bit apprehensive about the jam part, but a Bret, a fellow musician and friend, was also present and took me under his wing. I found the jams were friendly, and encouraging. The first night I struggled with hearing the chord changes, but by the end of the night things were getting easier. The second night was similar to the first one, but progress was made. By the third night, on slower songs, I found my self hearing and anticipating the chord changes and was able to play a reasonable back up.
On Sunday morning there was a Bluegrass Gospel Sing and Jam. There were some twenty pickers and about the same number of people in the audience. A booklet with words and chords for the songs was handed out for the musicians to use. It took me a while to get used to changing chords on words and not having measures to know how long a given chord would be played. I was surprised that I was not nervous in front of the crowd since I was concentrating on the music (Now if I could only do that in class!).
All of the bands were good, each one with a unique style and sound. There was a variety of music; bluegrass, country, Gospel, original works, and one band even threw in some classical. The only down side was when a RV, three down from me, burned up on Saturday morning. No one was hurt, but the weekend was ruined for some.
I would recommend that everyone attend a festival. You will have a wonderful time and will have a better appreciation for what Fretmentor has offers when trying to teach us about playing with others.
Note: Chick Veenstra is a retiree from the lumber and building material business and lives in Wellington, Florida. He started learning the banjo about two years ago. Says Chick “I have always liked bluegrass and the sound of the banjo so I decided to give the banjo a try. I am taking lessons from Fretmentor and attending his Wednesday night Bluegrass class in Jupiter, Florida”. Yee Haw Junction was Chick’s first Bluegrass Festival.