Hottie Jam Report

Casey HenryLast night the girls in At Least We're Hot gathered here at my house to do a little picking. Officially there are six of us (myself-fiddle, Connie-banjo, Julie-banjo, Kelley-guitar, Myrna-mandolin, Janice-bass) but each time we get together we never know for sure who will be able to make it. Last night's combination of people---Kelley, Janice, Connie, and me---resulted in my being the only lead instrument. Connie is working up some breaks on her clawhammer banjo and so far she plays "Angelina Baker" and "Old Joe Clark". Outside of that, every break was a fiddle break. That suited me just fine! And it was really good practice. In between our Hottie jams I normally don't pick up my fiddle so whenever we pick is the only practice I get. I found out it makes a huge difference to my muscles whether I'm just playing one break and then passing it on to someone else vs. playing four breaks in a row on a tune like "Soldier's Joy." Stamina really comes into play.

The same thing is true when you're practicing by yourself at home. That's why it's important to play your songs or tunes multiple times in a row. If you just play it once or twice through, you're not giving your body the time to build up its playing muscles, its stamina and endurance, which are all things that will help your playing in general.