Who’s Phil?

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

So, I’ve just finished giving two-days worth of marathon banjo lessons to Andy, who drove up from the Charlotte, N.C., area. We’ve had four hours of extremely good playing on his part and I’ve provided an outline—at his request—of what I think he should be learning for the next six months. I’ve just met his wife and his two lovely young daughters who play violin and cello Suzuki style. We are saying our good-byes, preparatory to Andy walking out of the studio.

Then out of the blue he says, “Who’s Phil?”

I’m totally caught off guard and not understanding the question, so I say, “What do you mean?”

He says, “You know, in the DVDs you’re always talking about Phil. You’re always saying, ‘Put in a fifth string for Phil.’ I was just wondering who Phil was.”

I’m going, “You’re kidding, right? This is a joke.”

And he’s going, “No, I’m serious. Who is this Phil guy?”

Then I realize that he IS serious. And I say, “Ohhhhhh.....That’s just a miscommunication, a misunderstanding. What I mean is put in a fifth string for fill-in. It’s just a fill-in note....and so I just say ‘fill’—put in a fifth string for fill. But, of course, I totally understand, if you’re just hearing it, that there’s no reason you shouldn’t be thinking of Phil.”

And then we had a good laugh, and Andy gave me permission to blog about this, because, of course, now I’m thinking about how many other people are wondering who Phil is.

And I can guarantee the next time I say, “Put in a fifth string note....I’ll be thinking of Phil, too!”

2 thoughts on “Who’s Phil?

  1. Martin Bacon

    Now there is a man after my own heart. I thought I was the only person crazy enough to drive from North Carolina. Apparently there are others with equally good taste.

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