Holiday Picking — Keeping in Shape

Red Henry

Let's talk about playing music this time of year (and, as bluegrass aficionados may note, cop a title from the Stanley Brothers). Winter often seems to be a pretty dead time for performance opportunities and even jam sessions. Energy levels are low. In this part of the country, the weather may also prohibit travel to some events we'd like to attend. But it's important to Keep Picking, especially if you're learning to play.

Even if you can't get out to play with other people (or if, as in some parts of the country, the nearest pickers are out of reach), you can play a little each day. You might be surprised at how soon you can get really rusty if you aren't playing-- sometimes, four or five days can set you 'way back. But even 15 or 20 minutes a day can keep your skills up to a tolerable level.

That photo above was taken in 1971, when I was in the Air Force at Del Rio, Texas for a year. That whole year I never found anybody to pick with there, but I tried to play a little every day I could. And I not only held onto what I could play to begin with, but made some progress as well.

Of course, it's always easier to practice if you have other people to play with. But if you don't, our Slow Jam and Picking Up the Pace DVDs are made just for you. You can also play along with Murphy at the end of nearly every lesson on our other DVDs. And I have heard of people even practicing with each other on the phone! However you do it, don't forget your Holiday Picking.


3 thoughts on “Holiday Picking — Keeping in Shape

  1. martha acarlton

    There are millions of opportunities to play at jams and festivals all over Florida in the winter. We just came back from a weekend festival 7 miles from our house, we went to a jam last night… other jams this week too many to list. Come pick in Florida!!!

  2. Patty

    The River City Music Festival is this weekend in Portland! 2 1/2 days of jamming and fabulous music. Can’t wait! Check it out if you’re in the NW. (Would love to have Murphy teach here sometime!)

Comments are closed.