My neighbour invited me over the other night to jam. He's a fairly accomplished traditional musician, but I didn't know exactly what to expect.
I walked into the living room to find him plus two other guys. One had a fiddle. The other a mandolin. Daniel, my neighbour, had a funny mandolin-on-steroids called a bazuki(sp?). I brought my guitar.
Now, I can play fine. I haven't played much in the past six or seven years, but I can hold my own. Still, I'm used to rock, where enthusiasm is an acceptable replacement for skill. I had a sense these Cape Breton boys were going to blow me out of the water.
"Um, are you going to play anything that I can follow?"
They all looked at each other.
"Don't know. Kinda depends."
The tunes started up and it was all I could do to keep up. Each guy (but me) switched instruments with ease; from fiddle, to guitar, to mandolin to tin flute. Sometimes they switched in the middle of a song.
If I couldn't figure a song, I just stood back and listened. One song blended to the next. Usually by the time I'd caught on to the changes in one tune, another started. It was crazy mad, but more fun than a bucket full of lego. I really was pickin' with guys way above my league. I was surprised at the end when they invited me back.
I think I might be more useful at future jams on the upright bass. I cant' afford one, so I'm considering ordering one of these. 75 bucks. Too much fun.