Dad always said he had relative pitch, that’s a measure of one to know what note to play or hear being played and know it. He was drafted into the Army during the Korean “conflict” and started a band in boot camp. Instead of going to Korea he toured Europe’s greatest cities for the US Army managing a symphony, and arrived home to meet my mother and have four kids and play in local symphonies after work. He played the “fiddle” to get himself through college and called square dances. He was so talented.
He always told me I had perfect pitch, so did all my music teachers, some with disdain. I don’t know that I have that anymore. Dad played every instrument and taught all. I cannot manage to play piano (keyboard was in storage) or my nice guitar. I gave up violin as a kid. “Santa” bought me a cheap guitar at age 12 and Dad taught me basic chords. As I age my voice could not be in a choir, or as a child soloist.
I took up guitar again at age 50 with two private tutors, one was “Oh, Preacher, Where Art Thou” and the other was a drummer who did not care whether I learned the guitar, only that I kept the beat. I quit, after all my husband and I were paying for classes and I was driving myself there. It was my decision, and again we moved.
I’ve many books of free lyrics because I like to guess the chords. I’ve also one of Dad’s “fakebooks.” He has (had) two more for me. I bought a large binder and individual sleeves and encased every page for the first one and will do so for the rest of them. We used to sing a song in harmony then he’d go on his own riff while I sang the melody, it was a song his father taught him. I don’t remember the riff but it was Old Shanty Town, from the 20’s. “Just a tumble down shack, by the old railroad track, like a millionaire’s mansion keeps calling me back.”
A local shop that is probably known for local and other talent was the place to go for guitar restoration. I had mine done and have a personal guitar teacher and a violin professional on hand when they’re needed. I haven’t been well enough yet.
My brother and I are looking for my father’s violin, that I played as a cello at age two. I will see whether it is salvageable, able to be reconditioned by violin professionals and it will go from his family to his alma mater where a violin scholarship has been created in his name.
Music will stay in our family and in our hearts, Dee