Aloha Kakou!! E kala mai for the two day lapse in blogs, but sometime the vagueries of life catch up with you and you have to TCB...heck, who am I lying to? I didn't write because I couldn't come up with something to share/discuss/gripe about. LOL But that has changed, as in the past two days, enough has happened to keep me going for a few more days. So get out the hip waders...here we go.
First of all, I have to give you a little background information...if you don't know me very well. I play a few different instruments. In no particular order, I have studied or learned the following instruments: violin, ukulele, guitar, steel guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, percussion (tympani, vibes, rudinmental drumming etc...) and voice. But if I had had my way many years ago, I may never have played any of these. The only thing I ever wanted to play when I was young was bass. For some reason, when I started to become aware of music, (which was quite early as I was surrounded by music in our house...my Dad was a professional musician for those who don't know) I was drawn to the low end...and somehow knew that it was what held almost all music together. But when I went to my father and said that I wanted to be a bass player, he told me, (and this is an exact quote...I can remember it 32 years later) "don't start on bass...start on guitar as all the best bass players started as guitarists...you can always play bass later." With that, he generously bought me my first guitar, (a Madeira acoustic...I can remember the smell of it and the case when I first opened it as if it was yesterday) and I embarked down the road that I am on now. See, when you're 12 years old, you don't really question your professional musician Dad when he tells you this. I have, of course found out that what he said was not true. (Just for the record, he was rarely wrong...about anything...which I have been finding out gradually as I get older myself) Yes, there are certainly those who started as guitarists and switched, and who are amazing talents...but there are just as many who are equally if not more amazing that started on the bass clef and never played anything else. I can't help but feel that I should have been in the later. So, I have spent many years of my life picking up new skills and instruments, and enjoying every one of them. I make my living with the skills I acquired over this time and am very happy and blessed to have been able to do this. BUT...it is now time to circle back and maybe make up for lost time. So...I am expecting...this... to be delivered to the house today:
I have decided to start planning for musical retirement early...it is time to get serious about bass. Yes, I have dipped my toe in before, and even played bass in a band for a short time...but I never really learned it. That is going to change. I have a teacher lined up, (the very heavy duty Mr Steve Jones) and I am determined to do it right...I will learn to read bass clef, (I can read treble clef quite well...never got around to bass clef) and most importantly, I will give myself the foundation of harmony and theory that I never did before. Also, I made the conscious decision to go with a short scale bass, as I have come to understand that with my very short arms, (think of either Cee-Lo Green or a T-Rex) and my very small hands, I needed to make an adjustment to the size of instrument that I have played in the past. So, in a few hours, the UPS truck will roll up and my birthday present to myself will come home.
By the way, when I say musical retirement, I do not mean that I am going to stop playing Hawaiian music and playing steel guitar and singing. (Or any other kind of music for that matter) I just see a time a few years down the road when I will put myself out there as a bass player in my free time. You see, there is a maxim in music, and it is "a good bass player will always work". It seems everyone wants to be a guitar hero, but few of use want to just hold the music together and blend...look for me in a few years, in the darkened corner of a stage near you!
So Leialoha and I are getting prepped to start the Hawai'i season once again, and once again, it is time to get clothes out of the closet, coordinate our aloha wear, and for me to actually wear shoes. Now I had mentioned this in an earlier blog, but let me expand. I spend the majority of my time wearing slippers...as do many people in Hawai'i. Slippers, if you remember are what we call flip flops here. For further clarification, you can look at this: Slippas. If given the choice, I would spend my life barefoot as having my feet ensconced in leather or some other material is my second least favorite sartorial feeling...my number one least favorite is having to wear a tie. (I shudder thinking of that one) So, given that we are very casual here in Hawai'i, I fit in fine. I wear slippers 99% of the time...and that is even when we are going out to dinner in a restaurant, the mall, Home Depot, someone's home...I only take out the sneakers when I go for a walk, or need to do yard work. (Although I have lost count of how many people around here I have seen mowing in their slippers) But, when it comes to performing on the ship, I have to cover my feet. For outside and casual, it's sneakers and for Piazza and formal night it is black shoes.
This is the most formal that I ever get...and even this can be a bit much for me. While I eagerly look forward to this season, my feet will yearn for it to be May 2013. So, remember, when coming to Hawai'i, if you want to fit in...or at the very least if you want your feet to fit in...bring your slippers.
A Hui Hou,