Hi, hey, this is Brett, or #5, or The Bone. The first instrument I ever played was the piano. I would give concerts to no one but a cassette recorder for 10-15 minutes at a time (I was like 8 years old and so it felt like hours). But even in that short time, I would get lost in these amazing, complex, emotional, symphonies. And I had no idea what I was playing. You see, my family is very musical, so everyone in my family was encouraged to learn a musical instrument. My oldest brother Scott was already playing the piano (so that was out). My next oldest, Todd, had the banjo and Kent, the guitar…so…I said “I wanna learn the bass!” So my parents borrowed an upright bass from a friend and I immediately jumped on it (like the piano, not knowing what I was doing). So for a few days I “rocked out” playing 2 strings (A and E for any music nerds out there). But before I got my first lesson, I broke my arm (different blog). So, the upright was returned and no bass for me. When I healed, my parents asked what instrument i wanted to play (the bass was out because…I never got a straight answer from my parents on that one). There were two instruments left in the house that no one played (my mom played recorder and my pop, the harmonica (note: still don’t know why we all had to learn different instruments.)). Anyways, my choices were: (drum roll please (thanks Dunbar))…the “zither” or the “mandolin.” (Cymbal crash). I was 12 at the time so I thought “the zither, of course!” My rational thinking being that the zither had a “z” in its name. (Remember, I was like 12 years old). So I picked up the instrument and said “this one.”
Flash-forward to my first lesson. I open the case and sit across my teacher cradling the same instrument. He said “now, with the MANDOLIN.” Oh crap, i picked the wrong instrument! Oh well. So I took lessons on the mandolin and in college i fiddled with keyboard and finally…I veered back to the bass.
The first real song I ever learned was a bluegrass tune on the mandolin: “Boil them cabbage down.”