Notes from Gary

January 17, 2020


Greetings! And happy new year! I hope you all have made great resolutions with high expectations for yourself in the coming year!

One might think that it is a good New Year’s resolution would be to play and practice more in the coming year. However, I don’t think one should make such resolution, playing our music should be something that we do because we can not stop doing it!

I think if we ever get to the point where we have to force ourselves to play or practice then something is amiss deep down inside.One’s music should just flow.


Perhaps the type of resolutions that we should make in regards to our music would be to set some goals. Seek to accomplish a particular playing style, or pick out a difficult piece that you cannot play and strive to learn to play it by some future date in the coming year?

For instance, one year I set a goal to learn to play a five part slip jig entitled, “Kid On the Mountain”. It is written 9/8 time and each part is notably different than the other parts. Furthermore my only copy of this song was written in a notation and there was no tablature available for it. At that time I did not know how to read notation.

But I learned! It was a great experience and a great year. I eventually memorized the entire piece. I’m not saying that as some sort of boast.  In fact, I think it just illustrates something I’ve said many times before; rather, “If one practices a piece about 100 times through, they will eventually have it memorized!“

Play your music because it is a part of you! But don’t be afraid to stretch yourself and push your limits!
Keep on pickin’,

Gary Bell, President

P.S. I am looking forward to this year as President of GPDA!

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