I only play for my own amusement. I'm currently playing a brass bodied resonator and trying some open tunings and a little slide work. Ya' really don't need an Amp with these things! Supposedly learning music will benefit us when we lose the rest of our marbles! Right now, it just irritates Stormy the wonder dog.
I LOVE playing in coffee shops. Thats definitely my favorite place to play. I love that it is small and cozy and it's not like 'performing' but more like mingling and playing and hanging out with friends. (Doesn't pay as well as other gigs, but it's very satisfying)
I can blow a little blues and such out of a harmonica. My mother was a pianist. See had a full ride to Julliard, but my Grandfather was from the old country and he wanted her to have a respectable career and become a nurse. That didn't happen. Well the musical ability skipped my generation but my kids are quit musically inclined.
I started playing banjo in the late 60's. I also play mandolin(learning), guitar(a little) and am in assorted bluegrass bands. I love to sing lead and baritone. Although I don't consider myself a lead singer I sing anyway to keep the ear plug industry going.
I also have been building bluegrass banjos and repairing prewar Gibson banjos for about as long.
When I was in the 4th grade I decided to take up the violin. After a month of squeeking away, Miss Whitney the music teacher took me aside and said "James I am taking your violin away"...I was afraid to go home and tell my Mother. When I did go home I said "Ma do you see anything missing?"..She looked me over for black eyes or missing teeth and when I told her, Miss Whitney took my violin away because she thought I would never make it as a musician..my mother's reply was, "Thank God".
Sam, I like Tony, but picks and I never really got along. I am pretty much a bare-finger type fingerpicker, which makes it a little tough to hold my own in an accoustic jam session. I think my objection to picks (fingerpicks, in this case) held back my banjo development too, since Scruggs-style bluegrass just needs to be punctuated with that crisp, sharp attack. Oh, well- can't do everything!