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July 2024


Looking to jam at Burning Man

I’m getting ready to go to Burning Man for the first time.  I first planned to go so I could sing with the Black Rock City Swing Orchestra (and maybe sit in on trombone, too), but my plans have expanded!  I’ll be there for the the whole shebang, showing up a little early to help get things set up, and I’ll even be working at the Flamethrower Shooting Gallery (is anyone really surprised?).

Since the setting is pretty rustic (no running water, not to mention electricity), my robots will be on the back burner, and I’ll be in full music mode, looking for opportunities to jam or learn something new.  As such, I’m arming myself with portable instruments.

I’ve been learning to play a bit of mandolin and have an inexpensive one I can bring (if it makes it back home, that will be a bonus!).  I’ll be taking at least one set of bones (I’m quite good, actually, and enjoy teaching others to play).  I’m beefing up a washboard that has been in the family for a few generations (at the very least, I’ll add a strap and a cowbell).  I’ll take a trombone to play in the show, but it won’t see the light of day (or night) other than in the big top where we’ll do the show.  Playa dust gets into EVERYTHING, and that’s not so kind to brass instruments.  I’m considering taking a beater trombone to play for fun, but space in the van will be at a premium.  Maybe I’ll take a pennywhistle, another critter I haven’t mastered yet….

Any other suggestions that won’t break the bank or take up too much space?