Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Can-jo madness

I love eBay. I only buy inexpensive things there, and I like to find items which are refugees from the Island of Misfit Toys, more or less.

Last weekend I contemplated making some home-made instruments. Then I found that a fellow on eBay had made some really cool ones, on sale for very little money each.

I bid and won three. The first was drum sticks with superballs on the heads. Very cool, and quite utilitarian for beating on potato chip cans and other similar musical devices I maintain. The second was a PVC pipe flute, whose fingering, while simple, appears to be above my head.

Today I played with the third item, though--the can-jo. This little ten dollar instrument is a wooden stick, fretted and strung with a single guitar string. It's in effect a one-string dulcimer.

The most cool part of the can-jo is that instead of a "resonator" or wooden "box" like a guitar or dulcimer has, the music "resonates" through an open cat food can, attached to the end. It's the little can that can.

As just last Saturday, I was shown how simple it is to play a regular mountain dulcimer, but I have not yet purchased my own,
it was fun to begin playing the can-jo. I soon moved from "Bile them Cabbage" on to "Shortenin' Bread", and I am beginning to get the hang of dulcimer playing.

I've been touring the websites which have dulcimers. I'm intrigued that many hand-made ones by craftsfolks are not as expensive as the "store-bought" kind. The kind women at dulcimer lessons encouraged me not to buy a cheap one on eBay. Maybe I'll go buy them each a can-jo, so that they can see the true joys of playing "Camptown races" through Tibby's emptied meal ration.

I am now eager to buy a dulcimer, as I realize that it is made for a relative musical non-talent like myself.

Today my wife and I went for a hike on Trinity Trail. We saw three gorgeous green garter snakes, trying to "hide by freezing" on the trail. We saw a huge white heron, and numerous butterflies and flowers. The weather was cool here. After yesterday, when I worked a bit and worked on non-billable matters a bit, it was good to have a nice break. Then we went for Indian buffet at a place in Plano that is simply fab.

Now I'm off to pick up some photos. Maybe I'll post any winners, if any.
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