July 5, 2013
How to become a rock 'n' roll violinist
The Beat are Kansas fans from way back (well, as "way back" as we go, anyway). It's fair to say we've seen the band in most of its personnel configurations.
Despite the fact he's not an original member (of whih there are still two in the cuurent lineup), it was a treat to visit with violinist David Ragsdale. (Read our print piece here.) Naturally, we asked him how one becomes a violinist in a rock band. He had a pretty good checklist.
1. You have to count on an awful lot of good fortune.
2. You have to have been forced by your mother to play the violin whether you wanted to or not.
3. You have to be drawn to rock music.
4. You have to become good enough so you can learn (music/your part) on your own.
5. You have to be rebellious - willing to go against the express wishes of many people.
6. Along the way, you should apply yourself to some rock instrument and learn a lot of songs so you can understand the "vocabulary" of rock music.
7. You have to play the violin with the same attitude as you might play the guitar.
Note sure but we think some of these are autobiographical...