It's been bugging me that I hadn't yet tried the medium sized neodymium magnets as mutes
(12 mm x 3 mm).
So I swung by the local hardware store that stocks neodymium magnets (aka "rare earth" magnets).
Of course, I had to try them immediately once I got home.
Two of the smaller ones wasn't bad, but not optimum, but one large magnet on one side, the medium one on the other was good, and even better once I clapped a small one on top of the medium one.
It gives me a LITTLE more volume than the two big ones, but not so much that I need earplugs.
It occurred to me that I hadn't tried the medium magnets with the masking tape that worked well on the larger magnets and cut down a metallic sound they seemed to add.
With the medium magnets, they seem better WITHOUT the masking tape, at least when paired with a large magnet WITH the masking tape. Better, meaning a more balanced, more natural sound.
Thursday, I had a gig that's normally been kind of ho-hum, because I don't get as much feedback. But I had some very positive feedback, one from the wife of a resident who was visiting, and another from a resident who is a bit confused and so not very verbal, but she enjoyed it so much she just had to express herself. She remembers her parents and grandparents playing and singing similar music to what I had been playing. Very gratifying... the feedback made my day!
I've had this sense that I may be coming full circle on the Nashville Shuffle. Getting sick and tired of Nashville Shuffle was what triggered my search for alternate patterns in the first place.
The first move back towards Nashville was learning a couple of Canadian tunes that just don't sound right without it.
The second move back towards Nashville was learning "Fortune" a couple of years ago, and playing it quite a bit recently. I heard that one a lot back in the 1970's, and it just doesn't sound right without using a couple of Nashvilles at the beginning of the low part.
Then, I've been thinking how I DO enjoy the sound of my tapes from the '70's, done when I was just using Nashville and Smoothshuffle.
Then, the bowing threads and the links associated with them have been reminding me that when you use just a pair of Nashville Shuffles, and then go on to something else, they don't sound obnoxious. It's just the constant repetition of them that gets old.
So this morning, while practicing, I was actually looking for tunes where I could start with or otherwise inject a couple of Nashville Shuffles before moving on to a different Shuffle strategy.
That process has reminded me what I've noticed theoretically that Nashville Shuffle and Syncoshuffle are natural partners with each other, being so similar.