Friday, June 13, 2008

I started guitar lessons. This could be me (someday).

Last night I had my first guitar lesson. Actually, my daughter is getting lessons, but they're letting me sit in, too. Probably about fifteen years ago, I taught myself a few songs from "teach yourself guitar" books, but that was about it.

Our teacher's great--full of enthusiasm and overflowing with music--his fingers are always playing some riff. And he talks about scales and polychromatics, or something, and I have no idea what he's saying, but it sounds cool.

Because I used to try a little finger picking, he's got me learning the first few bars of Blackbird (a la Paul McCartney). It's tough, but I'm getting better (it's only been 24 hours). And, just as he warned, my fingers hurt. I figure the more I practice, the quicker I'll build calluses.

I've always thought that to be a really well-rounded theatre person, you should be able to either sing or play an instrument, be able to act, write, direct, and design a set or hang lights. Or at least design a and print a program and put together a marketing campaign for a production. I've got most of those covered, but I'm still short on the instrument (singing is a lost cause).

I've been talking about getting lessons for years, but never had the time or money. But Kira's not doing summer camp, and requested instead to get guitar lessons and insisted that she'll practice all the time. (We'll see.) I have had music lessons before--when I was in fourth grade, I took lessons on the recorder from a German woman in our subdivision. I have no idea why. I can't imagine a 10-year-old kid saying, "Hey, mom and dad, I just have to play the recorder! All the kids are doing it! It'll be the most fun ever!" But maybe I did. And I played clarinet in the 7th grade orchestra and absolutely hated it, as well as my teacher. I did not have any great musical aptitude (and probably still don't) and avoided practice at all costs.

Since then, I've accumulated a few musical instruments (trumpet, harmonica, guitar), but mostly they've served as decoration or closet filler.

This time, maybe it'll be different. Who knows? I might never be as good as the twelve-year old kid in this video, but he's giving me something to shoot for.

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