Steady as she goes

     I started taking piano lessons in, I think, third grade. I stuck with it for maybe a year before I quit, although in my defense, my teacher had a creepy husband who smoked in the living room the entire time I was at the lesson, and that was one of the reasons why I quit. I took lessons from a different teacher in high school for a year or so, and then in college for a year. In 5th grade, I started band class, and learned how to play the clarinet, which I played until I graduated from high school, a couple of years in college, and even one year after college. In high school, I also learned how to play the Mellophone, and by default, the French horn, and the trumpet. What I didn’t learn to play, however, was anything with strings. Until now.

    Denver has been on a guitar buying binge lately. He’s bought or traded I don’t even know how many. He has electric guitars and bass guitars, and one acoustic guitar. He recently signed up for guitar classes on line – for a monthly fee, you can watch as many video classes as you want, and they start from the very basic “this is a guitar” to “this is how you play like Eddie Van Halen”. Since the web site doesn’t care how many videos are watched, Denver suggested that I might like to give it a try, so I did. I watched 45 minutes of video about the A chord last night, and I still can’t play it. I mean, I figured, given my musical background, I’d be playing entire songs by the end of the week. I watched the videos! I paid attention to the videos! I cut off my fingernails!! Seriously, why is this guitar thing so hard?

I’m only sort of kidding – I really did think that I’d be able to pick it up, easy-peasy lemon squeezy. Clearly, I’m delusional. And also maybe my fingernails are to my musical ability like Samson’s hair was to his strength? If I hadn’t chopped them all off, I bet I’d be ready for open mic night on Saturday. Ugh. I’ve always hated practicing, and I got away without practicing most of the time because I learned the music during band class. I barely even practiced when I had to try out to determine what chair I was going to have for concert season. But this. THIS is really hard. My fingers hurt. And I still don’t know how to play an A chord.


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