Thursday, 21 April 2005

I’ve been trying to teach myself guitar for a few months now and it’s not going so well. The excuses are plentiful: I don’t have a suitable practice space, I don’t have a decent chair that won’t get in the way, I don’t have time; you name it. Honestly, what it comes down to is embarassment and laziness. Embarassment because I can’t bear the thought of anyone hearing me play because it sounds so bad, I’m just learning after all. From there, it’s just another convenient excuse to avoid practice, even though I know I’d better better if I spent the time on it.

A friend of mine has been a mandolin player for years. He has one at work and he’ll play around with it after-hours once in a while. To my untrained ears, he’s not bad. He has several songs in his repetoir and it usually teaching himself something new.

He’s offered to teach me guitar, but for some reason I’ve never taken him up on it. Mostly out of embarassment. I know nothing about playing guitar. I’d be starting at absolute zero. I can tune the thing, but that’s it.

It’s times like these I wish I had stuck with the violin or viola when back in junior high orchestra. Musically speaking, I’d be better off then I am today, perhaps even continuing to compose my own stuff. Instead, I have a piano I never play and my keyboard gear is stored in the basement, gathering dust.

As it turns out, one of the guys at work just bought a mandolin and my friend is going to teach him to play. So what did I do? I bought myself an inexpensive mandolin and hope to join in on the lessons.

I’m not sure why I think it will end up any different than with the guitar (and the piano, the keyboards, the violin…), but I want to give it an honest try. My expectations are realistic; I don’t expect to become great. Heck, I’ll be happy if I can simply learn to pick out a couple tunes and have them be recognizable.

Sorry this is so scattershot. I hope to clean this up and turn it into a new story later this summer. We’ll see how the lessons go.

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