Sunday, May 09, 2010

Daft elders

We all, I guess, have some dreams and plans that sort of get shelved. As in 'I'd love to do that - but haven't the time/money/incentive/belief in self/community support'.
AKA a tax on emitted carbon.

(Ed insert :some, of course, at some unpredictable point; suddenly turf their wives and buy an MG TD - or Bolwell Nagari .. buut to be fair, some have had a lifelong passion .. Heh)

Well, for a very long time, have wanted to play a musical instrument; but there's always been some excuse for 'putting it off'. I did, many, many years ago have a saxophone, but while I could get three or four passable (i.e. recognisable) tunes out of it, for some reason never really "applied" myself to it and it was sort of discarded in favour of all the other "fashionable" interesting and exciting things that distract a young person.

Have, for many years, also wanted to play the guitar, but that also was "put off" - mainly because I believed that my fingers were too stubby to fit in between the strings, and also that I was incapable of co-ordinating left and right hand. Well, in the sense that they should work together - forgetting, of course that any skill requires long and dedicated practise.
Can hold a nail and hit it with a hammer, eat with knife and fork, and if pushed - eat with chopsticks, etc. so why I should believe that I was incapable of left/right muscular "musical instrument" co-ordination is a bittuva mystery.

Incentive or motivation also probably played a part. However - these days have "time". Also, the couple of mad bushies referred to in the post about the generator stayed at the campsite for a week, and we enjoyed several nights just sitting around the campfire, yarning. It was those sorts of nights where methinks to self - jeez, would love to be able to play the guitar. Doesn't need batteries or a 3 pin plug, for one thing. Relatively portable, doesn't take up much space, not often anyone within earshot to be annoyed by a learner ...

So, wellll, was in Bathurst last week, had a bittuva look around the music shop (sheesh $300, no way), checked out CheapasChips - who had a guitar for $40.00 (which sounded like cheapaschipboard), wandered into Aldi ... and um, a Livingstone nylon string classical for $59.00. Ah stuffit, think I, why not - and bought it. Also popped round to the music store and a bought a "Learn to play" beginners book (with a DVD and CD inclusive - the CD has tuning tones). Well, while the tone of the guitar is good, couldn't figure out how to tune it. Haven't been around musical instruments for some time and, while my ear is still good - in that I can tell immediately when one note in a progression is out of tune, have difficulty tuning in to one note, even while am hearing it. So, went back to the music store yesterday (Saturday) and bought a dinky little electronic gadjamethingo that clips onto the neck of the guitar - wow! we're off and running.

Am astounded. Can find 6 notes* already ... and yer, will be a looong, loong time before am 'proficient', but it is somewhat of a joy to find that it's not as difficult as had convinced myself.

Practise, practise, practise .. more practise .. but hey, have all day .. heh.

(PS, Word of the day - while consulting dictionary to see whether it should be 'practice', or 'practise' (am still not sure) - found "phrontistery": a thinking place. [from the greek phrontisteres - to think]

* upper E, F, G, B, C, D - for those familiar with this sort of thing.


R.H. said...

A piano is best for learning music.
But hard to tow around in your van.

Davo said...

Um, RH, oddly enough I have a 6 octave Casio electronic keyboard stashed in the miniscule wardrobe.

Can sort of get some recognisable tunes out of it, and am amazed by what it can produce .. buuut, for some reason, doesn't "turn me on".

Am beginning to like my little bitta wood 'n' strings.

Davo said...

(should have cottoned on to it way back in the '70's .. but that was back in the days of Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix - didn't feel that I could compete with that lot .. heh.)

Davo said...

Would, actually, be interesting to re- read this post with the "accent" of "Alfie".

Em said...

Your ear is obviously ok (comparative pitch) You can use this by humming the note you are getting out of the instrument & then humming the note you want. Tuners are helpful too.. ..

phil said...

Good on you mate. I am a three chord wonder type meself and would love to be able to play *properly* but just doing what I do is fun and relaxing. And sometimes you can get to a stage where you can entertain others - provided they're not too picky and you don't get so pissed that you forget the words and/or chords - which can happen - and that is very rewarding.

A Nagari would be great but I make do with this. Also bags of fun.

Davo said...

Dammit, has happened again .. wandered into the local Aldi the other day .. and they'd discounted the bloody things to $39-00! GAH! is nothing sacred?