Kevin (erf_) wrote,
Kevin
erf_

  • Music:

you must be level 35 to wield this instrument

As blessed as I am to have a muse at all, it's sometimes frustrating how fickle it is. Especially with music. I was literally incapable of writing songs until maybe two or three years ago--music just never came to me the way words and images do. But now I hear album after album of never-performed songs in my head--and I can't play a single one.

Naturally, my writer side and my (neophyte) musician side are always arguing.

Writer: Hey, why don't you try this one? Sounds real nice, and I worked real hard on the lyrics.
Musician: Sure, if I taught myself drums. And bass guitar, and cello, and harmonica. And ten years of voice training.
Writer: Okay, then, how about this one? This one is all guitar.
Musician: Two guitars.
Writer: You could record and overdub.
Musician: If I could play at double my maximum tempo and still stay on beat, yeah. Oh, and that second guitar is an electric bass. I hope you have $200 and lots of time on your hands.
Writer: Fine then. Geez. How about this one--it's just one guitar, and all chords you know, to boot.
Musician: You hear that voice singing along?
Writer: Yeah?
Musician: Do I look like a black teenage soprano girl to you?
Writer: Fine! This one...this one is just chords. You can alternate between them and these root notes and do a nice slash chord strum. Surely you can play this. Surely.
Musician: Listen to this note.
Writer: Yeah, it's an open low E. So?
Musician: Your highest root note is a fifth below the lowest note a six string acoustic can play. And that wicked A/C chord? Ask me again when my thumb has grown an inch.
Writer: Are you always this much of an asshole?
Musician: Look, pal, if you were three months old and still couldn't play songs you started on your first week, you'd be pretty cranky too.

On the plus side, I'm almost all the way through guitar.about.com's lesson series! Now I just need to practice some more tabs so that I can actually turn all that fancy technique stuff into music. :)

And oh yeah, fellow guitar n00bs take note--I found a guitar book that probably doesn't suck (or so plenty of folks on the Internet say). Apparently the book is much more difficult than strictly necessary to teach you how to play the instrument, but it augments technique with music theory, sight reading, and other skills you can't learn from playing tabs from the Internet--perfect for those of us who missed the chance to take Music Theory 101 at the Con. Amazon.com reviews say that this book was a common college textbook in the 1970s, and the high number of used copies for sale (and the recent publication of a fancier DVD edition) means you can snag a used copy for like six bucks. I've ordered one over Amazon--will probably have more to say once it arrives.
Tags: guitar
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