#61 This year I'm going to learn to play an instrument with strings.
Due date: 3-2-2014
Resolution: You may know me as the tambourine player for the band Gilbert Grape and the Trucknuts, but you’d be surprised to learn that I wasn't professional trained. As a matter of fact I've never learned how to play any musical instruments.
Before I learned how to knit I thought it worked like it does in the cartoons where it's just a matter of wiggling knitting needles back and forth causing the yarn to magically twist together row after row like paper in a typewriter.
I've always had the same cartoon inspired vision of that being how you play the guitar. You just hold the guitar a certain way, wave one hand around like a crazy person while moving your other hand around the neck of the guitar, tapping away at foot pedals and somehow music comes out.
I'll grabbed a guitar from time to time knowing there's a lot more to it, but all I can do is create noise. I've never felt the need to burden anyone by asking them how it works. I've overheard people discussing the process only to nod along with false interest as they say things like, "Playing this letter is like playing that letter only this and that, and once you learn this that and the other thing it's easy to play anything from Foghat."
The false interest is only because the actual language of music is so foreign to me. I'm actually fascinated by how it works, but having absolutely zero experience how to play anything I just accepted my lot in life as a listener of music and not a creator. This is the year I'm going to change that.
I'm not sure which instrument I want to learn but I know I want it to be one with strings. I imagine that I will eventually find an instrument with a touch of novelty to it but I'll probably start with the guitar, mainly because I'm assuming that there is far more free learning material readily available and once I get comfortable with my playing to reach out to an actual person to learn new techniques the pool of people to approach will be much larger.
Who knows with me? By the time I actually get around to starting this I may decide to become an expert at that bucket, broom stick and a string instrument as a way to stand out. I'll keep you posted.
Update #1: I now own a guitar.
I own a guitar.
Now I just need to learn how to tune it.
I should have stopped there in this resolution.
I will buy and learn how to tune a musical instrument and never learn to play it.
I dropped the ball though. As soon as I figure out whether or not it's tuned I'll try to figure out how to play it.
Update #2: I gave my love a cherry that had no stone...
... I gave my love a chicken that had no bone...
... I bought myself a guitar that's now in tone...
This week I bought myself one of these Snark tuning device, or should I say toning device. Today I finally went to the YouTube to figure out how it works and now my guitar that sits in the corner of my apartment is in tune!!!
I still have absolutely know idea how to play it, but at least now I will know that horrible noises coming from this thing as I move forward in the learning process are at least in the propper key.
Update #3: The Conclusion.
I ended up giving away my blue acoustic guitar because of my move. Between my inability to properly pack a guitar for shipping and the fact that I was too broke to ship another package, I figured it would be easier to buy a new one once I got settled in.
I bought electric guitar along with a game/learning software called Rocksmith that works kind of like the game Guitar Heroes only with a real guitar. Not only does Rocksmith have songs to play is has a 60 day tutorial that teaches you how to play.
I started the tutorial a couple days ago and now know how to do very specific E chord picking. It's nothing worth sharing but it's the closest I've ever come to playing any instrument.
Even though I'm far from even being considered a beginner, I feel I'm on the right track enough to consider this resolution a success.
I'll be sure to check in as soon as I make any real progress toward becoming a musician.