Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fetishistic guitar worship

it's ok.
you don't have to join in.

I love guitars.

I always have, it would seem.
Even historically, the music that I have liked would tend to have:
a) guitar presence
b) lyrics of meaning

I feel this may have been learned at my father's knee. I say father's because my mother is tone deaf as all who have heard her hum, warble or indeed sing along can attest.
Not only will the original tune be unrecognisable, but probably the lyrics will be slightly vague too.

This means that when she successfully identifies any number of grunge classics from the late 80s and early 90s, the kids at school are always highly shocked. She could also name all of Nirvana nad probably tell you when Kurt died too. She'd definitely know about his Olympia connections.
But if you asked her to sing you a tune by bread so that you would recognise it, you'd be out of luck.

But anyway.
I never learned guitar at school. Never went near one. They sounded funny when inexpertly played and were cumbersome in their acoustic form.

In the teenage years, they were the things that boys i like had in their bedrooms and i knew how to talk about them vaguely and had even been shopping for pedals but that was as far as it went.

And during the university years I didn't go to half as many gigs, which is pretty ludicrous because i lived in a city that had lots of venues. But anyway, it wasn't until i went to live in France that I put my gig head back on.

I do declare that if i totted up the cash that's gone on worship at the temple of rock, it would make some folk whince.

But it makes me grin.

And so it was that a few years ago (hmm, i'm fudging the issue slightly, as it's been longer than that but hey, i've suffered from failure to launch) I borrowed a friend's electric acoustic and toyed at learing some guitar myself.

I found the guitar enormous. and my dextrous fingers deserted me, replaced by unhelpful unbending, unheeding sausages.
All in all it was not edifying.
No more so than 'the cat sat on the mat' back when i learned to read.
And that was the bit that I'd failed to comprehend.
Bizarrely and contrary to all that I know about learning a language (and that's all music is), I thought that loving it would mean that it would be instantly fluid.

It was not.

And thus came a spat of lessons that were not backed up with practice and some progress and a lot of back sliding and the sort of inertia that comes from being to pussy to ante up for your dreams because it looks like you'd never achieve them anyway.

Hence i have two beautiful guitars. Yes. Two. Yes which I can't play.

And yes every year I make a pilgrimmage to the London Guitar Show and look at lots more.
During the time that she lived with me, I got my lovely scottish friend to the point where she can recognise most makes of guitar from the headstocks and body shape. And she ALWAYS looks.

But this has not improved my playing one iota.

Only I can do that.

Nothing shall come of nothing.

So i've gotta get this essay writing out the way so I can work on my chops!

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