Last May, after the exit-stage-left from my debut on stage, I boldly announced that my next project was to be learning the guitar. I had, for a long time, wanted to try this instrument more social than the flute I’d cut my musical teeth on. There really is no whipping out of a flute at a party for a rousing chorus of kumbayah. Campfire sing-alongs just don’t make the grade on the flute. And so the desire I had harboured burst forth from in me and I told all and sundry, “I’m going to learn the guitar”.
I did nothing. Well, I procured the guitar. It sat in the corner of my room. Apparently there is no osmosis in the guitar-learning journey, possession may well be nine-tenths of the law, but presence does not equal acquired knowledge. The black guitar sat in the corner, silently mocking my laxness.
Good things take time. I know this because I read it on the bottom of a menu. Statements such as these provide leeway. Leeway to take one’s time and herald the eventual outcome as quality because of the time that the aforementioned outcome took to manifest. Summer holidays are the perfect time for paused projects. January is even more perfect as scorning the idea of New Year’s resolutions is really just a smoke screen for the fact that there are several lurking there, but the fear of actually embarking on their realisation is overwhelming. Announcing intention is fraught. Once it’s out there, failure is the possible result of lack of achievement of said intention. I had made the mistake of announcing and now it was high time I took the bull by the horns, or the guitar by its neck and rather lovely curves and just did it.
I can play three chords. A, D, E. And, as the lovely young man on the website says, that means I can have loads of fun (in an endearing English accent) with tunes such as Bob Marley’s, Three Little Birds and Johnny Cash’s Walk The Line. He is right, that man on the website, it is absolutely fun. I can recognise what I’m playing, even if it is the William Shatner. Stilt. Ed. Version. Changing. Finger shapes. Takes time.
I have a newfound sense of respect and appreciation for guitarists. They pull some pretty complicated moves and there is a lot of coordination going on there. Strumming and picking and capos and singing too. Wow. I have a long way to go.
And what I’m really wanting here are Anna Coddington’s arms…
A few more rounds of kumbayah, and we’ll be there…no?