Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Learning a New Skill

As a mother, I can do many things. I can multi-task like nobody's business, I can work, I can run a household, I can be a chauffeur, a fan, a nurse, a psychologist, a secretary, a cook (ok, well, sort of), I can sing in my band, be a den mother, an event organizer, a fixer-upper (when necessary) get the picture. I want to learn something else. Something not related to being a mom. Ok, so the band thing is not directly related to being a mom, but still. I want to learn to play the guitar so that I can play every once in a while in the band. Actually, there's a song that I REALLY want to learn how to play. PC, the wonderful guitar player that he is swears that it will be easy to learn, so I asked him to teach me the basics.

I gotta tell ya, the basics are HARD!!! He's teaching me on his electric guitar since the neck isn't as wide as the acoustic, which is what I ultimately want to play on, not electric. We started with a G-chord. I didn't think it possible for my fingers to stretch that far. Then we went to a C-chord. After I practiced for a while, I managed to make something that sounded like music! I was so proud of myself.

It's almost like piano lessons, though. You have to remember to keep your hand curved, even though it feels awkward, and to always keep your thumb in the right spot, and to not put too much pressure on the top finger on the chord or there won't be enough on the bottom finger. Oh, yes, and my fingers still have string indentations in them this morning. PC did say, though, that for now, practicing will be a simple thing. He said, "Just grab the guitar when you're watching the news and keep trying the positions until they don't feel awkward anymore." It will help to make it feel right, get the fingers used to stretching, and help to get the right amount of pressure on the strings...too little and the chord is wrong, too much and you mute one of the strings.

I WILL do this. I WANT to do this. SmallBoy wants to learn guitar too. They say people with Asperger's typically have wonderful musical ability. He would pick this right up. So, I promised him that perhaps for Christmas we'll get a guitar for him that's his size and I will teach him what PC teaches me....and that, in turn, will keep me practicing. I think I can do this! I even cut all of my fingernails down. I LOVE my fingernails, but, they grow so fast that if for some reason I decide not to pursue the guitar, which I won't decide, but if I do, they'll grow right back. So, seriously, do you think that a 30-something mother of three can learn to play guitar this late in life?


marti said...

First, Child has been playing the cello since age 6 (violin started at 5, but wanted truly to play cello since age 3). He has perfect pitch. Suzuki instructor with 27 years of music teaching says, "Never had one that could do that!" as Child can name by musical note (letter with or without sharp / flat) after hearing a sound. Don't know if it's true about all Aspies, but they generally have their gift!

Second, 7 years ago, at age 35 I learned to throw pots. I am a potter now.

Third, last year at age 41 I learned to ride a motorcycle. I ride a 720 lb Harley now. It totally rocks. Child rides with me, too. He's the "luckiest guy at our school" says a classmate.

You can learn to play the guitar if you have the passion, and the drive, and the love. You need this for YOU.

Even if SmallBoy doesn't want to. You can do it just for YOU.

mommyguilt said...

Thanks Marti for all of your comments. I'm glade Jane hooked us up. My index finger today is numb from trying to play chords, and yet I have this urge to go back down and pick up PC's guitar.

SmallBoy would very much like to play the viola like his sister, but I kind of would like him to try the violin (for my own selfish reasons of harmonics). I think this year will be the year to start and then if, perchance, he still shows interest in the guitar, then PC & I will teach him.

Gorgeous bike, by the way. And I like to hear that our fabulous over 30-something-ness is not a deterrent to others. Someday, when I grow up, I'm gonna be a rock star...of course, I have to wait til the kids are all grown up, but hey, look at Tina Turner - and Sheryl Crow is in her 40's.