List item number 21, submitted by my cousin Mitch, requires that I learn how to play a musical instrument. Holy Bon Jovis! My family don’t do things by halves do they?
You can probably guess that I don’t already have some secret musical talent hidden away. I’ve never learned more than the recorder… unless you count my acoustic guitar repertoire, which consists of the ‘Inspector Gadget’ theme and ‘Suicide is Painless’ (AKA the ‘Mash’ theme), both of which I taught myself using tabs, and neither of which I remember in their entirety.
About a year and a half ago I got SUPER bored and decided I would give singing lessons a whirl. I’d noticed a little flyer taped to a telegraph pole and I thought it might be a laugh. Turns out it’s a massive laugh – usually at my expense – but I still love it! I’ve been going on and off since then and I can definitely hear an improvement. Nevertheless, I still wouldn’t dare assault anyone’s ears with it (apart from my singing teacher who gets paid for the privilege).
I should put in a plug for him (I owe him at least two plugs to compensate for the lack thereof during my lessons). He and his band ‘The Secret City’ are performing this Friday Night 10 August 2012 at el Rocco in Kings Cross (cover charge $12). You might even see me there (NOT singing)!
Anyway, my point is that I have no idea how I’m going to learn an instrument in a single year. Does singing count? My teacher always refers to my voice as my “instrument”. It makes sense to me! Then again, it feels like cheating somehow… I will have to ask for a ruling on this one… lodge your vote in the comments below!
If you think singing is cheating, then what other instrument should I try? Guitar is the obvious choice, but it seems too hard for a single year. I’d love something a little more achievable (and preferably something I don’t have to fork out too much hard-earned for). I live in a flat so drums are out. Help!
My friend Pat has offered to teach me guitar. I don’t know if that’s such a good idea though. About a decade ago she offered to teach me how to drive manual (and soon regretted it). I bunny-hopped like anybody else on their first go of course, but I think it was the ear-piercing and constant screaming that did her in. She was a good sport about it, but I think I might’ve overstepped the bounds of friendship just a little. Truth be told, it was the first and last time I ever drove a manual car.
Aaaaaannnnddd… I think I just heard almost every man (and car enthusiast woman) collectively groan at me… Judge me if you will people, but I stand by two fundamental truths in life. I will not drink coffee and I will never learn how to drive manual!
(Luckily nobody put it on the list!)
Speaking of Pat, I remember going to visit her one day back when we lived down the street from each other. I rocked up at the front door and was greeted by this beautiful (but seemingly out of place) classical music emanating from the living room. When I rang the bell the music stopped, and when she answered the door I laughed and asked “What on Earth are you listening to in there?! Is that your Dad’s music or something?!” to which she replied (much to my embarassment) “Umm… that was me playing the piano”.
I felt like a total jerk of course (evidenced by the fact that I still remember it to this day!) It was beautiful music and I was just jelly.
You can’t be good at everything of course. In my case, I sacrificed musical talent, sporting talent, beauty, and wisdom for… umm… watching a lot of television? (You may have caught on to that little fact given that the only two songs I ever bothered to learn were TV themes!)
Learning a musical instrument is probably the perfect challenge for me because it is something I have always wanted to do, yet have never had the determination required to see it through. I just can’t possibly imagine how I’m going to squeeze it in over the next 11 months, what with all that jogging and blogging!