I have decided to take up the guitar. About 10 years ago, for a very boring summer where I was mostly confined to the house, I briefly tried to teach myself to play the guitar using Roy Clark’s Big Note Songbook. The guitar I used was given to us by a cousin and was missing a string; it had been previously used as a fake weapon (machine gun) by my sister and me when we were younger. Ten years ago, I mastered the melody to “Amazing Grace,” and that was about it.
So how difficult can it be to learn to play the guitar? I have always been amazed by the sheer numbers of people who can play it reasonably well. After all, I have 12 years of piano lessons and 8 years of clarinet lessons, so this should be fairly easy, right? Come on, I can play Chopin’s “Minute Waltz” and Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto.” I can certainly play the guitar, right?
First things first – I cannot figure out how to hold a guitar correctly and comfortably. Perhaps I am cursed to not join the masses of guitar-players because my hands are too small, or my fingers are too short. But I am determined to persevere.
My sister, who cannot do anything halfway, has given me a classical guitar given to her by a coworker. She has purchased strings for it, a tuner, and a whole pile of guitar-learning books and songbooks. She even has an interactive computer program to help me learn (now how I am supposed to master holding the guitar correctly while messing around with the computer, I do not know).
In an attempt to force myself to write on my blog daily, I will provide frequent updates on my conquest of the guitar. And conquer this instrument I will. I cannot wait to play Haugen ditties from the choir stall at Mass.