I do not have the patience for musical instruments

Sorry about that last post, I got so many rave reviews on the post about subbing that I panicked and thought that I had to be this awesome writing machine. I hope to make up for that post now, no pressure.

When I was young I was put in to piano lessons. I can't remember if it was something that I was genuinely interested in or if it was my mom living out her childhood dreams of being a great proficient. Her mother, my Gramma (not a typo, she was American and that's what we called her), was a classically trained pianist and would yell at my mom anytime she went near the piano, calling it racket, or basically berating her inability to be taught. My Gramma wasn't perfect.

I was around 9 when I started piano lessons, which in my opinion was late in the game. Especially since my older brother had been in piano lessons since he was 4, and was two years older than me so that gave him a 7 year advantage. I would sit down and try to plunk out In My Little Birch Canoe and he would follow me with some piece by Beethoven or Rachmaninov. Then it would be my turn again and I would have to stop at every note and say Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, oh, it's an F note. Often times, I would think F this note.

I was a horrible student. I would practice for about a half hour before my lesson and then show up and fumble my way through the Tarantella. I butchered that poor song, and many others. I think I felt even worse because I was my piano teacher's babysitter. I tried hard to impress her with my babysitting skills to make up for what I lacked musically. Our 30 minutes spent together every week was probably dreadful for her.

I would try and try to practice but having someone in the house who seemed like a natural was a real blow to my confidence. I thought it was something that poured out of my brother, not something that he had been working at nearly every day for seven years. So when I wasn't a natural at it, I convinced my mom that I was wasting her $10 a week, and my piano teacher's time.

In high school I decided that I would try to take up guitar. I started practicing strumming on my sister's guitar, but she was left handed and it was strung that way. I fuddled my way through the easy chord, maybe it's G or F again, it's the one with your middle, ring and pinky finger inhabiting the same strut. Yeah, you can see where this is going... Again, I wasn't naturally good at it. I would pluck away very slowly, torturously slowly, and I just couldn't imagine ever learning it.

Some people look like they came out of the womb with a guitar around their body, and others, like me, make it look like a weird uncomfortable growth that should be lanced, immediately. I put it away for a little while thinking that maybe I needed to mature for a few years before I would have the patience and tenacity for guitar.

My other sister, God bless her, decided to start giving me lessons once I'd moved out on my own. The first lesson included a few chords and some tuning. She gave me back the south-pawed guitar and I went home. I played the three or four chords she taught me a few times and noticed that it sounded out of tune, that irked me a little since I had only been playing it for maybe 5 minutes.

I lived with my pianist brother at the time and figured that I'd have a go at tuning the thing. Plunk plunk plunk on the piano, dee dee dee on the guitar, plunk plunk plunk, dee dee, I was really focused and trying to train my ear to hear the same sound. Then I thought, oh maybe this is too low? *Frustration mounting* Plank plank plank, der der der, that sounded too low, *frustation reaching a fever pitch* so I went up high, plink plink plink, di di di, di di di, and then snap. The string broke, and I launched the guitar into the middle of the living room. It was a reflex response, I didn't even think of it. I grabbed it from the neck and the base and sent it sailing to the floor. I didn't smash it. I just simply stepped over it for the next few days. My brother asked me about it and I said that I'd rather not talk about it. I haven't picked up a guitar since.

I enjoy singing, and I play that instrument by ear. Sometimes I think, ooh, I should play the cello or the base, and then one day I looked back at my piano lesson notebook and saw that I was learning one song for 14 weeks. Sorry for wasting that $140 mom.

That's all.


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