Tuesday, July 03, 2007

How to ressurect an old skill

A long, long time ago, before I was married, I played the guitar. No, not like the guy in the video above. Isn't he awesome? That's Funtwo and he's a professional, from Korea I think. My playing was for personal pleasure. Sometimes when fellow amateur guitar friends and I would get together it became social but mostly it was for my own enjoyment and primarily folk songs. A large part of my family sings and plays too, so it was used at family gatherings. Once I gained my faith it became a method of prayer. As I said, this was before I was married.

Once I got married, my ex was a huge stumbling block to practice. His method of de-stressing was to have a TV constantly running. At no time in our marriage was there ever total silence at home. This was true in the apartments we lived in and also in the house we eventually bought. When there is a constant din of noise in the background it's hard to tune a guitar never mind practicing for any concentrated period of time. Eventually, rather than fight about it, I stopped practicing. Why would I ever do something so foolish? Because that was the image I had of being a good wife. Now days, I know better!

Jump ahead to 7 years after the end of that marriage and there are still some things I'm trying to recover of the me I loved before I met him. One of them is my guitar playing. So how do I go about getting this loving practice back again? Well, first I got the guitar out of the closet and put it on a stand where I could see it daily. Then I got it some new strings and tuned it. And re-tuned it. And re-tuned it again. Not liking the results of what I stumblingly tried to play on it, I decided I needed a song that would inspire me to want to learn once again. There are quite a few web sites out there that publish free guitar tabs for anyone who wants them. I started downloading tabs of songs I liked. I didn't play them. I just printed them out. Now I have a whole 3-inch loose leaf notebook that is full of them.

Here is where it gets a little fuzzy for me. I'm not sure exactly what happened but, I'm seeing a PC, I have a good friend who is wonderfully encouraging, my dreams are being productive, and I'm starting to look at myself somewhat differently. So when my church held a silent auction to raise funds to support adult education there, and one of the items was 5 half hour guitar lessons from our summer seminarian, I bid on it. When I told my friend about it she bravely said, "If you don't win it we can challenge each other to learn new songs on our guitars." Seems she's had one for several years and doesn't play it like she thinks she should either. That was really wonderful of her and I may take her up on it. But I didn't stop bidding. I kept telling myself I really needed those lessons. After all, I learn best in a classroom setting with deadlines and goals to meet. So when someone outbid me I'd raise my bid too. Before the auction closed I had bid 4 times on that prize. And I won. It cost me a bit more than I had intended, but I'm telling myself that the Holy Spirit is using it for the church and it will help me and others grow. And in preparation for winning it, even before the bidding closed, I took all those tabs I'd downloaded and put them in a notebook. I also took out an old book designed to teach guitar to the dedicated beginner and started practicing from it. Then I moved on to other songs I had saved from years ago.

Its showing. My fingering is starting to get better. So is my strumming and plucking. I'm preparing myself for the first class which will take place next week. Hopefully I will be practiced enough that I won't embarrass myself too much. Even if I'm not where I think I should be by next Thursday, I know that the young man who is our summer seminarian is a warm and caring person. I'm pretty sure he won't make fun of me and he'll probably have lots of empathy about my efforts to regain my music skills. And I'll bet he'll really like that version of Pachelbel's Cannon that Funtwo plays up above. Enjoy!


murat11 said...

Congratulations on the resurrection, and on the winning bid. What happens to your blog title, once the adult butterfly "ecloses?" (You probably already know this word: my new word for the day.)

I've included a link to Chrysalis Dreams at Murat11. Happy guitaring.

Lee said...

Wow, Murat! Thanks for the back link, the congratulations, and the good wishes! As to eclosing...well, I'm hoping the butterfly will never stop dreaming and growing. Presumably, someday I'll stop blogging on this one. When that happens it will no doubt be due to life's changing circumstances. What those will be it would take a prophet to foretell so we'll just have to wait and see. In the mean time, I'm glad to have friends like you and JS & wife along for the flight!

Peace, Hope & Joy!

Grandmother Wren said...

Congratulations! Maybe we'll be seeing a youtube video of you playing someday soon?

Lee said...

Thank you Kwrenb! A video of me playing would be fun but I'm afraid I'd be so nervous I'd fumble every other chord. However, you have given me an idea. Videos of a teacher in action is acceptable for portfolios and I plan on taking my guitar into the classroom. So, Thank You!


Sandi McBride said...

For me it was singing. My son is the guitarist in the family, he gets it from his father. I would never think of telling either of them "no PRACTICING IN THE HOUSE". My son's wife has recently taked up the bass guitar. I love hearing them together. Sometimes now since the boys are grown and gone, the silence can be deafening. I'd love to have them back here practicing their guitar and drums...lovely post Lee.

Lee said...

I know what you mean. Even when I was a child my grandmother and grandfather sang with me. My dad played the ukulele and it seems like music has tied my family together some how. With an empty nest you must feel lonely sometimes in spite of the cat's best efforts. Maybe you could take up an instrument like the harmonica or something percussion.

Thank you, Sandi!