Sunday, 28 November 2010

But I'm Still Not Good Enough To Perform At Funfairs

It's been almost a month now that I've started taking up guitar lessons. The motivation to do so came from the self-realisation of how little I know whether what I'm doing at the moment is correct or actually just plain wrong (my hands hurt when I play for longer than an hour. That has got to be a bad sign, hasn't it?)

Some acquaintances brushed it off as being a waste of money, saying that with the advent of the Internet - and more notably, Youtube - learning stuff online has become cheap and effective. "There are so many people in cyberspace who take the time to produce really good, informative instructional videos covering all sorts of topics ranging from what kind of make up to apply for a dinner event to how best to go about training your tortoise to leap through deathly rings of fire. Thus, it goes without saying that there are tons of instructional videos on guitar playing. Why waste your money on lessons?" they argued.

It's true that the interwebs does help in learning. A LOT. I'll be honest right now and say that I've downloaded a fairly large number of videos myself and if it weren't for those videos, I'd still probably be holding the guitar upside down or back-to-front. However, there's something about the human interaction that takes place during teaching that can never be replaced by any online lesson. The awkward mistakes that are corrected on the spot by a stern rap on the knuckles, say, or the simple nod of approval at having perfectly nailed that riff - these are things which make learning more meaningful.

Though it's a bit embarrassing to admit, another personal reason why I took up lessons was nostalgia. I wanted to remember my days learning the organ - the songs I had to repeat for two to three weeks because I sucked at playing them, the scales that tangled my fingers worse than a messed up ball of yarn and the sight reading which I have never really understood.

I'm still not good at playing the guitar and my left hand still hurts at having to hold down those damn bar chords, but at least I now know the 5 posititions of the A minor pentatonic scale and their correct fingering! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to practise my hammer ons and pull-offs for a bit for next week's lesson.

No comments: