Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Need A Hobby: Courtney Learns Guitar, Day 1

I have decided I need a hobby that does not include watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy, going on Facebook, the Mimes and Mummers, alcohol, blogging, Googling, shopping, or spending money.  Also, I am realizing that being creative, in turn, makes me happy, and in my quest to find happiness that is not contingent on the actions of other people, I think that seeking out creative means of expression is going to be important.

Plus, sometimes I just get ideas in my head and fixate on them obsessively until I attempt them.  Like this one time, I was really determined to play with my karaoke machine (I was nine, okay?) on my front porch, but in order to play any CD's to karaoke to, I also needed to bring out my CD boom box.  But the problem was that there was only one cord to share for both the karaoke machine and the boom box because I had lost one of the cords, so here I was, dragging two machines with one cord, one microphone, and a stack of CD's out onto my front porch because I just really was stuck on this idea.

I don't remember how I solved this dilemma, but I'm pretty sure I only played one verse of "Backstreet's Back" before getting embarassed, giving up, and going inside to read The Babysitter's Club.

So anyways, I decided that, among other things, I am going to learn how to play the guitar.  The geeee-tar.  I used to play the piano (I suppose I still can) in high school, but pianos are much less portable, so it made it a little difficult to continue playing.  Or that was my excuse, anyways.  Yesterday was Day 1 of my project.

I bought this book when I returned my New York City calendar at Barnes & Noble.  I figured it was sort of pointless to look at pictures of New York City when I was probably going to be living there in a few months.  I don't know if the book is any good but it had pictures and that's what I like.

This is my guitar, which has been sitting in our living room for many years.  It was my grandfather's, and he probably gave it to me once upon a time when I likely up and decided that I wanted to learn how to play.  But this time will not be like that.  I am older.  And wiser.  I think.

First, I tuned my guitar using an online guitar tuner because that's what Joe always used to do with his guitars.  Plus, the internet has everything, basically.  The guitar is kind of old, so the 6th string went out of tune really fast, but I figure I will cross that bridge when I can actually play.  Which may not be for awhile, judging by how last night went.

LOOK!  I can play a chord!  An E major chord, to be exact.  Well, that is when I hold the strings tight enough and don't make the string buzz and actually make it sound like something other than a thud.  This guitar thing is difficult, man.

Do you know what makes guitar playing more difficult?  Trying to take pictures of your guitar playing.

I can also play an E minor chord (see conditions above).  I actually learned these in reverse but the pictures imported into my blog backwards and I was too lazy to switch them.  But I wanted you to get the full experience, so I'm being honest.

But after a half-hour/forty-five minutes of practicing the two chords I kinda-sorta learned, I was in pain.

A lot of freaking pain!  Fingers are not supposed to look like that.  I probably should have just re-learned how to play piano because piano keys don't make marks in your fingers or cause them to feel numb the next day when all you're trying to do is type on the keyboard for your blog.

Day 1 Summary: 

Thought #1: Learning how to play the guitar is hard and I am not naturally good at it.  I don't do well when things are difficult for me.  I tend to just give up when it's not a task that is essential to my life.  This is why I quit tap dance after 3 months in the sixth grade.  Then I spent eight years wondering why I had quit tap dance.  Then I tried to learn how to tap dance again for Anything Goes in college.  Then I remembered.

Thought #2: Learning how to play the guitar is painful.  I don't do well with things that are painful, which is why I freak out about giving blood.  This is also why I quit dirt biking after I fell off my first dirt bike when I was seven.  Uncoordinated kids don't dirt bike, anyways.

...but they potentially ride street bikes, right?  Because I saw Tron and now I want a motorcycle really badly.

What?  Did someone say that's a bad idea?  Nah, I don't think so.


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