Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bad Guitar Player :)

I always meet people in "out of a movie" situations. 
I met my guitar teacher on board the Mumbai-Sydney flight. 
The flight was late and I was full of fear and nostalgia. Trying to think of too many things together and my seriously drugged inner voice poking me now and then to remind me of something that I should think of when I am taking off. Suddenly this tall, somewhat old guy with long hair tied up in a pony tail comes and sits next to me. 
He looked like those bohemian rock stars. He tucked his guitar in the overhead compartment and sat next to me. 
In economy, you always wish that the person with the boarding card on the next seat gets stuck in the loo or is caught at the security with a kilo of heroin. I always wish that the person destined to sit next to me should miss his flight so that I can stretch and use the next table to keep aside my food ( I find the airline food unappetizing). 
I was mildly unnerved that I should share my first flight to Australia with such a hippie. 
Fortunately, the feeling was mutual and he hopped on to another seat as soon as the seat belt sign came off. 

I enjoyed my flight. At dawn I opened my window to see the fluffy white clouds and sip coffee. 
I forgot about the hippie who went away the previous night.

I met him again on my way to the connecting flight to Brisbane and as both of us were waiting to board the flight, he happened to glance at my iPod. Then, began the usual co-passenger polite conversation about music and we realized that I listened to all the bands that he liked. Then as we half  fled past the really shiny airport floors, we talked about all our favorite songs and he asked me if I were to stay in Brisbane. He said if I was looking to learn guitar, he would be happy to give me lessons. 
When we boarded the flight, he wrote down his name,email and phone number on the boarding card and gave it to me. :)

That was it. Then all the excitement of the new house, roommates and university made me forget Barry Wilson. On an empty, homesick weekend that followed, I wrote him a breezy "how are you doing" mail. In reply, he sent me a song that he had just mixed. Then I thought that maybe instead of getting bored on weekends or running so hard that weekends prove to be more tiring than the weekdays, I should just learn how to play the guitar!
I called him and he said he would be very happy to meet me for a lesson and he would give me one on his travel guitar ( the same one that came to Sydney with us).
Being a twenty-four-year-old-new-in-the-city-woman, I took all necessary precautions when I met him. We met by the river in a place called "The Kangaroo Point" and my Greek PhD-mate made sure that he was present for the first lesson. :)
He wrote me a simple song,with basic chords and taught me how to read notes. Then gave me his guitar to try out. 
It was not that hard, but I needed more practice and he said I should just keep practicing. When the three of us started walking home, he put his guitar into the case and gave it to me! He said I could keep it till I got my own!
Then he went biking for a long time and I practiced his song between long breaks. Some of my friends urged me not to give up, and inspired me with their own music. 

It is really hard. I must accept. 
I practice the whole of saturday sometimes and all I get in the end is half a line of some famous song. My fingertips go numb from the metal strings and I keep forgetting the notes or the chords. I look at the online lessons and try to play but people keep pinging me on chat and I forget about my song when one of my favorite friends is online. The guitar goes out of tune and then I try to tune it and it goes completely off!
The worst of the difficulties is when the  pick goes inside the guitar as I strum and refuses to come out. :|
I make a funny picture trying to look for it with one eye closed as if I am trying to play it with my nose!!
At the end of the day when I listen to the actual song that I am trying to play, the difference is demoralizing. 
The biggest dampener is I guess when your  Pink Floyd devotee roomie asks," What are you trying to play? It sounds nice" when you are actually trying to play "Wish you were here". =|
I have made peace with the jokes that they make about earning extra grocery money by placing me on the Central Station subway ( Although that needs a lot more talent than I possess at this stage)

The only motivation to keep going is I guess the poetic idea of being able to sit on an unusually high stool on a dim-lit stage with other rockers and singing my favorite song as I play the chords and the fact that I meet people like Barry!
I don't know how good I would be, but as I am not willing to give up, I can definitely turn into a Bad Guitar Player. :)


intendo said...

Hang in there...

intendo said...

the end result will be worth the wait...

intendo said...

and the effort...

intendo said...

i should probably start finishing the sentence in my head before commenting...

शिरीष said...

Sai as intedo has said just hang in there.You will make your dream come true.
I know you have music inside you.You understand the Tal or shall I say beats very well.

Meeting Barry on your flight and he really starts teaching you also sounds exactly out of any movie.

We all would love to see you playing your Guitar sitting on an unusually high stool.....

Tapan said...

Came to your blog from Datta's site. Guitar is a bit frustating. I was learning and am learning it too. Hard to put chords on the right fingers :)

Saee said...

@ Intendo..
Yey!! Thanks..but sometimes (mostly when I am very hungry) I am eclipsed y selfdoubt! :(
Yes, (hopefully) I can sing to you in July. :)
Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the links on your blog!

Mandar Gadre said...

real nice narration! liked it.
meeting and then keeping in touch with strangers, as they become friends is amazing :)
Good luck with the lessons! Hope you are getting your ears trained too :)

Saee said...

@ Mandar..
yes, it was an unusual encounter. :)
I hope I get better :)

Tapan said...

Your welcome. Practice , patience and passion will make the guitar sound good :).

Raj said...

Great story! I have always wanted to learn guitar and somehow it never happened. So now I have to be satisfied, listening to Eric Clapton, Santana and the likes. Not that I mind it :)
Hang on and very soon you will be strumming great melodies! Wish you all the best in this endeavor.

ps : "airline food" is contradiction in terms, like military intelligence!

sameer said...

hey saee...gud goin wid music...its gud to c u indulge in exploring new talents within u..and dis is exactly wat u shud be doing being in a driver's seat at this phase of ur life...well i began to love guitar since my jc yrs in xaviers where 1 of my christian friend used to play it so often and used to have girls drooling to his tunes..and boy he flaunted his music in style and a lot of grace as well.i used to envy him back then as naturally as any1 wid a bit of a male ego hehe;)
i know its gonna be tough learning it but in a years time u'll have many dude's like me dancing to ur tunes haha:)...i guess dis shud encourage u to hang in their and b an obedient learner...cause at the end even if u manage to become a bad guitar player u always have many gud people in india dancing to ur bad tunes haha:)
just make sure u get in to a habit of taping ur finger tips before playing the chords.luv u sweets :).. happy plucking weekends heehee;)

Saee said...

@ Raj
LOL@ Airline Food and Military Intelligence. :)
Yeah there are days when I believe I can turn into knopfler if I want to but then there are other kind of days when I am completely hopeless too! :)
Sweetheart you flatter me.:)
And singing to you and Ameya when we are in some dimly lit restaurant ( where there is a band that can rescue me if I am really bad) is one of the motivations too. =)
Love ya too buddy! :)

RJ said...

thats all i will say....