30 Before 30: Learning to Play the Guitar

Those of you who are my Facebook friends may have seen that this is my profile picture. It makes me seem like one of those cool chicks that play guitar really well. But that was not the point of it (it just reminded me of a fun night), especially as there's one particular problem with my guitar playing: it's almost tragic how bad I am.

You'd think that living with an amazing guitarist would give me an advantage. You'd also think that having played the piano for six years would mean I know a bit about music. Furthermore, you'd think having an Ibanez Jem to practice on would practically guarantee success. You'd be wrong.

I don't know why it is that when David plays, all the chords fly beautifully into place with effortless grace, while when I give it my very best shot, it sounds like a half-dead crab is crawling across the fretboard. Correction: of course I know why that is. David is a music mastermind and plays for hours every day, plus he owns two guitars that he actually built with his own hands. This instrument holds no secrets to him, while me and the Ibanez are still getting to know one another. And we're off to a quite shaky start.

I am currently learning to play one of the most beautiful songs ever and I feel like I'm RUINING IT. I'm taking this masterpiece of a song and breaking it into tiny, miserable pieces with my awful, awful attempts at playing it. But it's not my fault. After about a month of lessons with David, I'm realizing that playing the guitar is one of the most difficult things a human being can ever do. Your hands hurt, your fingers have to twist into the most unlikely positions (and I do yoga, I know about unlikely positions) and you have to Keep. The. Rhythm, no matter what you do. I should probably mention here that I was born completely deprived of a natural sense of rhythm. Obviously David, who has rhythm in his blood, cannot relate to this and keeps yelling at me to "not lose the rhythm, come ooooooooooon!!". He's even got me doing "hand exercises" with a stress ball because apparently I have no strength in my fingers. Should have figured that one out since I haven't been able to open a single bottle by myself in my entire life. But most of the time I just want to saw my fingers off, partly to stop the horrifying noises they are causing and partly because they really hurt.

So, I will probably not become the next Joan Jett, but it's a fun way to pass a Monday night. Or it will be when my fingers stop aching.

Photos from my Instagram

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