Sunday, April 26, 2009

guitarsore fingers and blogging standing up

dear hearts, somehow I have almost this entire beautiful leafy day to mine own, where is everyone? hubby and older son are returning from happy Paris trip tonight, Sunday (they left Thursday) (they got to share their love of excellent expensive food and of old pictures and statues in big buildings [that's what they have in museums, right? I don't go inside very often])

So here I am with Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the laptop is on top of the little stereo system so I can dance while standing up and typing, and my fingers on my left hand are numb/sore/weird-feeling because I am working on guitar playing! Oh, it's wonderful! I begged/borrowed/stole a guitar, got myself four offered but ended up with one beautiful one, it's been weeks it's here and I could not, could not, somehow just could not figure out how to tune the blasted thing. I felt like a bit of a fool. Didn't know what to say to Sina, who lent it to me, when I saw her - yes, thank you, I was so excited about playing the guitar but I can't get past the very first thing.

Yes, I did get the concept theoretically but I was having such a hard time hearing whether the first string (I thought it was the first string because it was closest to me but apparently it's called the sixth string), when I held down the fifth fret, was indeed sounding like the second (no, fifth) string. Because there were other things happening, different twangs, that were interfering with my pure hearing of the actual notes.

Anyway, coincidentally, dear young Felix [whose today whereabouts I can explain very quickly - he and Peter, his inhouse friend here, have been roaming Berlin trying to trade cheap things for expensive things - enjoying the warmth, sunshine, birdsong, bus passes, and big city] had a week of pure music all the time at school this week (after two weeks of vacation and one week of class trip - did I already say all that?) - and they had guitars and keyboards and drumsets, and their teacher had an electronic thingy for tuning the guitar, so though it feels like a copout I went and got one day before yesterday, Felix tuned the guitar for me, I found an online web site with wonderful basic step-by-step directions, and now I am happily working my way through the chromatic scale, my first three chords, and all the songs you can play and sing using G, C, and D major! 

[oh and p.s. on the website it said: "tuning the guitar might be very hard at first, it will be easier later but for now it's best if you can get someone else to tune it for you" - I was very comforted to read that!]

(Did everybody but me know about this electronic tuner thingy? It lights up green when your string sounds right and goes red, left or right for flat or sharp, if not; there is also a line on the display that is supposed to stand straight up in the middle when the string is tuned. It guesses which string you're tuning by which note you're closest to. My father tunes his cello with a beautiful tuning fork (although it occurs to me that when I was there in March there was something electronic too where I pushed a button for him - Mommy or Daddy, if you're reading this- what happened to the tuning fork?) - but maybe that will come for me still.)

So amazingly, my fingers seem to have developed a little callusing already after two days of this (yesterday I found no time, so it was day-before-yesterday and today), and the beautiful, unexpected, unhoped-for bonus benefit is that my much-mourned loss of the upper reaches of my soprano voice seems to be somewhat helped by the guitar playing.

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