At the beginning of last year we all began to learn an instrument. Guitar for the boys, & myself, drums for my husband. Out of all of us I was the only one who’d previously played my chosen weapon – that was 30 years ago & I ended up being the worst musician among us. Needless to say, it has taken me the best part of the year to finally play something vaguely tuneful so that the dog doesn’t leave the room. During this time there have been many occasions when I would merrily chop veggies to the beat of a basic rock groove thundering up the basement stairs – only slightly jealous hubby was learning much faster than me. After only a few weeks of private lessons, he’d nailed it. Meanwhile, us guitarists switched our lessons to a new location because the timing & the teacher were not really working out. It was clear after only a couple of lessons that my younger was well suited to his new teacher, both appear to live in la-la land playing rock songs. My elder & I had the same teacher; we were slowly making progress but still not really gelling with our new teacher. It wasn’t until that guy left suddenly to teach in Ontario that we finally got down to some serious progress with his replacement.
When I first played at school I never really learnt to read the music. This time I was determined to understand what I was actually playing, especially if the kids were learning from scratch, how was I to ever help them or set a good example if I didn’t make the effort myself? I haven’t completely got it yet, but I can certainly recognise a lot more than I used to. So, while the little fellow is belting out that he can’t get no satisfaction & how much he loves rock’n’roll, child number one & I were strumming ‘Love me tender’. Now he can play it without even looking at the music, which is most irritating believe me. It wasn’t until our teacher moved me away from the tedious book we were working through that I really felt like I began to progress.
In early fall he played me a slower version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking out loud’ & patiently worked through the chords with me. Very quickly all the lessons & the painful practicing began to pay off (even the dog actually hung around to listen). The feeling I got from being able to play along to a song I love was amazing, until finally I could play it at full speed, barely looking at the music – I just need to remember not to try & sing along otherwise it all goes a bit pear shaped! Recently, hubby & I mooted the idea of having a go at doing the song together. His teacher helped him work out the score, which apparently is a very clever groove that has taken a bit to master. Then, randomly today, we played together for the first time…
Ok, so it wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t awful either. The grandparents were there to give marks out of 10, & even they said it was pretty good for a first attempt. Its great playing with my boys & watching them progress, they aren’t always keen to practice, but mostly do without prompting. Now that hubby & I can also practice together a whole new door has opened. It’s going to be so much fun to have a hobby together again, so many others are not possible anymore thanks to ‘it’. However, ‘it’ has forced us to look deeper, try harder & be creative making sure we spend time doing fun things together that we both enjoy.