ODY: Day 3

A small victory in the Old Dog, New Trick Olympics today. My mid-life quest for guitar glory saw its first hint of musicality tonight, when the G-major chord came out sounding vaguely musical on a few of my eccentric windmill strokes. My fingertips felt sliced and diced by the time I’d hit the individual strings enough to organize my fretting, so the chord didn’t hold up long. But I heard it, dammit. I heard it. And the strings go E, A, D, G, B and E again. And that’s an octave, from fattest to skinniest. (Or is it two?) That A chord doesn’t make much sense to me yet, but that might’ve been because I read the diagram wrong again. Is this why we call a frightened or nervous person fretful?

Old-Dog Year: Day 1, Lesson 1

This was the day. No more fudging, no more slithering into the underbrush of Some Other Time. Appointment with my son, the Teen Vegan Punk-Rock Intellectual (TVPI), who had rescued a broken-necked guitar from the curbside and glued it back to life. (If the Carolina Hurricanes’ Erik Cole can come back from a broken neck for the Stanley Cup final, this little Degas can put up with me.) That’s my weapon. I am Guitarzan. It’s my midlife moment, and I’ll cry if I want to. I am learning to play guitar, and I’ve given myself 365 days to do it. (To know more of the background to this goofy and scarifying quest, check here for the genesis and creation mythology and/or here for the move from the heady excitement of myth to the dull building of callous and routine.

TVPI Dave gave me way too much credit for having a clue. Okay, the fat string is E, then comes G, A, B…Damn, forgot already. Okay. The TVPI flooded me with way too much stuff, and I was all too eager to watch him noodle rather than finger-stumble myself. Yikes. I’d thought that I’d at least be able to strum with some coordination. No tango. (No waltz. No way.) But it felt good to start, and I walked away with little cheat-sheets on the G major/minor and A major/minor chords and what to do with my clumsy leftward fingers. Banzai!