ODY: Day 4. Ride ’em!

It’s on its way down to 7 degrees Celsius on this August night that feels like fall. Good sleeping weather. Good Bonanza weather! Guitarzan couldn’t bear to slog through the mud of the way I make G and A chords tonight, so I started off with my inimitably mal-tuned acoustic power chords. (I haven’t figured out where to put my friggin’ elbow when I’m flailing, but flail I do.) And then as I practised picking out an individual string repeatedly, at some point I succeeded in hitting the same one six or seven times in a row, because suddenly a theme from my childhood TV sprang from MY GUITAR! What a great thing: 12 notes in a row on my chubby E was the start of a song.


Lorne Greene and Dan Blocker and Michael Landon and whoever played “Hop Sing” gathered around the campfire in my bedroom tonight, because 12 quick plucks on any string (except maybe A, something wasn’t right there) and at any fret point sounds a little like the beginning of the Bonanza theme. (Ask your father.) Then I had to mess around to find a couple more notes, and I had the first part. YEE! I found ways to play it with any two consecutive strings, and began to see what the Teen Vegan Punk-Rock Intellectual (my “teach-Dad-a-lesson”-er) meant by the fifth fret. (Does that take it up an octave? Whatever it does, it allowed me to find that high note at the end of the first phrase of the song.) I also found out how to play the thing on one string; heck, I can play it on any string! Just not very fast, or very well, but I was tickled rosy.

I even got parts of it using power chords, though it sounded like I was playing in a cave under water. Who cares? I found such utter delight in the child’s play of figuring out a simple tune. Only the first two phrases, mind you; it gets a little more musical after that opening hoofbeat melody. But as the TVPI had counselled me: “Play songs. You gotta play songs.” Right agin, perfesser! I’ll be back on the trail tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *