September 26th, 2004

monk john

learning the guitar

As some of you know, I'm learning the guitar. Well, to play it at least.

It's something I've wanted to do, well, forever really, but I finally got tired of just wanting to do it. I have a verra nice one, it's a Gibson Les Paul Faded Special in worn cherry.

I'm also lucky in that I have poorheather helping me learn, along with the ever - classic Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1. I like it, even though some of the song lessons make me nuts. Not because they're too hard, or overly lame. But thanks to my devotion of all free brain memory space to trivia, i know all the songs in there, and how they should go, and when they suddenly cut off, it throws me.

I don't really know any songs, except for maybe Amazing Grace, which is, for all it's simplicity, a very beautiful, very relaxing song.

But poorheather's biggest contribution is her knowledge of music theory. So instead of learning chords by rote memorization, i can build them in my head. 1-3-5 = standard chord, 1-2.5-5 = minor, etc. So while I practice with the chord charts, I also fill in the missing gaps. No F minor or F7 chords? No problem, I can make them. I like that. I like knowing how things work, even if I don't know why, yet. I like knowing that, at least on a limited basis, I can dope stuff out, beyond what the book shows me. I also really like having someone who can explain stuff that seems silly to me. Her old keyboard is a major help too, since it's really easy to see what a chord should look like.

It's moving slow, but that's good. i can't take shortcuts. I also don't use computers with it. This may seem odd, as, in a very real sense, computers are central to my life. They keep me employed, clothed and fed. I use them to keep track of my friends, and talk with family.

But we all need something different. So, along with Kuk Sool, which I'm taking a bit of a break from, I have this, and running as my non-computer things. Computers are too easy for me, and I know too many shortcuts. The Les Paul doesn't let me do that. So I still don't know any songs, and may not for some time. But I can make chords, and I can play "Amazing Grace".

and even though it makes my fingers sore...the...analogue-ness of the guitar is doing a good job at keeping me from hating computers beyond the standard network admin loathing.

and that's a good thing.