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Sadventure Completed #2: The musical instrument phase...

Updated: Mar 28

Apparently, this is a genuine phase of going through a mid-life crisis. Who knew?

And with a guitar lesson, my first ever, life just got a whole load more complicated. Just in case, like me, you are musically unsound, and you want to give it a bash - I recommend you get a lesson or two, but be careful not to bash the guitar. They don't like it, apparently.

The first thing to learn is that guitar lessons involve frets. I thought, having suffered with anxiety periodically, that I knew all there was to know about fretting. Turns out I was wrong: guitars have frets too. Different guitars have a different number of frets. In my case, thirteen. Fourteen if you count me. And in order to manage, one must control one's frets - the outcome is quite literally in one's hands. Well, that's simple enough.

But to add to the complication, each fret has six strings to pluck, or strum, or perhaps one should strike a designated number of chords, depending on how badly one wishes to express oneself. And if that wasn't as baffling as life itself, the chords have names. The top string is called, 'No. 6'. The bottom one: No.1. That's right - nothing short of illogical to my mind. To worse matters, they are then laid out right to left on a diagram.

Then, of course, one must place one's fingers, numbered 1, 2, 3 (fore, middle, and pinky) as per the diagram. At this point, my brain frazzled. After all, I'm the person who spent five minutes, last Monday, thinking I was locked in a building. Turns out, I needed to push the door rather than pull it.

Thus, learning to play the guitar is the perfect metaphor for life. At any time, there's a maximum of a gazillion different permutations as to the outcome, and most of them don't feel, sound or look right. But you don't know until you give it go, and the less one thinks about it, the greater the likelihood that it goes okay. There is a huge amount of mindfulness to it: the levels of concentration required and the ability to just focus on getting a small number of things right. After, forty minutes I had learnt to play my first 'riff' (Smoke on the Water). And with that my time was over. I left feeling really pleased with myself at the end of the session. It has a real highlight of my week - and this is has been a good week thus far.

So fret ye not! I'd heartily recommend giving guitar lessons as bash. The more I got it wrong, the greater the urge to get it right grew in me. It was all-absorbing: I was contented just to play the same sound over and over and over again. And thankfully, Paul, an accomplished musician, teacher and all round enthusiast, had the decency to not wince at my cack-handed ineptitude.

For lessons in Chipping Norton contact Paul, who is also on Facebook.

#midlifecrisis #guitar #sadventure #paulcattell #guitarlessons #guitarbeginner

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