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November 20, 2003

Twelve Bar Blues

Do you play an instrument? When I was a kid, I took years and years of piano lessons, broke a multitude of violin strings in a youth symphony, and spent many hours strumming the Jamaican Farewell on the ukelele, but I never really learned how PLAY music. You know what I'm talking about: the get down, get groovy, stomp your feet, howl at the moon around a campfire kind of music that "real" musicians can play.

I've seen this pattern of rigid behaviour before. In university, I studied English language, and not English literature so that I could read a textbook and memorize the material instead of writing an essay. I can waltz, cha-cha, and swing dance, but only if someone else is leading the way. I'm a tech writer by trade, but I get incredible writer's block when I sit down to write a birthday card for a friend or to try to leave a comment on a fellow blogger's site.

In a valiant attempt to PLAY music (especially for the sake of my child, who already loves bopping to a good tune at the tender age of 9.5 months), I'm now taking guitar lessons with a real musician. Lesson #3. My teacher, after showing me how to play 3 minor chords in a I-IV-V blues progression, turns to me and exclaims, "OK, let's jam!" Um...right...I'm all over that... Gee, look at the time. Next week for sure...

Unless I start doing tequila shots before heading off to my guitar lessons, I don't think "next week" will ever come. Musicians, creative folk, DotMoms--please advise.

Posted by tomi at 08:29 PM in The Sound of Music | Permalink


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How about drums? Not entirely cheap to pick one up, but if what you're looking for is that cohesive, communal jam effect, nothing says lovin' like drums in a beautiful syncipation. Bongos, conga, whatever.. Of course, it's better with another person with a drum, but it seems like that's part of what you're looking for.

That and it doesn't take long to sound like you've been doing it for years and we all like a little instant pleasure, I think. Guitar is pretty spiff though...

Posted by: Addy | Nov 20, 2003 9:44:56 PM

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