Learning to Play

I unzip my guitar case, lift out my guitar, select my pick for the evening, and take my seat in the living room with a music stand in front of me. I place my iPhone on the stand and select an app to tune. I don’t have to make too many adjustments, which pleases me for some unknown reason…it feels like I earn bonus points if my strings are at least moderately in tune.

I switch to the Yousician app to begin my practice, and it takes me through a couple of warm-up songs. I like playing along to the tracks they provide; it makes me feel accomplished. However, that feeling goes away as soon as the lesson proper begins, because I still can’t play chords properly. I roll my fingers up and down, left and right, but every strum sounds out dead notes. I can’t proceed to the next lesson until I produce perfect chords, and the mic is way too good at picking up my mistakes.

I swear. Silently.

Marty Music on YouTube is friendly, enthusiastic, and couldn’t care less if I play wrong notes, and I’m tempted to just switch mid-lesson over to his channel… but I feel like if I do that it’ll be like taking a dangerous short cut, and I really want to get these chords right.

So I roll my fingers a few more directions. Maybe this time the dead notes will be gone.

Or maybe this time.

No, this ti-…

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