The Guitar Issue
God Damn it! The Invisible hand has fucked me again!
I started learning guitar on 15th October 2008. I didn't search as much as real enthusiasts do and joined the class very near to my house. 2 minutes walk easy breezy. I did this because the teacher was good and I saw kids playing awesome music! It was a little embarrassing at first, when your colleagues are a quarter your age and more evolved than you but I liked it that way. Mostly because I had the opportunity to learn from the very basics and the brochure said "Don't learn to play instruments. Learn music". I asked myself several questions before joining in. Why do I want to learn guitar? Is it to impress people and sharpen the ego? The answer was NO. Is it to bring a change in lifestyle, do something you've never done before? Probably YES. But the real reason was I like music. I had written some songs/poems which were desperately seeking chords as life partners. I always believed that people learn music first then write songs. Here it was completely different case I was compelled to learn music because my songs wanted to express themselves through music.
The other reason not the most powerful one but a good one, was I had a job now. A good teacher was just next to me; money was to be the cushion for this burden. Two days a week will be good enough I thought. The maths went like this "Two days a week, 6 months and I am a guitarist". I could see myself in a PULSE of my own. With a Hawaiian lap guitar next to me. The acoustic hanging over the back and bright laser lights flashing the stadium like a million supernovas, exploding simultaneously. WOW it was a great feeling. It was certainly a great time. Nice job, Nice salary, learning guitar, no responsibilities, thought vacation personified. I was in rapture. And this was not some distant dream, a wave of good thoughts which passes you by when you are silently resting on the sand. This was very real and was happening in the moment. A part of the feeling is still alive.
The part that is gone is "false hope". People like to believe that false hope is a very broad term, but they all mean the same. False hope is the expectation that a person on death bed will suddenly spring to life. Everything will be back to normal. It is also the longing for the return of a long lost lover, in whose return you want to believe but know otherwise. It is also the hope that by some miracle I will pass in the exam in which I gave a blank sheet. False hope is also the faith in the eyes of an above 20s aspiring guitarist that he is going to manage his music life the way he is managing his professional one and is going to become a CEO+ Van Halen, somehow.
I have been a little lucky in this sense. The first class my sir asked me "How do you wanna learn guitar? Professionally or for fun" I said "for fun". Who wants to be professional in something you are doing out of love. Not because you're being forced. I continued this and learnt a few songs & some basics. Took me 2 months to know the instrument. Then there was a test. I scored very well and sir told me that you have to start learning professionally because you can't learn all the songs better to know the concept behind them. I started with notations and am making good progress but something happened last Sunday.
I was returning after a minor guitar repair and some guests were there in my house. They saw me coming with guitar on my back and a sequence of "Arrey kyon Sharma rahe ho, bahut bhav khate ho" requests started. It didn't take me long to realize that I will have to play for them. But the question is what? I have been taught only a few songs and that too in lead. I know the chords of "Country roads" but can't play it without my sir pointing the verses with his ruler? Anyways I played "Love Story" by Andrew cohen; "Come September theme", "Country roads" (Just managed); a few "Waltz" , "Chura liya" , and the first thing that most people learn " Tujhe Dekha". They liked it. But I realized that something major was missing. I played fine but not even close to what I play in class or while I was giving that test. I thought real hard as to what happened and redefined my guitar goals. I have decided that I am going to tell my sir to teach me at least 10 songs of my choice for the next several classes and ease on the science of music for a while.
But there is still a conflict in me. I know learning music by notations is tough and takes time. Why should I compromise my music for a few claps?