The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Guitar Update

"Daddy L, why do you want to learn guitar?", my friends ask me. (Yes my friends call me Daddy L too, because I'm narcissistic like that). Let me explain.

I play the drums. I have for decades, since I was ten-years old. With only a few exceptions (one band as a bass player, the other as a singer*) I have performed, toured and recorded as a drummer. I love beating the tubs, best instrument out there.

I have to say it's a wierd feeling learning to play the guitar. Like cobras and mongooses (or is it mongeese?), guitarists and drummers only manage to tolerate each other. Guitarists think all drummers are 'ecentric'. Drummers think all guitarists are wankers. But I'm willing to sacrifice it all for The Boy. As much as I love my drums, it just doesn't make for a rewarding family sign-along.
Rat-ta-ta-ta-ta, Twinkle twinkle little star
Bomp-boom-tap-tap-tap, How I wonder what you are
Crash, smash, bomp-bomp-bomp, Up above the world so high
You get the picture. If I want to sing to The Boy, I have to learn a melodic instrument.

Last time I updated my guitaring progress I was having issues with bar chords, something I'd had to get over if I wanted to play any song with a F or B. Thanks to my friend Vern, who broke it down for me, I'm starting to get the hang of them. At long last, the elusive "London Bridges" is now mine to sing! "Hey-Diddle-Diddle", mastered. "Pop Goes the Weasel", in my repertoire.

But now that I'm able to actually sing him nursery rhymes, I've discovered they're painfully dull to play. Most of them are really short:
London bridges falling down, falling down falling down
London bridges falling down, my fair lady.
This lasts about eight seconds. So I repeat the same verse over and over again. After a minute or so of this I'm ready to put my foot through the guitar. So I've taken to singing The Boy sad, old country songs instead. They're easy to play, and he seems to like them better, or I'm projecting because I like them better. Either way he bounces and swings along. Some of his favourites:

- You're Still On My Mind - George Jones
- Your Cheatin' Heart - Hank Williams
- I Still Miss Someone - Johnny Cash
- Wheels - Flying Burrito Brothers
- You Don't Miss Your Water - Byrds Version

P wonders if they're appropriate songs to sing to The Boy. "Honey, it's never too early to teach him the genius that is Gram Parsons, or that life is all about heartache, loneliness and despair."

She assigned me some homework, learn happier songs.

* All your drummers out there reading this, if you're still in a band primarily to meet girls (or guys) - biggest reason anyone joins a band - then get out from behind the drumkit and be the singer. Even if you do well as a drummer, when I was the singer - whoa, more ass than a toilet seat.