Thursday, March 17, 2016

Musical instruments

As some of you read this we will be on the road. It is a short trip, but the second step in getting the second Cochlear Implant. We have chosen to move out home closer to the Hospital at Durham.  We are headed for Advance, NC.

Son Jack keeps me straight in pronunciations. I told him we were going to stay in Advance for a few weeks. He said,"Dad if you are looking for auto parts you go to Advance, if you are going to the town it is ADD-vance."   

When I was in the 1st grade dad sent me to piano lessons. 

That didn't work. Next he brought a Saxaphone home. I was flabbergasted at the number of buttons and keys on that dude. I refused (one of my biggest mistakes other than the piano).

 Then came the trumpet. Three buttons, I can handle that. I made the band. By the 6th grade I was first trumpet. I thought I was good! 

Sister Shirl was a natural on the piano and played the French Horn. I never got even 'chopsticks' on the piano, but I could play the French horn.  Friend Evelyn also plays a mean piano. She once fished her in to play for  one of my chalk presentations.

I continued to play the trumpet in several church bands. I never was as good as I thought I was. When Sherry was pregnant with the second child, I bought a $3 guitar. Knowing nothing about the guitar I bought a book of cords. Mark was due in December it was July. I set out to learn 'Silent Night' by the time he was born. I did learn to tune, and cord the song Silent Night and in the process 'tore' my fingers up cording.

The guitar? I gave it up, my fingers could not take it. It was years later that I learned that I had bought what I had paid for, a $3 guitar. The Strings were 3/8 to a 1/2" above the frets and it 'killed my fingers' to press the strings down to the frets. So my chances of being a rock star were shot.

I had already decided I needed to play the comb or spoons. Both are actually musical instruments in the right hands. 

Let me tell you, my desire to play the guitar came from my military experience. Out in the boonies or on the deck of a ship let some dude bring out a guitar and strum a couple cords, and he has an audience. To the lonely service guy missing that wife or girl, or just home, that guy sounds as good as Chet Atkins. I always wanted to be THAT guy. What satisfaction that must be, to bring joy thru music.

Do you play any instrument?

Nite Shipslog

 Above is the 1982 Celebrity below is the 1982 Fifth Avenue


betty said...

I'm totally tone deaf, but married to a professional guitarist. It truly is a talent (and takes hard work with practice) to make an instrument sound good. I sometimes get "used" to his talent; hearing it all the time when he practices. Most if not all people are blown away when they hear what he is capable of playing.

If I had played an instrument, it would have been the piano.


Lisa said...

Daddy bought me a guitar because HE wanted me to learn. I took a couple lesson but the guitar teacher quit and I had not learned a thing. I also struggled with that being a lefty. I sometimes wish I could learn at least one song (amazing grace) and surprise him.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Mevely317 said...

I'll have to show this to Tom! Being a (former) professional musician he still has two keyboards, but loves his sax best.

As a kid I was "compelled" (forced is such an ugly word - ha!) to take piano lessons because my mother played, and violin because that was my father's instrument. I hated them equally! Want to hear something weird? In spite of 8 years of lessons and recitals, I can't read a single line of sheet music. I was more than a little abashed having to ask Tom which symbol was middle C!

Paula said...

My piano teacher spent my lesson trying to convert me to the Baptist church when I wanted to learn to play the piano. Also I had to practice in the cold basement of the Methodist church since my parents didn't think they could afford a piano. Did learn a little with some of those mail in lessons and someone gave me an old piano.

Rick Watson said...

I taught myself to play guitar when I was young. I played Hang on Sloopy about a million times before mastering the G D C chords. It drove my family batty. I was so focused that it impacted my graders in school which was not good. My mom took the guitar away until the next report card came out and I'd brought my grades back up.
In the Army, I spent an incredible amount of time practicing because there were guys better than me. My skills improved dramatically.
Playing guitar was something I chose to focus on and it turned out to be a gift in my life. It has brought me a great deal of joy through the years. I still play almost every day.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

I play piano, keyboard, organ and auto-harp. I did play the French Horn
in HS band and led the parades. I love music it is relaxing and fun.

Unknown said...

When my husband got his first guitar, the sounds weren't so great. His mother told him she wished he would put it away until he learned to play it. :-0
Fortunately, he persevered.