Thursday, February 03, 2011

Guitar hero?

I pulled into the parking lot, got my guitar out of the back seat, and started walking towards the door in the rain. It felt like a scene out of a movie, about some drifter, playing the honky-tonk scene, who ruins his relationship with the only girl who will ever love him by drinking too much.

And in that instant, I was a guitarist.

Of course, in reality, I'm not (yet) a guitarist, I've never played a honky-tonk, I'm not really much of a drifter, and I don't (yet) drink too much. But the rest is totally me.

Otherwise, there wasn't anything too scintillating about my first guitar lesson on Tuesday. So instead, I've decided to just make some stuff up. I mean, this could have happened, theoretically. And may have happened in an alternate universe. Who can really say? Scott Bakula, maybe.

Instructor: "Good afternoon, Bone."
Bone: "Good afternoon, sensei."
Instructor: "Have a seat."
Bone (takes seat, looks around): "Thanks. Uh, where are all the bonsai?"
Instructor: "The what?"
Bone: "You know, the tiny trees."
Instructor: "Tiny trees?"
Bone: "Never mind."
Instructor: "Shall we begin?"
Bone: "Let's turn this mutha out."
Instructor: "I want to start by asking, where do you hope to be when you're done with these lessons?"
Bone: "Do the words Back To The Future and Johnny B. Goode mean anything to you?"
Instructor: "Uhhh.."
Bone: "Or how about being able to play behind my head?"
Instructor: "How about let's just see what you can do."
(Bone plays a few licks.)
Instructor: "Are you left-handed?"
Bone: "I don't think so."
Instructor: "Then here, you might want to turn this around."
Bone: "Oh. Thanks."
Instructor: "You're a little obtuse, aren't you?"
Bone: "What? No... maybe a little. But I've lost three pounds since New Year's."
Instructor: "Do you play any instruments?"
Bone: "The kazoo, naturally. And at one time or another I've owned a harmonica, guitar, set of drums and a recorder."
Instructor: "Was there a picture of Mickey Mouse on any of these instruments?"
Bone: "No... OK, the recorder... and the drums."
Instructor: "Ever taken any music classes before?"
Bone: "Oh, yes! Third grade. We learned Wheels On The Bus and Magalena Pagalena."
Instructor: "Do you have any musical talent whatsoever?"
Bone: "You know, I really thought I would be the one asking the questions."
Instructor: "Alright, well we usually begin with a few simple chords."
Bone: "Groovy!"
Instructor: "Did you just say groovy?"
Bone: "I said groovy. I meant far out."

On the way out of the lesson, Bone encounters a girl. Using skills honed through years of encountering girls yet rarely speaking to them, he determines her to be a guitar shop groupie. Cute, but clingy. And if there's one thing this drifter doesn't need--.

"Are you a guitarist?" She giggles.
"Well... ideally," Bone replies. Girls love musicians. He had been warned of this, repeatedly.
"You know, you don't have to carry your guitar with both arms. There is a handle. It's right there on the case."
"Oh... far out."

Meanwhile, back over in this space-time continuum, here's how my first lesson really went...

Five minutes learning the strings.
Ten minutes listening to instructor yammer on and on about his glory days and teaching methods.
Fifteen minutes learning how to tune the guitar.

"Alright, we're done."
I give him a what-you-talkin'-bout-Willis look.
He gives me a you-know-that-show's-been-off-the-air-twenty-five-years-look.
"All we do the first day is learn to tune it."

Well, that's a little disappointing.

I guess learning to play behind my head will come next week.

"He never ever learned to read or write so well. But he could play a guitar just like ringin' a bell..."


  1. I can not believe how hard you made me laugh this morning. I woke Winston up when I laughed and he had to come check it out. He smiled when I told him the story and then he went back to sleep.

    I love the you don't have to carry it with two hand it has a handle line. I think that may have been her pick-up line.

  2. I hope your music instructor doesn't quit after the third lesson like mine did. It really didn't instill a lot of confidence in my ability to learn to play the guitar. It still sits in the corner of the guest room closet waiting for me to refind my courage.

  3. In my 10 y/old son's first lesson he learned the notes on the first string, came home with 3-4 pieces to practice, and by his 3rd lesson was playing songs using the first two strings. He had his 5th lesson this Wednesday where he learned the third string's notes, along with the song "Rockin' Robin".

    This fifth lesson was the first lesson where his instructor taught him how to tune his guitar, as opposed to the instructor himself spending the first minute or two making sure it was in tune.

    If your instructor spent almost your entire first lesson talking about himself and how to tune your guitar, I think you're getting gypped.

  4. I hope you learn more than my brother ever did... I got so sick of every single night

    wha wha whaaah...wha wha wah wannah over and over and over and over!

  5. ROFL

    I think that's about all I have to say.

    This is your funniest post in...well, I don't have time to visit the Bonechives, but we'll just go with it was freaking hilarious. Well done.

    PS: I think you'd be better served to get the girl with your sense of humor than your guitar-playing (or lack-thereof) skills.

  6. TOO funny. : ) thanks for that.

    Yes women love musicians.

    Good luck

  7. PennyCandy - Thanks for letting me know it made you laugh. And I'm not sure one of my posts has ever made a dog smile before. I think this is a first :)

    Ed - Wow. I hope not, either. I always figured if anyone quit, it'd be me. Never considered the instructor might.

    I had to spend about five minutes dusting my case before I got it to the point where I was no longer ashamed to take it out in public.

    Cap'n John - Well, I was kinda expecting/hoping to come home with something to practice.

    Maybe tuning is his version of wax on/wax off.

    Renee - See, if you'd had Festivus then, you could've grieved against him about that every year.

    TC - Aw, thanks TC. PS: I shall take that under advisement :)

    Kitty Cat - Thanks :) Wait, is that good luck with the women, or good luck becoming a musician? :)

  8. Excellent post:) Lots of good lines here!

    Um, why do you wanna play behind your head? I don't think that would be very attractive.

  9. Loved the first paragraph. And everything else. Great comedic dialogue

  10. I'm with John, I think you're getting the raw end of the deal with this guitar lesson guy. Although, maybe he wants to start with the basics first.

  11. Very funny! And I say that as someone who used to work as a musician ... though never a guitarist. :)

  12. What would we do without alternate universes? I'd never be the successful author I am without them ;-)

  13. Funny AND can play guitar? Girls don't stand a chance!

  14. Actonbell - Eh, I saw a guy in a band do it one time while playing "Already Gone" and thought it looked kinda cool.

    Pia - Thanks. If I could only write non-comedic dialogue :)

    Xinh - Yeah, I'm sure every teacher has a little different method. I had also kind of assumed the lessons would be an hour.

    Madeleine - Thank you! I'm honored to have the endorsement of the musician community :)

    J Adamthwaite - I'm not sure I could push through some days without them :)

    Carnealian - You'd think. However, girls have been holding their own surprisingly well!

  15. The visual is funny, not to mention the writing. I hope you keep up with this new found love of music/the guitar as it can only provide me with amusement for some time to come.

  16. when you're rich and famous, remember me.

  17. LOL...your ability to poke fun at yourself with such humor is so very entertaining. Thank you, Bone. (Will we see video one day of you doing your first cover on the guitar?) :P

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  19. Aww, don't worry, you'll be a rockstar in no time! I have complete and utter faith in this universe Bone :-D

  20. I took a guitar class in undergrad. After an entire semester, I can:
    Tune a guitar
    Hold a guitar
    Strum the chords for Adam Sandler's Hannukah

    Actually, that's all I can do.

  21. Cooper - I'm glad one of us is getting something out of it :) I'm kidding.

    By the way, to recap lesson two: Almost everything I'd learned by playing air guitar was wrong!

    Cami - But of course.

    Sweetest In The Gale - Thank you! Concerning making fun of myself, I learned very early on that it's better to beat others to the punch :)

    (Yes, should that ever happen, I'll try and YouTube it.)

    MrsO - Well, present-universe-Bone thanks you. However, alternate-universe-Bone thinks you must be smoking something :)

    Charlotta - Ooo, The Hanukkah Song! That's what I should have asked to learn, instead of "Sweet Child O Mine."