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?"
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."
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..."