I think it has to be said that I’m not a natural guitar player, but there is something very satisfying about being able to play music people know just by strumming a few strings and singing a simple melody.
I mentioned previously that I’d been set four challenges involving musical instruments. Well, this is number two. This one was quite specific, which is often helpful as it avoids any ambiguity, plus it’s very clear when I’ve achieved it.
My mate Georgia Levermore is a fabulous blues rock guitarist, so I guess this was her way of encouraging me to give it a go. I’ll be honest, this challenge started out as ‘Learn to play Happy by Pharrell Williams’ on the guitar. While this would have been amazing, we both realised a few weeks in that that might be quite a tall order in the timeframe and with all my other challenges to complete. We had a discussion and agreed to amend the specific song to something easier; something involving the four beginner chords. Wild Thing by The Troggs it was. Great song!
There’s a specific strumming pattern that I’ve mastered slowly in practice sessions, but for the benefit of the audience at the open mic night where I performed, my guitar teacher, Dan, and I decided on a teamwork approach where I would strum the basic chords and Dan would play lead guitar and sing over the top.
We asked the open mic host Ben to accompany us on cajon and we had a decent sound, albeit a painfully slow one! Hop on over to my YouTube channel to watch our performance.
Anyway, challenge completed, and I feel this is just the start of my relationship with the guitar. I’ve enjoyed being able to accompany myself while I sing. I quite fancy myself as a campfire guitarist – you know the type. Right now, I need to concentrate on my 12 remaining challenges, one of which is playing bass on a song with a band and another is to play drums with a band. Eek!
In the meantime, you might spot me at an open mic playing a couple of simple tunes. You never know…
Huge thanks, again, to the audience at The Angel & Crown open mic night for your patience, applause and donations – another £9 given on the night has gone into the JustGiving page.
Huge thanks, again, to Andrew Scrimshaw from Richmond Guitar Workshop for lending me a classical guitar to practice on.