As a young kid I always wanted to play piano. I’m not sure why but I really loved piano, it’s probably to do with the fact that many of my close friends are (and were at a young age too) very good piano players.
In middle school my friends would sometimes teach me little ditties on the piano, the second half of duets, or the passing on of songs learned by ear, so I could play a few things but nothing impressive, but I figured, it was better than nothing!
In grade nine I convinced my parents to let me take guitar lessons. I borrowed a guitar from a family friend and took lessons through my school. I wasn’t much of a fan. A guitar could make nice music but it took a lot of work to get there and a lot of pain too. My fingers would hurt and hurt after each class. Mostly, I suppose, because I rarely practiced more than ten minutes a week. My teacher was also a bit odd. I remember only two things from him. Not how to read music and play notes, I’ve forgotten how to play notes on a guitar now, but I remember that he preferred ham over turkey at Thanksgiving because turkey makes you sleepy, and he strummed with his thumbnail because it was so long. That really grossed me out…
My first guitar recital was awful, painful. I was so nervous I couldn’t read the notes and forgot where they were on the guitar and I completely mauled “Greensleeves”. Needless to say I quit guitar after a year.
I then, finally, convinced my parents to let me take piano. I was fifteen years old at that point and starting in a grade one level of piano: how to read notes. Within three years I’d made it through level four. I loved piano but in that first year, the only chances I got to practice were at school or at church because we didn’t have a piano at home. As Christmas approached I begged for a keyboard so I could practice at home but my parents always said, No, we can’t afford one. You’ll just have to keep practicing after school if you want to take lessons. This begging and denial went on until very close to Christmas, when finally I gave up because it was just too close to Christmas to buy a piano.
But I still was hoping against hope and I remember that Christmas I felt the keenest disappointment I’ve ever felt when the last present was passed to a sibling and there was no chance of a piano left. Then my dad asked me to run downstairs to his office and get his Bible off his desk to read the Bible story. I wandered down and as I opened the door there was a large box in the room. As I looked at it it registered that there was a picture of a keyboard on the front and I screamed and burst into tears. I had gotten a piano. My family all rushed downstairs and began to laugh at the sight of me struggling to find my dad’s Bible on the desk through my tears as I still tried to do what I’d been asked to. That was the happiest I remember feeling, when there was that keen pang of disappointment, and then to have the item then given to me after all.
I still play my piano, my favourite music books are my Lord of the Ring’s soundtrack and Pride and Prejudice soundtrack.
But in in the summer after graduation one of the guys in my class said I could have the guitar he’d left at school unless he suddenly needed it again. I had recently found lots of youtube musicians who were self taught and decided I was going to teach myself! So I began the process of finding chords for songs, googling how to play the chords and slowly but surely teaching myself how to make music. I had only had the guitar about a month when he shot me a facebook message saying he needed his guitar back. I was sad to loose the guitar but made up my mind to buy one for my birthday and a month after I gave back the borrowed guitar I had bought a new one with my money and birthday money from my grandparents.
I’ve been fiddling and learning since then and today I recorded a cover of the song I mentioned yesterday, True Things, by JJ Heller, one of my favourite artists. So, here’s my cover!
Have a great day! Talk to you tomorrow!