Talked Off the Ledge

If you’ve talked to me lately you know how frustrated I’ve been with guitar. So all day yesterday I was a cranky wreck before my lesson after work. Why? No good reason, really, except that I get so nervous having to play for my teacher. My fingers are still so clumsy and much more so when my hands are shaking from doubt and fear.

Before we met yesterday, Walter, who’s a great teacher and quite patient with my artistic basket case tendencies, had to talk me down from a figurative flamenco guitar ledge after a flurry of self-loathing text messages: “NO, I’m not ready … I suck … I suck ass … I quit …” etc. I was feeling SO hopeless. Ridiculous, YES, as I have only been doing this since June, but whatever, that’s just me. As expected, I did hit the wrong string more times than I can count, but I felt much better this session. Partly because I’m getting more comfortable with one-on-one time with Walter and partly because he said I’m getting better.

Unlike last time when I was so caught up in my own head that I could barely comprehend English, things clicked a bit faster. Even if I couldn’t make my fingers do what they were supposed to, I could at least follow what he was showing me. That in itself was a win.

Sure, I still suffer moments of, “Wait … what??” accompanied by flamenco-induced Tourette’s Syndrome during our lessons. To my dance classmates: You think my dance mouth is bad? You should hear my guitar mouth. AW-FUL. I rarely drop an F bomb in dance class, but I’m guaranteed to drop one every five minutes when I’m holding that piece of wood with strings. My biggest freak-out moment yesterday, though, was when I looked up and caught Walter trying to capture my distress on video. Sorry, maestro, for yelling at you. But in exchange for his turning off the camera at that moment, I promised to videotape myself practicing at home. See below.

I realize some of the things I’ve written make me sound nuts but it’s only because I guess you could say I’m in love, and love makes even the most rational folks act a little crazy. If I love something (or someone) I want to put all of myself into it, in commitment and out of respect, and I’ll hold myself accountable if I’m not doing what I should to nurture that relationship. It gets all of my passion and my devotion. I love guitar just like I love dance, and I’m pretty sure I’m in this for life.

Side note: Walter will be directing a fantastic show, “Una Letra Con Melodia”, on September 8 in Santa Ana, CA. If you’re in the L.A. or O.C. area, come check it out! More info >


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