Last time I wrote, I said there would soon be so much to share with you. So here it is, my latest adventure: I’ve taken up flamenco guitar.
I’ve wanted to learn to play guitar (acoustic) for a long, long time, and I gave it a lame attempt a few years back when I enrolled in a class through the local adult school. It was supposed to be a beginners class, but I quickly realized that most of these beginners had a year or more of experience while I couldn’t identify a single chord. Frustrated, I dropped out and told myself if I ever tried again, I’d take private lessons to get the attention I need. Then I fell into flamenco dance and my guitar aspirations got kicked aside.
But for the last year or so, I’ve thought a lot about picking up the instrument again. Now, though, it seems only natural that I study flamenco.
I had my first lesson with Walter last week, and it went just about how I expected: I was terribly nervous and awkward. I’ve known my teacher for a couple of years, but there’s still that level of uneasiness and embarrassment that comes with working one-on-one with an instructor and not having other students to hide behind, and feeling slow, dense and uncoordinated when I’m unable to perform what I’ve been taught.
My hands shook. My eyes crossed as I tried to figure out where to put my fingers, and nails were too long to properly place them, anyway. My focus sucked because I was so self-conscious. Let’s not even talk about what was going on with the right hand. Not having the right kind of guitar didn’t help. It was hard.
There were a few “Shit!”s, and I may have muttered an F bomb under my breath; not sure if Walter caught that. Purely out of frustration with myself. But it was no different from my private dance lessons. I still get nervous and frustrated when I’m working with Rina even though I’ve been dancing for more than three years. I’m just a bit impatient and hard on myself — that’s a constant struggle.
I didn’t mention my plans to take up guitar until I’d taken my first lesson because I wanted to see how I felt about it first. But one lesson was enough to convince me I want to continue. I need to.
It’ll be a much slower journey than that of the dance. I wouldn’t have adequate time or money to devote to it unless I gave up dancing, and that’s not happening. No, it’ll be a slow, steady trip, but one that will make me a better flamenca.
I’m a lover of music of all genres and I’ve often described myself as a musician who never learned to play an instrument. Maybe someday I’ll just call myself a musician. And a dancer, of course.