You know I forget sometimes that I trained as a classical guitarist. It was so long ago.
I’ve played a lot of music on a lot of instruments since then. I do still feel a little shiver of thrill though remembering the first pieces I played from Tune A Day which now I know were very simple but back then sounded well hot to me!
I’ve forgotten more music on the classical guitar than I care to remember having learned so many pieces but six years in Bangladesh with very little sheet music plus ten years before that of being a busy music teacher means it has been years since I could really put in some solid study again.
So it’s a joy that the recent years spent teaching my son (known on these pages as Thing II) have started to produce fruit – and he’s now playing pieces which I used to play myself. In the last couple of years he’s really got into the guitar (he tolerates the piano and theory lessons I give him) and made it his own. It’s exciting because it’s giving me an excuse to dust off long-forgotten songs and re-learn them.
He was asked to play in the junior school concert just recently – yes he really is just 11 years old despite looking like a teenager – and he was torn between playing a composition of his own or attempt to cobble together ‘Blackbird‘ by Paul McCartney which I just begun teaching him as a ‘freebie extra’ for doing so well with his electric, acoustic and classical guitar work.
I was torn, actually, in guiding him because his own composition was very good. But ‘Blackbird’ won in the end – just. He’s made it his own and played around with the various sections but nevertheless, on a couple of weeks’ work slotted in between all the practice I make him do for a dozen other pieces, I think he did pretty darned well.
So here’s a #proud_dad moment for me and an opportunity to show off my younger child (my older one gets much attention and praise on these pages and her own). He’s a lovely lad and never asks for much but tries his best to please others – so I was delighted he could pull off this, his first solo performance, with comfortable ease. I would have hated it if he had turned out to be like his dad – terrified to perform in front of any audience and unable to remember from one note to another. Thankfully, he got this one licked.
I promptly rewarded him by spending a ridiculous amount of money we don’t have on books to teach him Jazz and Blues guitar – something he’s wanted to get into recently. I’ll confess – the teaching material I chose was as much of an interest to me as for him. I would love to get back into Jazz and Blues properly again. Anyone need a gig? The FP boys will be available shortly…