Straight Angle™: Of Guitar classes and buttering!
Monday, August 08, 2005
It had been my long time wish to learn a musical instrument....I am fascinated by two instruments..Jaladharangam and Flute... It had been my apparent desire to learn Jaladharangam for so long…but, I couldn’t find any one to learn it from….I am sure there is yet to be a combo to beat them performing at harmony. When I was in my engg, there used to be a music school near our house (I mean the room)...I would always be there at nights after dinner, to listen to pleasant Violin and other Carnatic (particularly Veena) instruments. It was a temple with a music school in it…. then I developed a taste for Guitar…but I never made any attempt to probe further or try learning it…But the desire to learn was there…latent…To be honest, I forced myself to like Guitar, after I came to know someone else too liked it ;)..Oh!!..that old story!!..
When I came to Mangalore, the first thing that I enquired was for a Guitar class [I knew where a book store is :-)]…Almost immediately I went and enquired with the music school….The guy there told that it would be Rs.200/- per month and Rs.50/- for registration (as if that mattered). I enrolled immediately. Last Saturday was the first class and I went there with the long felt dream of becoming George Harrison of "The Beatles" or the Slash of Guns n Roses. With dreamy eyes and even dreamier hopes, I went to the class..It had been agreed that I would have classes only on Saturdays (Read I am too busy on weekdays and I can’t spend 1 hour for learning to pluck cords).
This Saturday, when I went to the class, I was wondering who would be my classmates…The entier room was filled with all sorts of instruments, from Guitars, Violins, Key-boards, flutes, Harmoniums etc....The pleasant aroma of music(and the instruments too) filling the air waves, with more than occassional amatuerish growl of the same instruments. I was like “How about a clone or even a distant relative of Aishwarya Rai, coming down for a guitar class…that too the for the same Saturday class, with me??”….
With such thoughts to accompany me to the class, I had dressed up in a clean white Tee(With “Bold” written in “bold”) and Jeans- hoping to meet some fairy eyed Ash-clone- just in case…
Thaddd!...that was the sound my heart made when it fell down from the honeymoon it was having in Darjeeling heights with the distant relative of Aishwarya Rai, when I saw my "would- be" class mates….Though none of them can be said as distant relative of Ash, they can definitely be said the next street neighbor of Aish, for sure….thanking heavens for the grace they had on me, and also cursing them for not having enough, I slowly asked one of them what she was doing!.....7th standard- pat came the reply….and how long had they been coming to the class….the reply was even faster- 4 classes.....but I had finished the exercise books....So..you are less knowledgable than me...I know to pluck strings.......
I don’t know whether it was my imagination or the reality, that I sensed a tone of “Iam the boss here” in the voice…Senior- U see…by 4 classes…Would there be ragging here too??...Will these “Seniors” rag me for coming to the class in Jeans (Just as my Seniors in Engg. College used to do and just as we did to our juniors)...By God's Grace nothing untoward happened and the master came in...
From now on, I would retort to dialogue mode, for ease...Master would be "He" and your's truly would be "Me"...
He: Do you have a note-book?
Me: I have come for the Guitar class.
He: I know. Do you have a note-book.
He: Do you have a pencil/pen?
Me: I have come for the Guitar class.
He: I know...I know...So, you neither have a note-book nor a pencil.
He: Okay...go..get yourselves a pencil from that shelf and from next class onwards, come with a notebook.
Me: But, Sir, I come here for a Guitar class...Is it necessary to bring note-book and pencil?
He: Yes!..Its mandatory that you bring them, else I wont let you sit for the class!!
Me:( to myself)...What the Fuck!...Why in the hell should I bring a note book and pencil to the Guitar class?
Now, all my classmates(!!) were giggling....everyone seem to have come from a tuition, with a notebook and a pencil in hand, giving that solemn look. There was none to give company for me...Che!!
Then, came the ultimate thriller. Master took out a note book and said, "Your first class would be a theory class"....That was the killer....Theory Class??..What am I gonna do now??....Then he hands over a note book to me and says "Do that exercises"...
I open the note book to find some lines(infact a bunch of 5 lines) with small circles all over...I read the instructions and it says, "Mark "L" if the circle is drwan on the line and mark "S" if the circle is drawn inbetween two lines....The circles are called notes and if the circles are drawn on the line, they are called "Line notes" and if they are drawn inbetween the lines, they are called "Space notes"....This is repeated for three pages and then the next level of difficulty.
Now, the notes are named as per a convention..."Every Bird Gets Food Daily" and "Face"...are two of the acronyms that are used...I need to name the dots with the alphabets "A to G"....this continues for another 3 pages....
Utterly encouraged by the simplicity of learning Guitar, my happiness found no bounds and it was brimming, when the next bomb came my way...Master called up and said,"Now that you have successfully known to name the dots and number them too, its time that you learn the keys in the Key-board.."....
Me: "But, I had come here for learning Guitar"...
He:"Yeah...I know...but you ought to know this..the keys of a keyboard"...then I got a faint doubt on whether he had misunderstood me..I again stressed that I dont want to play Guitar in a key-board, I wanted to play the real Guitar....Now, it was his turn to hijack the puzzled, bewildered and astonished look that I always have up my sleeves....He looks at me as though looking at a cat run over by a lorry and says one final time..."I know"...well...that sealed the class for me...
At the end of the day, my Tee would have better read "Bowled" rather than "Bold"...
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