My oldest daughter, who just turned twelve, has been taking weekly guitar lessons for the last several years. Frankly, I’m consistently amazed by her talent. Of course, we have encouraged her to practice daily, so all of that hard work is now paying off as I listen to her play popular riffs and entire songs perfectly. Most astounding of all, though, is watching her read music.
Music has always been a mystery to me. I’ve never been musically talented, but I’ve also never tried that hard at it. I should have the “music gene.” My mom’s side of the family has it, especially my aunts and cousins.
Last January, when 2020 wasn’t yet … well, 2020 … I borrowed a bass guitar from a good guy with whom I work. My daughter (eleven at the time) taught me tabs and I started learning some very basic bass riffs. I worked at it for a few weeks and then, in the middle of February, starting practicing less and less.
And then the quarantine hit.
While the pandemic has been awful in numerous ways, I’m happy to report one bright spot in that it has afforded me the time to again practice daily. In fact, except for a few “sick” days, I’ve practiced every day for twenty minutes at a time.
At some point (I think it was mid-May–it’s all a blur), I bought a copy of Hal Leonard’s Bass Method. It was time to actually start learning musical notes.
I’m happy to say that, with a LOT of help from my daughter, I’m finally starting to learn notes. It has been painful, frustrating, and even infuriating, but it’s happening. At the age of 43, this dog is learning new tricks. I never–ever–thought I’d be able to read music. And though I’m still not great at it, I’m getting better every day.
While I don’t think I’ll be sitting in with anyone’s band anytime soon, I do like to think that by this time next year–come on 2021!–I might be ready to play in some kind of public capacity. Maybe as a bass player’s back up?