Strike a Chord: Just Play, Man

Daily Prompt: Strike a Chord

Although you wouldn’t know it to look at me, I’m a head-banger. (For the uninitiated, that’s a fan of heavy-metal music.) So naturally my instrument of choice is the electric guitar.

When my oldest son was a teenager, he wanted to take guitar lessons. He showed promise with the saxophone, even winning a competition or two in elementary school, so I was willing to invest in the instrument and lessons. Always looking for activities I could do with my sons, I decided to take lessons with him. We both took private lessons from the same instructor.

As you might expect, my son learned to play. He rocks at Guitar Hero. I, on the other hand, still cannot play a musical instrument. I can read music and know the note counts, which I learned back in college when I took a music theory class as an elective, but the ability to play any musical instrument continues to elude me. I get the mechanics of it, but I have no internal rhythm, no ear for music.

Over the course of three years, my long-suffering guitar instructor faithfully made his best effort to teach me; but, alas, he had met his match. During one lesson, he suggested we play together. “You be Plant and I’ll be Page,” he suggested. We launched into a Led Zeppelin classic and were really rocking it.

Suddenly he stopped short, looked at me and asked, “What are you doing?”

“I’m counting,” I replied.

“Well, stop it. Just play, man.”

If only I could. Sometimes when I listen to some really great music, the desire to be able to play is so strong and the disappointment that I can’t is so great that I have to turn off the radio. Oh yes, God gave me the desire, but not the talent.

I asked my husband (who plays piano like an angel–and by ear, no less) if he thought I’d be able to play an instrument in heaven. “Sure, Baby” was his reply. I hate it when he humors me.