Day 10-100

Day 10 of 100 Happy Days

Today, I took up a new challenge. I took on something that has been sitting around quietly, partly taunting me, teasing me, mocking me.

A couple of years ago we purchased a nice digital piano. My wife owned a piano once, and a digital was an inexpensive way to have quality sound at a reasonable price – as well as with a reasonable space footprint. It was a hobby she enjoyed.

As for me, I do not know how to play piano. Nevertheless, this Christmas, my brother-in-law picked up my guitar, and with no lessons, theory or practice, was able to translate his piano know-how into actual carols and songs like some kind of savant.  I wanted to be able to do the same – on the piano that is, and without people thinking I was Dustin Hoffman.

So with the same vigour, and subject matter expertise and support  that I attacked my guitar playing over a decade ago, I have taken on the challenge of learning the piano. By  myself. Who needs formal lessons? I’ve got Google and You Tube.

So I downloaded a chord chart from the internet and started banging away. And despite the fact that I am absolutely horrible, it was an entertaining time. Wearing my headphones, I lost track of time as I tried desperately to tap ebony and ivory (or the synthetic versions of them) with rugby prop fingers, hoping to develop some sort of muscle memory as an anchor for my budding pianist aspirations.

After the hour, I was starting to sense some order emerging from the chaos and the jumble of black and white keys…the sequence, the scales, the chord patterns were making sense.  There is a repetitions, a predictability that  appeals perfectly to the orderly and methodical engineer’s mind. I know I can learn the chord and notes through analysis and identifying the repetition and symmetry.  Like the guitar there is math involved. And I like math!

So I will carry on, and hopefully over time, as I will get better. Maybe in the future there will be some creativity intermingled with the patterns and sequences.

But then again, maybe not.

It took a while for the guitar to stop screeching, so I think that Ray Charles, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Ray Manzarek, and the kid from School of Rock  have absolutely nothing to worry about. Hopefully one day I’ll hear someone say, “Sing me a song, you’re the Piano Man.” Guffaw, guffaw!

But regardless of how it goes, a new goal means new challenges. And new challenges mean happy times…

Wish me luck!