Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Day the Music Died

As a child, I had two brief forays into actually learning how to play music. In fourth grade, I took trumpet lessons in school for about half the year. Luckily for my parents, I didn't practice much. This may be one of the times when my parents were glad that I didn't put too much effort into something, given the ungodly racket a fourth grader with a discount school-issued trumpet can make. About all I remember from my trumpeting days is the spit valve. It was even messier than it sounds. It would take about 20 years, when I started listening to a lot of Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, before I had any misgivings at all about giving up the instrument.

Around the same general time frame, I also took guitar lessons from my uncle's friend Jim. This is the one which should have been an inspiring story, but instead, became just another vaguely amusing footnote. What songs was I badly mangling? Beatles songs. And what year was it? 1980. I remember I had a guitar lesson on December 8 of that year, the day John Lennon was killed. Should have inspired me to reach great musical heights.

But, once again, I didn't practice and quit taking lessons shortly. These days, BB EC has a better shot at playing an in-tune She Loves You on the acoustic guitar. And my destiny of being the guy who plays a very bad version of Imagine in the neighborhood bar was never realized


Blogger Chris said...

I always love to see a Clifford Brown reference. I still noodle around from time to time on the trumpet, and was on a couple albums in college. Good times. Brownie, Blue Mitchell, and Freddie Hubbard are my favorites. Next week, I'm going to the Jazz Bakery in LA for the Randy Brecker Quintet. Should be outstanding.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Suldog said...

I also took trumpet while in grade school, albeit in the 6th grade. Also lasted about two weeks. Considering that my wind has been halved by smoking, and my embouchure would have been seriously messed up by my dental woes, the musical world didn't lose much by my becoming a bassist instead.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I tortured my parents with drums. I am now convinced, they were saints.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Ericka said...

i played cornet briefly, and poorly around the same age. and i thought the spit valve was the grossest thing ever. ugh.

11:57 PM  

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