A shiny new training challenge for the new year, whether I want it or not. Strummer may be named for a rock icon but it turns out he hates the guitar.
No sir, I don't like it
It's kind of a long story but at Christmas brunch some friends and I decided to form a rockabilly band. Now the Cambodian singer doesn't know yet that she's in the band because that's what happens when you leave the party early to go to some Karaoke thing. And the drummer doesn't exactly have a drum kit or know how to play drums but he claims he can knock out a rhythm on the dash board when he's waiting at stop lights and that's good enough for us. The stand-up bass player has only just started taking lessons and I haven't touched my guitar in about 14 years. And I only got as far as sort of learning the 3 power chords you need to play 90% of punk rock songs when I gave it up for reasons I can't quite seem to remember but probably had something to do with short attention span. Doesn't help that I'm completely self-taught though I did have piano lessons as a kid so I have some clue about how to read music. But that was a looooooong time ago.
Anyway, I dusted off the guitar, somehow managed to find a pick and my old 'how to' books and commenced to re-learning the guitar. Because how can I pass up the opportunity to play in a rockabilly band with a real honest to goodness stand-up bass? Plus we just recruited a French horn player over New Year's and now maybe we'll be ska/rockabilly. It keeps getting better and better. Except for the part where Strummer, after several days without incident, suddenly decided out of the clear blue that he hates the guitar. Yesterday I'd had many short sessions throughout the day with nothing more than a single whine and a quick odd look from Strummer but the first session after the sun went down sent him into a fury. He started off howling which is not something he typically does and at first I ignored him thinking, 'Oh well, everyone's a critic', then he progressed to loud, angry alarm barking and then charged the guitar and started biting it. Oddly enough there was nothing in my 'Guitar for Beginners' book that addressed this issue.
So today I set about training Strum not to attack the guitar. I taped my training sessions for laughs and I'm glad I did because even though what I was doing seemed simple enough I noticed some improvements I could make and some bad timing though overall my timing seemed pretty good. I think the running contact training has sharpened those skills a little bit. I edited the training sessions heavily but I think I've got a good representation of the methods, execution, results and mistakes. I also included a 'before' clip of him attacking the guitar. It wasn't as bad as the night before but still you can see how this might be distracting to me and not so good for Strummer's mental well being never mind my poor guitar.
One thing I'll do differently next session is to continue to play while the treat gizmo is dispensing the treats. No reason to stop and I think the more I can pair the noise with the treats the better.
Why can't I have a normal dog? As if trying to teach yourself guitar at age 46 isn't enough of a challenge.