Monday, 9 January 2012

28 Monkey Sees Monkey Does

When Eki and I work at SpaceWhale and need a break, I usually make coffee and he picks up his guitar or sits down at his drums. Then he really looks happy. When he scored “Back in the USA” he and Era (who shares the studio) played guitar and we all sat down and sang “The Old Gray Mare” together. It was a hoot. Like sitting around a campfire on a warm summer night. But when we played it back I let out a shriek because I was so off-key. The two guys over-ruled me and it went in the doc.

Image by tanli /
Now I´m in the wild west and decided it was a good time to take guitar lessons and learn how to sing on-key. My old pal Billy Clewlow from Venice Beach days has been playing and singing ever since the eighth grade. He emails me country western tunes by Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, David Allan Coe, Woody Nelson and others for inspiration. He also advised me on what to buy: a ¾ size instrument with steel strings.

Went to the music store and a very nice man sold me a Crafter. Just the right size for me to handle. He also recommended a teacher, Sharon Riggen.  She looks like the grandmother you always ever wanted. But you can tell she´s a pro because she makes playing look so easy and has a voice like a young girl. Sharon sat me down, put a big wooden block under my right foot, gave me a shocking- pink pick and told me to play my first chord: G7. Then a C.  After a couple of practice runs she said we´d sing “Marianne” together. The forty minute lesson flew by, but my pressing finger was on fire. She said it would take about six weeks to toughen up. Oh yeah.

Lesson 31: Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice,

Next week: 29 Rants & Raves


  1. Here is a song I would love to learn.

  2. You always send good tips. We´re going to check it out.