Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Songjacker


First off, my knowledge of The Beatles is limited. Yeah, I know the members of the group, the whole 'Paul is dead' theory and what role Yoko Ono played in the group's breakup. I don't know any of their songs, other than hearing 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' years ago in one of those Time Life music commercials. I remember thinking that it was a pretty awful song and I wondered how the band got to be so big time.


That was back before I was introduced to guitar. Now, I have my own acoustic guitar that I've named 'Shug' after a character in one of my favorite movies (more on that later). I've been taking lessons off and on for the last three years. My teacher -- David -- gives us all individualized, one-on-one lessons. He's been trying to teach me fingerpicking, something that I've been struggling with. As much as I love Tracy Chapman, I was unable to get it together when he gave me the sheet music for 'Fast Car' (I'm still trying though!). If I can't catch a song in a certain amount of time, we move onto something else.


Awhile back, he introduced me to 'Blackbird' and I became obsessed. It's not the easiest song to play, but once I started getting it together, the tune was so beautiful that I didn't want to stop. I've googled the song several different times and not only found the lyrics and other artists singing the song, I also found some clips on youtube of Paul McCartney playing it. David told me he was glad I was so interested in the song and that we'd play it until I perfected it.


Well, last Thursday I had no choice but to show up to my lesson early. I planned to sit out in the waiting area, reading a good book until it was my turn. I didn't get to read a bit, because I started hearing the first bars of 'Blackbird' coming from the music room. David was working with Warren, the guy who goes before me each week. I thought Warren was a nice enough guy, up until this point. Now I know he's nothing but a songjacker! David was guiding him through the song, giving him the same advice he gave me about getting it just right. The nerve!


This recent turn of events leaves me with two options. #1. I could beat Warren mercifully with his guitar and tell him to stay the hell off of my song. #2. I could master the song to the point that Warren won't be able to look me in the eye anymore, that he'll think of me everytime he thinks of the Beatles and he'll bow down in my presence. As much as I think about doing bodily harm to people who stand in my way, I think I'll go with option 2.


The next time I face off with Warren, it won't be pretty. It'll be just like that scene in 'The Color Purple', that part when Shug reunites with her preacher father by singing 'God is Tryin to Tell You Something.' David and Warren will be up in the room trying to play and all of a sudden, they'll hear something from outside. They'll open the windows, look into the parking lot and they'll see me, coming out of the shadows. I'll be strumming them notes and crooning, 'Blackbird singing in the dead of niiiiight.' Warren will look defeated and David will get so emotional that he'll be on the verge of tears. Then I'll put my guitar down and I'll say, 'See David, sinners have souls too.' The he'll open his arms slowly and we'll embrace, both of us so wrapped up in emotion that we cry.


Ok, maybe I've gotten ahead of myself with that little fantasy. My lesson is tomorrow night, so I hope to have my act together by then. I must win back my song!


(Photo from http://www.flyglobalmusic.com/fly/archives/Sara-Tavares.jpg)

10 comments:

motownrunnergirl said...

The nerve is right. I started playing James Taylor because the guy who went before me used to play it and sing it so nicely. But it didn't come naturally to me so I went back to Amos Lee. Doesn't Amos Lee play that Blackbird song too!??

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

Amos Lee probably does do Blackbird also. EVERYBODY has done a cover to Blackbird. EVERYONE. Carly Simon, the Foo Fighters ... I could go on and on. Sigh

eclat said...

How nice that you get to take guitar lessons...I can sing a bit (though I'm WAY too shy to sing in front of people) and I've always wanted to play either the guitar or the violin...since my little sister now plays the violin, I'm defaulting to guitar.

I have no idea of where or how to take lessons here, though. Actually, good idea...maybe there's a place in Paris that offers them? It's be a nice way for me to get out and have a routine of my own, sans French host (even though said host is really kind). Hm...

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

Eclat -- Guitar lessons are a great hobby. I really enjoy it. If you can deal with the constant stretching of your fingers and keeping your nails at a certain length, it's perfect for you!

And at least you can sing. I mean, I do sing, but I've been asked not to. Hah! So I save my lovely voice for the shower and the car rides to work.

Andrew Isaac said...

While Option 2 seems like the right move, Option 1 would make a great story for the blog...

haha

Camille said...

I am about to die laughing at the mental picture from The Color Purple, lol! And yes, that is a lot of nerve.

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

@ Andrew: True. But if I got arrested, who would write my blog post?

@ Camille: Thanks! I actually have that movie commited to memory. And at random times in the day, I break out with outbursts of "You told Harpo to beat me" and "Shug Avery got that nasty woman's disease." Hah!

Andrew Isaac said...

Ill fill in, just send me a text from jail

Tha L said...

OK, so after you make him bow down to your Blackbird skills, THEN you can complete the humiliation by doing option 1...

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

@ Andrew & Tha L: I'll keep both those options under advisement!