No excuse not to pick up your guitar

I’m picking up the guitar again. Hopefully I’ll get past Slightly Muddled Beginner to Slightly More Clued-In Intermediate level. Since all I have is a Yamaha C-60 Suanie helpfully passed along to me when my guitar got sold, I’ve had to get used to the wider neck and slightly softer strings. My folk guitar got taken in a burglary along with my black leather jacket; I’ve never had the heart to replace either.

The Internet’s made it somewhat easier. There are more guitar resources online now – lessons, videos, tabs. I’ve mostly cheated and played most of my songs as slow, fingerpicking versions. Because I suck at strumming so much it’s not funny.

Am having the most problem with barre chords. Just when I get my barres right on the folk, I now have to figure them out on the classical guitar. With a classical guitar, there’s no room for bad form. You need proper finger placement, correct posture and sloppiness is so much more apparent. But the good thing is – I can practise longer on a classical than on a folk because the strings don’t cut into my fingers as much. Despite the calluses I have on my fingers, steel strings still slice into my fingertips to the point the pain just stops me from playing more than 45 minutes at a time.

So the impassioned pain you hear on my Tracy Chapman cover was real pain – from having to replay the song from scratch for the umpteenth time. Once I’m done with season-friendly songs, will put this song of Dave Barnes on my list because it’s one of my favourites from his new album – When A Heart Breaks. The lyrics unfortunately are far too descriptive of what I feel right now so I’ll refrain from dwelling on them too much right now.

Life, for now, I’ve come to fear
You’ve dropped me off and left me here
With nothing here to find my way
But the lights you take as you pull away

No one ever told me
It would come to this
What began with such a promise
Would end with such a twist

I lean into the whisper
But I don’t hear a thing

It’s a tear in the dark
All alone in the car
In pieces, in pieces
It’s the sound of mistake
As I lie here awake
Sleepless, sleepless
This is the sound that made
When a heart breaks

Everybody’s laughing
Maybe that’s just me
Does something unrequited
Mean it will never be

I lean into the whisper
But I don’t hear a thing

It’s a tear in the dark
All alone in the car
In pieces, in pieces
It’s the sound of mistake
As I lie here awake
Sleepless, sleepless
This is the sound that made
When a heart breaks

Please don’t leave me here

Life, for now, I’ve come to fear
You’ve dropped me off and left me here
With nothing here to find my way
But the lights you take as you pull away

Far ahead the brush is moving
There’s others here and good is proving
Nothing’s wrong, it’s in my mind
Nothing’s wrong and I’ll be fine

It’s a tear in the dark
All alone in the car
In pieces, in pieces
It’s the sound of mistake
As I lie here awake
Sleepless, sleepless

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