I have two things I’ve attempted that didn’t work out so well for me. I cannot ride a skateboard and I cannot play a stringed instrument.
I couldn’t have been more than two years old the first time my mother put roller skates on my feet. I have been rolling ever since, mostly for fun, but I even played some derby. Since then I have successfully waterskied, wake boarded and ice-skated.
These types of sports are thrilling and they make me feel like I’m flying. The wind blows my hair back and the rides are so smooth.
Most would assume that I could also ride a skateboard. They would all be wrong.
For the most part, there is something about my balance on the skateboard. I constantly feel like it is going to roll right out from under like a cartoon character and I’m going to crack my skull on the pavement that surrounds me. I wonder if I could do it if it was attached to my feet. That seems to be the key for me. Maybe I should try that sometime.
Now I think I’m too old to be trying things that have threatened me with bodily injury in the past. I don’t think I’ll be dropping into any half-pipes anytime soon. Then, at four years old, a very close friend of my mother came to stay with us. He brought an old organ with him and I was instantly hooked. My mother says that I didn’t pound away, but instead she could rhythm and melody in my improvisational playing. So I began taking piano lessons and I continued until I was about 12.
In that time, at the ages of 10, 11 and 12, I also learned to play the saxophone, clarinet, and flute.
I love music. I love it for the way it makes me feel. I love playing music, because it poses a challenge that results in something beautiful.
That being said, I cannot, for the life of me, play guitar. I assume this means I can’t play a mandolin, cello, or a violin either.
I have determined several reasons for this. First, tab is very different from notation. My boyfriend’s son actually said that I should have never looked at tab, and I think he’s right. Secondly, tuning is something my parents hired a man to do for the piano we owned. Clarinets and flutes only require fresh reeds and good pads to sound right. Also, the “strumming for rhythm” eluded me and I could never figure out what strings to actually strum. Finally, was I supposed to be playing chords or individual notes? I still don’t know.
I’ve decided that I don’t need to know how to skateboard. I have a large beautiful mountain nearby that, when we aren’t in a drought, has enough snowpack to let me learn how to snowboard eventually. I’ve also given up on playing guitar. I have a nice keyboard and know how to play piano so I’m learning some music again.
So a skateboard and a guitar have basically beaten me, but I’m okay with that.