When I was sixteen or seventeen I borrowed one of my dad’s CDs – a collection of baroque music, played by the guitarist Julian Bream. I tracked down the guitar tablature for my favourite track and spent hours and hours learning the piece of music, like how I’d taught myself bits and pieces of songs by the likes of Avenged Sevenfold and Lamb of God when I kind-of almost went through a teenage metalhead phase. Both the baroque piece and the metal songs were completely beyond my skill level, but I loved trying to learn them! It was so captivating, even though I would sometimes drive myself (and my family?) crazy playing tiny chunks of the music over and over and over again at a snail’s pace!
Listen and be amazed:
I recently cleaned up my classical guitar and changed the strings. The guitar, which I named Kasia (you have to name your instruments!), has been like a friend over the years. It’s just a simple, cheap classical guitar with way too many bumps and scratches, but I’ve loved it since my parents bought it for me in, oh, 2005? I would’ve just been a little 13-year-old kid. I think that musical instruments get better with age: maybe it’s that they absorb all the emotions and energy you invest into the music you play with them.
I’ve started learning to play that turbulent baroque fugue again. I can still struggle my way through most of it – muscle memory is an incredible thing – but I’m going to work really hard to make it sound fantastic. And then maybe I will practice my guitar-recording skills and share it here!