i used to play the guitar. not great, but well enough to accompany myself on the 60 plus songs i’ve written.
it’s been years since i’ve played consistently what with having a full-time day job and a business on the side. there just hasn’t been enough time. or so i tell myself. and the dream of recording my songs has slowly slipped away like a fallen leaf down a fast-flowing stream. now, every once in a blue moon, when i do make the attempt, it’s like i’ve never played before. i can’t get through a single one of my songs without getting stuck. i can’t remember the chords and my voice cracks like a rusty door-jamb.
it’s so frustrating – and it’s my own fault, i know.
anyway, this is very unusual for me. maybe it’s to inspire me to get back to it, more than anything else, but for your edification and to prove i’m not making this up… 🙂
here is a demo of a song i wrote a very long time ago and have just uploaded to soundcloud: wings
when i was 14, a tall, curly-haired, freckled, extraordinary woman sauntered into my life with a back-pack and a guitar and till this day, she is part of my life.
her name is trudy rushin and she’s one of a handful of intelligent, articulate, self-searching, trail-blazing, questioning, opinionated, nurturing, supportive women who i’ve been fortunate enough to have sent my way by the universe. i think part of what drew us together was a love of words (you can read her blog here). we would write to each other every single day – while we also saw each other probably at least a few times a week.
she was two years older than i, and she was taking guitar lessons and she inspired me to start playing the guitar and many, many years later, to start writing music. most of the chords i play today, are ones i learnt from her.
trudy is the true musician, though. she’s been writing and playing and learning and entertaining music-lovers her entire life and it’s time the world got to hear her music. she’s just uploaded the first of her recordings onto the internet and you can listen to it here.
if you’re in cape town, trudy’s constantly gigging around town, so do yourself a favor and catch her jazzy, latin-flavored sound. you won’t be sorry!
L and i have a conversation about perfect pitch. he has it, in that he can immediately hear if someone’s off key, even if only a little (which is what prompts the conversation). surprisingly though, he really is not a good singer. but he’s great at tuning my guitar, he says.
ok, for the record, though i learnt to play guitar when i was about 16 (not great, but functional enough to be able to accompany myself and write my songs), i STILL cannot tune a guitar. and though L might have perfect pitch and likes tuning my guitar, i still prefer to use a tuner. that way i’m sure it’s the same every time. so i say, “sorry to inform you, but nothing comes between me and my tuner”.
he looks at me as if offended and i impetuously add, “well you know, it all depends on whether it’s spelled t-u-n-e-r or t-u-n-a…”. he looks baffled for a moment, but when i reach for a pen and draw him this graphic on a table napkin to illustrate,
table napkin doodle