guitar for newbies

Battle of the Bands

A number of years ago (30-ish?), I was living in a little, tiny apartment built over a garage, behind a house.  Cozy little place.  No complaints, except for the crime rate in the neighborhood.  But I had no problems with my neighbors, except for this one time.

Probably a kid, possibly a tween or teen, but I never saw him/her, so don’t know –but this person started practicing the electric guitar – at volume.  The nice thing about an electric guitar is that - when you’re learning - you can keep the volume fairly low, so that you’re the only one suffering your learning pangs.  And then, when you get good, you can turn up the volume and thrash.  However, this person was learning a basic cord, and basic strumming, at a loud volume: “BUM-CHUCK, BUM-CHUCK, BUM-CHUCK, A-CHUCKA-CHUCK.“  Rinse.  Repeat.  And, again.  This went on for days.  Finally, on a warm, quiet afternoon - there’s not even the sound of lawnmowers going in the neighborhood, when this very loud, very electric, very newbie guitar player starts practicing again.  And I had had it.

I went and got the speakers to my record player (yes - it’s that long ago!), and put them in the windows of my apartment, facing outwards.  I found a Russian Red Army Chorus album and put it on the record player.  I cranked up the sound.  I went into my bedroom in the back of the apartment, and closed the door.  Fifteen minutes later, I came out, turned off the stereo, to discover peace and quiet had returned to my neighborhood.  Permanently.