Instrumental

26 Aug

If you’ve read the title, then you already know what this is going to be about. If you didn’t read the title and you’re already reading the post itself – which you are – then that’s pretty flattering. You clicked on the link without seeing what it was about, and that shows trust. In any case, all that remains is for me to explain what this is about.
So, bear with me. A few days ago, I bought a ukulele. For those of you who don’t know, a ukulele is a small musical instrument which basically looks like a small guitar. I have never plucked a string or strummed a ukulele chord in my life, so I started at absolute zero with my new instrument.
I’ve played a few different instruments in the past – recorder, piano, saxophone, and I know how to play those moderately well. So now, with my new ukulele, I was once more at a stage I’ve been at several times in my life. A stage I’ve visited with every new instrument. It’s a sort of stage where you’re holding the instrument, fiddling around with how it works, awkwardly playing a few halting notes… In short, being basically pretty terrible. This can be the most frustrating feeling in the world. You can play other instruments, and you can play those well, so you know that if you work hard you’ll figure this one out as well, but for now you’re stuck.
This feeling, however frustrating, really makes you appreciate how good you at anything other than what you’re trying to do. 
Now here’s where writing comes in. Finally.
You see, today I realized something, while I was sitting there and mangling my fingers into a Bbm tab. I realized how much I should appreciate whatever skill I have at writing. I don’t really think about it often, but at some point I must have been as clueless at that as I am today at ukulele. Learning how to write better is always positive and awesome, but we should also appreciate how far we’ve come.
So this is what ukulele taught me. If you’re good at writing – and my guess is that you’re pretty amazing – take a second to appreciate the life-skill which you have at your fingertips. If you’re not yet a master wordsmith, then think of all the things you do know how to do, and realize that you can conquer this too.

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1926 US advertisement. “Play a Sincere Instrument and Popularity Love and Romance will be Yours” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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5 Responses to “Instrumental”

  1. hilarycustancegreen August 28, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    This is a comforting thought for someone who tries and fails to progress at the piano at intervals of three to twenty years.

  2. Mike Grant August 27, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    Very well put…and having tried playing a uke myself (even after years of guitar strumming) I can identify. It’s important we all appreciate what we’re good at and not sweat over those things that cause us challenge. Challenges are good…they make us better.

  3. C.J. Black August 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Away now to note down the last three lines of this piece – thank you.

    Chris.

    • nesherehrman August 27, 2013 at 5:20 am #

      Those three lines were copied in from a post that was never posted – they weren’t originally part of this piece. Glad you liked them – :)

    • C.J. Black August 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      Thanks for the reply.
      Chris.

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