Summer of ’69

A very popular song of Bryan Adams goes…

I got my first real six string

Bought it at the five and dime

played it till my fingers bled

was the summer of sixty-nine.

Bryan Adams clearly describes the time, effort and patience required to learn the string instrument.

Bollywood has tried to incorporate the instrument of uber-coolness into the character of the main protagonists on whose shoulders lies the responsibility to carry the ‘cool dude’ attitude. Generally, when the ‘guitar heroes’ play the instrument in a fashionable way, strumming is far different from the actual tune of the song.

But playing guitar is not as simple as it seems to be. It takes weeks or even months to master each technique of the guitar.A beginner has to struggle very hard for months, to play a few chords. I started off with the normal fingering exercises and open chords. Open chords were pretty simple except the F major chord. About three weeks were spent to play this single chord correctly.

Barre chords(or bar chords) are every beginner’s nightmare. The key to playing barre chords is developing the ability to “barre” (fret) all six strings of the guitar with the index finger. Of course, this has to be done “cleanly” to get a good tone out of all six strings.As the strings are no longer open, they do not resonate as brightly or long as an open chord. The sound is muted by the pressure placed on the bar,heavy pressure at the edge of the frets produces less muting. Therefore, when playing barre chords, it is important to practice maintaining adequate pressure, and the technique is tiring for beginners. There were times when I had to put down my guitar with frustration. It was after two long months of toil that I could play these chords.

I have been struggling hard for months to play at least the intro part of “Nothing else matters” from Metallica. The song includes a lot of techniques like bend, slide, hammer on, pull off, hammer on with pull off, vibrato, reverse slide, hand picking, barre chords etc.Guitar is definitely a no pain no gain thing. It is hard, but fruitful at the end. I feel overwhelmed with joy when I play songs from various bands like Green Day(Boulevard of broken dreams, Good Riddance, East Jesus,Wake me up when september ends, Working class hero,twenty-one guns),Kid rock (Only God knows why), Red hot chilli peppers(Californication),summer of 69 and lot other songs from Bollywood.


About Bhavani A B

DSP Engineer, Embedded Systems Engineer, VLSI designer, Guitarist, Artist
This entry was posted in Music. Bookmark the permalink.

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