Archives For June 23, 2015

IMG_3273Last Friday I set out to restring and tune two small classical Valencia guitars.

The mission was to reverse the order of strings for a pre-dominantly left-handed Yr 9 homeschool student. I wanted to accommodate her left-handed ability.However, I stopped mid-way through winding up the third (G) string.Up until then, it hadn’t fully occurred to me that our daughter might be better served by learning to play right-handed.

Guitars and the necessary accessories are expensive – she has to use mine until we’ve saved up enough money to buy her one of her own.

In addition, most guitars are stringed for right-handed players; it was impractical to restring my own guitars when she might want to borrow them.

In the end, my wife and I handed her the choice. Our daughter agreed and said that she’d be fine with learning to play right-handed because she’d already been practicing to use the guitar, right-handed, by herself anyway.

For me it was a hard call, but this sealed the deal.

So, yesterday, with her sister, she jumped right into learning about pick technique, rhythm (strumming), and a simple blues riff.  It was from there that I showed them how to form their first chords.

With some spare time left over we had our first ever homeschool jam. We kept it simple, just focusing on melody and rhythm. They struck each string with downstrokes, holding A7 in almost perfect unison, while I added some improvised melody over the top.

The effort made the experience more than just a lesson. It certainly wasn’t about impressing others – as you can tell from the raw, unrehearsed recording.

It’s what we like to call, a joyful noise.