Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tune In

Had to glue another key back on my keyboard. I use epoxy for reattachment. As of this writing, out of 66 keys, 10 of them are held in place by epoxy. Who would have thought Walmart sold such inferior merchandise? Have to wait until tomorrow before I can test out my repair work.

I am getting pretty good at intros. I can bang out the opening chords to "Stand By Me," "The Tracks of My Tears," "Surfer Girl," "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and "Benny and the Jets" among others. But by the time I have mastered the beginning chords, I am bored with the song and start learning a different one. I can read music somewhat. I know what notes on the staff correlate to the keys, and I know length of the notes by their shape. My trouble is like a child who has learned the alphabet and has to sound out each word he reads. If I know the song, then reading the music is relatively easy, but if I am looking at sheet music to something which is new to me, then it takes time for me to come up with a reasonable facsimile of the song.

By the by, it is not only classic rock I torture the neighbors with. I also tickle the ivories with Berlin, Cole, Debussy and Ludwig Von. Or at least eight or ten bars of each. The latest bit of music I am currently abusing is "Stranger on the Shore" by Acker Bilk. My keyboard can imitate a clarinet if I so desire, so if you know this song then you know how I appreciate having this option.

("Acker Bilk!" Somebody was in a nasty mood when they named him.)

I will end this post with a musician anecdote. Al Capp, who drew the comic strip "Lil Abner," had lost a leg when he was a child. He wore a prosthetic. Capp would appear on talk shows in the 1960's and 70's. On one talk show, Al Capp was seated next to Frank Zappa. Zappa is the musician I referred to earlier. Capp was a rude individual and tried to insult Zappa by saying, "What's with the long hair? Do you think you're a girl?" Zappa fired right back with, "What's with the wooden leg? Do you think you're a table?"

[snare drum rat-a-tat followed by cymbal crash]

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