When they do, Pete, let me know. I want a Split-Finger CD.
I'm one class away from finishing up a grueling 8-week-long gig at College of the Mainland Learning Center; I'm giving 2 classes every Tuesday from 5-8:15 in Guitar for Beginners. This has been a difficult and frustrating exercize for me because the 2 classes are as different as night and day. It's for 11-14-year-olds. The first class is full of rotten, spoiled brats who thought this was going to be handed to them and they wouldn't have to do anything to learn. They are disrespectful, rude, impolite jerks that don't even open their guitar cases and mock me to my face so they can make the rest of the class laugh. There is one boy in that class that pays attention and has learned everything I've taught...and I taught them more than they'll ever know...the second class is attentive, well-behaved, intelligent, interactive, and they appreciate everything I'm showing them. I can also tell that they practice (uh...that's the key to the whole thing...) The blackboard is filled with music at the end of each class, but while the second class copies it all and enjoys my presentation, the first class has come up just short of shooting the finger at me and instead of taking notes, they go off into cell-phone land or make faces at me, etc. The first class has the older kids, the 14-year-olds. Go figure. One more and that's done with, thank God.
I got to talking to Nick (I mean Chris) yesterday before I left for class, and I asked him, why dontcha come out there with me and play some. Nick's been playing for 9 months now. I gave him my '79 Stratocaster, an amp, a Boss MT-2 Metal pedal and some charts and a video and he has astonished me with his incredible facility on the instrument. Anyway, he goes, well, I don't think I know enough...I said, dude, you will rule. Come on down there with me and show 'em your stuff. To my delight and surprise, he said OK and he packed up his stuff so he could carry it all at once (amp, gig bag and guitar, plus his CDs) and we went. The first class came slouching in with the sneer on their faces I've come to expect, and I said "I would like you all to meet my son, Nick. He's been playing since September. He will not play anything I've taught you, as I have gone by the standard method of learning all the chords and mastering the technique of moving from one basic chord to another with speed and finesse. Nick knows that stuff, too, but he's hardcore. He plays speed metal. He doesn't talk much, but he practices 4 to 8 hours a day. He agreed to come in today and show you his style. He reads tabs, he plays in drop-D tuning, downloads information off of the internet, researches his material, and writes his own riffs. OK, Nick, it's all yours." They sat there silent and looked at me like I was a jackass, but they were perplexed by this kid with hair down to his shoulders wearing all-black holding a 10-thousand-dollar guitar. Nick turned on his stuff, hit "play" on the Lamb of God CD, and proceeded to blast out the most awesome heavy metal those kids had ever heard. He was all over the guitar from top to bottom, playing at lightning speed. He totally shredded. For 15 minutes straight. You should have seen those brats' jaws drop. They were totally dumbfounded. Nick blew their faces off. Then he quietly shut down, put his guitar up, strolled over, took a swig of Gatorade and sat down. The second class was shocked and almost scared of him when he played, but I can say without question that Nick is now the most respected and at the same time, the most enigmatic musician of their generation that they ever met. He was awesome. I can't say how proud I was...well, I guess I can say how proud I was, because I'm saying it...the director came in and hugged him and told him how proud the school is of him doing what he did for the class. He was introduced to all the teachers and every one of them told him how remarkable his talent is. I was bustin' my buttons. I let 'em know I'm cool with Nick's music. He's great at it and he works hard at it. His goal is to be a herpitologist; to study and learn about reptiles, and to be a great guitar player. So far, so good. He's not a punk or a thug. He's just playing his guitar and sticking with it...after the classes, he asked me to take him to the Guitar Center on NASA Rd 1. We went in and hung out for about 45 minutes, and checked out everything. He knows what he wants some day: a Jackson V with the Floyd Rose tailpiece...cool axe...and a Mesa/Boogie half-stack. I can almost afford the guitar, but the amp is out of my price range at this time. I slipped him 20 bucks for going to the class with me. He showed those (rich) idiots how it's done and how to REALLY be cool. They fell over backwards when he played and they finally shut up and paid attention. Thanks, Nick. Life is good. WC1
Last edited by WildcatOne
on Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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