Sometimes All the time I wish I could just pick up an instrument and begin playing it perfectly...like a certain someone I know. (Adrianna Valenti) Alas, I have to work at it.. and work at it hard.
I am constantly telling myself I do not have the time to practice the guitar. Realistically, I do… but I don’t want to because I have wimpy fingers and the pain it causes to stimulate the callouses needed, ooohhh don’t remind me. I am also not a very coordinated person. I bump into walls, I trip over myself, I drop things, break things… yep that’s me. I spent a few months trying to teach myself the piano one year and once I got to working with my left hand I gave up. I can read treble clef, I can read base clef… but ask me to put them both together just forget it!!
Have I lost you?
Let me put it plainly… can you pat your head and rub your belly? That’s essentially what you have to do in order to master instruments like the Piano (where you are playing one thing with your right and one thing with your left) or the guitar (where one hand is strumming while the other is forming the chords) NOT to mention if you were crazy enough to add in some singing too!!
I am NOT a pat your head, rub your belly kinda gal… and yet, I love music.
When I was a child I would prance around my grandparents isolated 5 acres like it was my fairytale wonderland. I would sing disney theme songs at the top of my lungs imagining I were each of the beautiful princesses. Although I could hear my voice echoing in the surrounding canyons, in my crazy mind I thought no one could hear me.
I was wrong.
My grandmother tells stories to this day of how the neighbors would call asking if “Becky was outside singing again” yep, apparently I had a reputation throughout the neighborhood and I had no clue. Ugh, so embarrassing just thinking about it. Even worse is that I was a horrible singer. It didn’t matter what the melody was if I was going for it, I went for it. I would belt that song out till my little hearts content. Heck if I didn’t know the words, I just made them up. Yep, It was awesome.
My grandmother was not very kind about the issue and in her
expert professional opinion I was unfit to sing-period. She sang in a church choir or something when she was young so she was constantly berating me for my lack of talent. I remember my Junior year of high school my best friend (the previously mentioned musical genious) and I wrote a song for our Bible final and I tried to not let her know what we were doing. Yes, to my grandmother’s disbelief I did sing. This was quite literally the first time anyone had ever heard me sing outside of my echoing canyon performances, and technically it was cheating. We spent an entire class period in the band room (yes, I said the band room) recording our song so we could play a recorded version for the class. No live performance necessary. I dont know if this little trick was for me or for her considering she had a BAD reputation for walking off stage in the middle of live performances. 🙂 Either way, we were both incredibly grateful our teacher allowed it.
Post this magical fake performance I really didn’t sing at all “in front of people” until randomly people from bible study or church would start making comments after having worshiped together. I would have flashbacks of being a little girl thinking no one heard me, but really they were all listening. Oh God they heard me… Wait, what??? You think it sounded good? Really?? Wow. Thanks. One comment after another. Every time I thought I was hiding in the back, but the Holy Spirit got the best of me and I sang my little heart out, someone would tap me on the shoulder, smile and say how much they liked my voice.
Somehow not long after that Tabitha Neal (who was at the time our amazing Worship Intern) recruited me. It was kind of like a crazy crash course/trick you into getting up there. I faught it tooth and nail. I said no no no, I just want to see what a practice is like and then suddenly the next week I was up there during ‘Big CHurch’ singing on stage. Holy Cow…. how did this happen???
However happened, I am glad for it. I have been out of commission dealing with family, kids, holidays, life… and playing the guitar has been pushed far far far FAR to the back. But here I am again, pulling it out, dusting it off and struggling my way through tuning and strumming the chords. Learning the guitar isn’t the scary part, that’s the discipline. PERFORMING and singing, now that is terrifying to me. But tonight as I was practicing and playing sound clips from the internet, watching the experts play and trying it myself I heard a little voice tell me, record this….record it… blog it and share it.
Oh GOD No…really??? *Sigh*
Okay, so its not perfect…FAR from it. I’m really not strumming my guitar much bc the darn song was going so fast. If it counts for anything I was still holding the chords down, just forgot to keep strumming. My brain goes somewhere else when you add too many things, and like I said- left hand, right hand…singing AND recording it?? A couple times I didn’t even come in on time because my timing sucks, so take it for what it is. Phew! I am thinking maybe posting this and continuing to update my hopeful progress will inspire me and keep me accountable… yeah? Sounds nice huh, lol Maybe it will work….
*****I must take a moment and let you know that despite my overpowering FEAR of letting anyone actually hear me sing, for whatever crazy reason I just spent the last two hours fumbling with Windows Media Player, Movie Maker and Youtube TRYING to get a sound clip converted to MP3 converted to video converted to SOMETHING, ANYTHING that would upload to the blog lol. WOW. Next time maybe that “little voice in my head” should just tell me to take video of the song instead of just audio, but actually watching me sing/play is a whole other scenario I’ll have to face…***
ANNNDNDDDD…. a year or two later here is another clip:
3 Replies to “Blessed be your name…”
I was watching Brad Paisley on ABC Nightline last night and he was telling the story about when his Grandfather gave him his first guitar at 8. He told him, “You can play this instrument and three or four hours later, not remember what you were upset about.” He also drove by the college that gave him a “D” in guitar. “Make” time to practice because I have been next to you in Church while you have sung and you do have a beautiful voice. I remember being one of those “tap on your shoulder” people. 🙂
yes…. yes you were 🙂
Good for you! I am reading right now in a Bible study I am doing about listening when God tells you to do something for HIm. Listening RIGHT away. And you DID- nothing to be embarassed about about that! Ps I like your voice 🙂