Trina Machacek: Playing at playing music
As I travel down the road in my truck, I turn the radio on and up. Way up. Up enough to cover the singing that comes from my very vocal self. You ever notice how great you sound singing the louder the radio is on? It’s amazing that each and every tune that plays, my voice fits right in. Then the song ends before I end the song and my Trina voice squeaks out and I happily laugh because I am not standing in front of Simon Cowell — even though he would just love me. Ha, ha.
With my love of music and the fact that my time is now my own, I have picked up my guitar that I put down a ton of years ago. I’m ready to give learning it another try. But! Yes, a musical “but.” But I cannot read music. Nope, not a single note. So, why in the world do I think I can be a strummer? Because no one ever told me I couldn’t. To put that into perspective, we had a golden retriever a long time ago who turned out to have that ugly inbred malformation, hip dysplasia.
We got the news after we noticed Boomer had a bit of trouble getting into the car. But you know what was amazing? We didn’t baby Boomer. (Ha, ha, Baby Boomer.) We didn’t tell Boomer he was different or he couldn’t go hunting or running or learn how to carry five, yes, five tennis balls in his mouth all at one time. Since we didn’t tell him he had hip dysplasia, he lived his life for more than 15 years going all out every day. So, that is why I am going to play the guitar, because no one has sat me down and told me I can’t strum, pick or tune by ear, my old friend. Pretty cool stories, aren’t they?
I mentioned that I can’t read music. I have, however, throughout the years picked up some books that have these big ol’ notes plastered with the letter they are inside of each note. So, even though I crave to be able to strum and all, I have become a picker player. That’s how I taught myself the keyboard so at least anyone around me can distinguish the songs I am trying to convey. Not to be strum-less, I decided to give that side of playing a go. And where did I go? YouTube, of course. I am already a YouTube mechanic and a YouTube light switcher outer electrician, so why not a YouTube strummer? I don’t kid myself into thinking I will be the next Hendrix. I just want to do this for me, the best reason as far as I am concerned to do anything. Because it makes me happy.
On my first adventure on the Internet to learn strumming, I learned two very important things. First, there are way too many ways to learn how to be a strummer, from learning a C chord with just two fingers and an up, up, up, down, up, up strum to a guy who put a video out just so he could show me what he can do and that I will probably never be able to do what he does because I will never be able to teach my all-too tender fingers to lay or bend right. I got the feeling he was just a guy who wanted to let us wannabe players be in awe of him. I didn’t spend too much time hearing about his proclivity to be a master player. Second, I remembered a TV show I saw once where people go on to sell their inventions to investors. One guy had wanted to teach his daughter to play the guitar and he designed this thing that held the strings to make the chords and all she had to do was strum. Be still, my heart. Just what I needed. So, off in search of that masterful thingy I went.
Now, anyone who has ever sought out something on the Internet has had this experience. I put in what I was looking for. About two hours and 14 minutes later, I was looking at vacation spots in the Southern Hemisphere where the temperature never gets above 18 degrees but the sunrises and sunsets are amazing. My guitar need led me to guitar picks then went on to picking the right lottery numbers, then onto lottery winners and what they do with the money… Apparently, I am to be a picker player and be happy with that. Again, at least I can tell what song I am playing — and play it just for myself.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nev. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or at email@example.com. Really!