Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Guitar Guy

Sunday we visited my sister-in-law and checked on the nephew. He had surgery in January and we've been keeping tabs on him.

E. turned 17 at the end of last month. He is 6' 4" tall, weighs 175 pounds, and wears size 16 shoes. He plays sports and his surgery cost him the baseball season this year. He is a high school junior.

He is also a very polite young man who says, "Yes ma'am" to me and always has. He is courteous and holds open doors and kisses me hello and goodbye.

I relate to him and his younger brother via video games, moreso than anyone else in the family, because I have always been the only one with any computer knowledge. I also am the only adult who plays video games with any regularity. I have been playing video games since the days of "Pong" but that is another blog entry.

Sunday E. showed off his new Guitar Hero III, complete with the guitar-shaped control. His mother said he'd been playing a lot - I watched as he blazed through an Aerosmith song with relative ease. He was equally good using the normal controller, too. It was rather amazing to watch because this young man has fingers that are as long as my entire hand.

He would have been some pianoist.

But he has never had an interest in music, only sports.

He showed me how to use the guitar controller and set me to "playing" on "Slow Ride" and the "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." In just two songs I went from hitting about 60 percent of the notes to 92 percent; a few hours and I'd have been decent at the game I suppose.

"I wonder which is harder, this or playing a real guitar," E commented as he watched me.

"A real guitar," I replied, without even thinking about it. I began playing the guitar when I was 11. I spent hours practicing on it, playing until my fingers ached. Sometimes they even bled.

"I wish there were more songs, this is sort of limited," E later said, after I'd played my two songs and handed him back the controller.

"If you put the time into learning to play a real guitar instead of this game, you'd be unlimited. There is no end to music when you are the one making it, not dependent on someone else to do it," I replied.

He just looked at me funny. And then this good boy, who is being invited by Princeton and Yale to submit college applications, smiled indulgently at the crazy aunt and went back to his video game.


  1. Youth is wasted on the... hey wait a minute! When did I become so old?

    With three kids playing video games regularly in my house, I have found no urges for them. I USED to play piano and TRIED to play the guitar. I also used to play "pong" ... those were the days!

    Thanks for the time travel!

  2. I don't know if I've ever known a sports guy who is also a musician.


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