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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Air Guitar Amnesty

Over the years, I've been unkind to many air guitarists. Perhaps the only impostors I've been less tolerant of are movie actors posing as guitarists. Many of those clowns don't learn enough about the instrument to even look approximately right when they're pretending to play. Perhaps it would be more fair to blame their directors but still.

Then a little while ago my unkind intolerance of guitar poseurs came back to bite me in the ass, twice. As I expertly accompanied Ian Anderson on air flute playing along with his solo on Jethro Tull's "Aqualung", my wife looked at me strangely. "Do you realize", she asked, "if your hands were in that position the flute would just fall to the floor?" Seriously chastened, I let Ian finish his solo without my help.

Soon after, my career on air trumpet came to a similar ignoble end. It appears all these years I've been augmenting the playing of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Wynton Marsalis using the world's only six valve trumpet. Another minor detail - How was I holding up the trumpet when the fingers on both my hands were busy moving valves?

Now under review: My technique on all remaining air instruments. In the meanwhile, I'll be more charitable to the next air guitarist I spot unless they're also doing that silly Carlos Santana grimace. That's going too far.

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