A couple of years ago I had aspirations to be a budding Jools Holland or Jamie Cullum. By that I mean become an accomplished piano player, not a short arse bloke who likes to adorn jackets.
In my attempt to make this dream a reality, I started attending piano lessons. In conjunction to these lessons, I spent many hours practising at home on a Roland D20 keyboard, which belonged to my son Jonny prior to us throwing him out for his rubbish piano playing…… We could have just disposed of the keyboard instead, but as it was more frugal with electricity and ate less, my wife and I decided to jettison our eldest offspring.
Although enjoying my early efforts at learning how to tickle the ivories, other distractions took precedence at the time and it wasn’t long before my practising abated. When I first started my keyboard tutorial, I would jokingly tell people that my driver for this new pastime was to start a Liberace tribute act. However, as this gag tended to unsettle people more than make them laugh I stopped using it.
Additionally, without my knowledge, the missus bequeathed my candelabras and gem encrusted outfits to a local charity shop. I’m not sure who the beneficiaries were of my wife’s generosity, but on the off chance you’re reading this be aware you had an integral part in destroying my dreams of being in the entertainment industry.
One of the elements I really struggled with as a piano playing beginner was keeping the timing while playing each bar. Reading the music, whilst staying in time takes concentration and lots of practise. To try assist me overcoming the timing issues, I downloaded a metronome app on my phone.
It failed to help the timing of my note delivery, but did seem to have cured the irregular heartbeat I had at the time. The only trouble is it picked the regular beat as 16 per bar, which I feared,without a beater blocker, may cause me to have a cardiac arrest.
In his book Becoming A Pianist Isn’t As Important As A Healthy Heart, Dr Joe Bachoo, the American physician who majored in stating the bleeding obvious, wrote that being alive was more important than being a pianist. Although he added the luncheon voucher benefit was much better in death, along with the choice of menu.
As my appetite isn’t huge, I made a conscious decision to forgo the luncheon voucher perk and a la carte menu, subscribing instead to Dr Bachoo’s advocacy of a less dangerous cardiac rate.
One day I plan to revisit the portal that allows me access to the joys of ivory tickling, with a misguided view to maybe reach Jamie and Jools’ level. A journey that requires endless practise, guidance and the address of a tailor of petite jackets.
Right, I’m going to bring this narrative to a conclusion. If any of you have an irregular heartbeat, give me a shout and I’ll give you the name of the metronome app. A word of warning, though, any heart issues are best addressed to someone who has 5-6 years medical training not a smartphone app…… Unless it’s Facebook, where you’ll find no end of ‘useful’ diagnosis.