>>> The Hard Way
By staff writer Mike Faerber
January 16, 2005

BURRRANNGG! That's the onomatopoeia for a guitar strum…trust me. I made the sound with my mouth at least 7 times and that's the best I can do. Now if you think typing that word was hard, you should try learning guitar…no not from a professional with years of experience, but from a really crappy teacher whose musical skills are limited to kazoo and middle school trumpet.

That teacher being of course, YOU!

Having taught myself guitar for the past 4 years, I'll be the first to offer a few pointers to the troubled young teen with too much angst and no other artistic ability. The first of which being if you're only doing this to get ladies, you should probably get some other strategy that has much less lag on the benefits, such as breaking a leg or not acting like a complete jackass (I can't help you with that one). Now I am an expert at both playing the guitar and getting the ladies. Expert in the sense that the Mike from 4 years ago sure would think so.

But it was a long road to where I am, and here is where it all went wrong.

The Intro

Just two of the many ways to disguise your lack of…talent.

First you should learn about your instrument, the various parts and their names for one. Thinking back, it's rather fitting that my two areas of expertise are guitars and women, because it has been many times repeated that the two have a lot in common. They both have beautiful curves and elongated necks. They both require finesse and delicacy in dealing with them. And lastly, they make strange noises when you finger them…. Okay I'm sorry that was uncalled for. What I meant to say is that they both allow you to get some great licks in…. Again, I apologize for being brash. I'm having trouble with words tonight. It's…it's just that…. Oh who am I kidding. Guitars and women both give me massive wood. There I said it. Sure sometimes you want to play softly, but mostly you want to plug in, slam that sucker as hard as you can, and wake up the entire neighborhood with a grainy, unholy moan that reverberates in the night. You want to grab that lady and use her for as much as excitement as possible until in an adrenaline-fueled break up, you smash her on the ground.

Sorry my inner 15-year-old has a lot to get off his non-hairy chest.

The Verse

Playing guitar has a certain duality to it. It is a love/hate relationship. For instance, you'll love playing your favorite rock songs, but you'll hate straining your hand trying to play the main chord in said rock song over and over because it sounds like a walrus mating with a megaphone. Oh yes there will be many struggles and fights along the way, hence why they call it a VERSE as in you versus your stupid chubby inelastic fingers. I was never self-conscious about my digits until I started playing guitar. On a related note, I was never worried about getting girls' digits until teenage pressures made me self-conscious. Other verses include you against other “serious” learners who've been playing since they were 9 and you against people who want you to play Dave Matthews, John Mayer or anything other than Back in Black. Work with us people, we're learning, and our stupid awkward fingers are growing. I'm sorry, but it's true. My left hand and I aren't talking at the moment…except when I draw the eyes and move my thumb like it's his mouth. Then we have great fun and sometimes I'll even slip him the tongue. Her, slip HER the tongue.

Did I already make a joke about boning my guitar? Yes? Alright cool.

The Chorus

As you know the chorus is the fun part of the song, and so here we discuss the fun parts of playing guitar, that is dressing like a rocker and pretending you're awesome and have fans! Go ahead, try it out. Put on a school boy outfit like Angus or a tight leather cat-suit like the 80's hair bands. Then go ahead and treat yourself to a few jumps and kicks, maybe a crotch spark shower or two. As you can see, I went with your standard emo look and Jesus. By now it should be clearer than Crystal Pepsi as to why playing guitar doesn't necessarily get you the ladies. As to how you will make yourself FEEL like a rocker well that is tricky. First you gotta imagine yourself playing a sold out arena with your band that skyrocketed up the charts while still staying true to their garage band roots. This can be a hard façade to conjure, especially when you're playing someone else's song, and you have no intention of joining a garage band. Anyways GET YO DENIAL ON (anyone know if it's too late to keep using that line?) and you'll have yourself a mighty jam-fest right there in your bedroom that is still in your parents house. Just remember to pretend to be quiet with all your imaginary groupies when you're in your hot tub fantasy.

Or if you chose the emo look, pretend you just had a heart-crushing break up… 7 years ago.

Well by now you know exactly what I mean by BURRANG!!! It's that beautiful tone that vibrates in the deepest regions of my heart, and the only way to let it out is to plug into that amp and let the 15 year old cut loose.

Mike, 15: Wow look how old I am, I must rock…both at guitar and in the bedroom.
Mike, 19: Well um here's the thing—
Mike, 15: C'mon tell me all the cool stories, how many girls have you been with? Can you teach me some cool songs?
Mike, 19: Now Mike, there are other things in live besides—
Mike, 15: I bet you've probably played guitar and had sex at the same time…that's so cool!