Adam\’s Stream of Consciousness

If you blog it, they will come

I Rock! . . .

Posted by Adam on July 15, 2006

. . . at least that’s what the video game tells me. Unless the game says, “You Failed,” but that never happens …. almost never …. except for constantly on those songs spawned from the Devil himself …. but not in the good sense of bands like KISS or AC/DC …. in the evil sense of this is impossible to play. Of course I am talking about the awesomeness that is Guitar Hero, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

It should be known that my musical talent is on par with the dunking ability of Diana Taurasi, that is to say non-existent. I suffer from an affliction that affects many people; I believe the scientific term is tone-deaf-itis. The difference between me and most who suffer from this calamity is that I have come to terms with my deficiency and have become aware of this disease. The problem is that I still let it get the best of me, even when I know that I shouldn’t.

My battle against tone-deaf-itis has been long raging. I’ll get a song stuck in my head and find myself singing along to it in the shower. In the back of my head I know that I don’t sound like the real artist who sings the song, but as far as the rest of me is concerned it is impossible to tell if the vocals are live or Memorex. If this were the extent of my musical celebrity inpersonations the problem would be self-contained, sadly I cannot truthfully say that the singing remains in the shower. Ever find yourself sitting around somewhere with music playing and one of your buddies jumps in mid song and starts reciting the lyrics? Aren’t they usually totally off-key? Yeah, I’m that guy. I try to control myself, and a lot of the time I am successful, but every now and then I can hear Dan Patrick’s voice emerge in my head, “You can’t stop it, you can only hope to contain it.”

Let me stop and apologize to everyone who has had the (dis?)pleasure of hearing me serenade them. Forgive me for ruining countless songs. Next time I start blabbering along with a song, no matter how inebriated I may be, you have permission to slap me silly and call me Susan. To paraphrase Smokey the Bear, “Only you can prevent [tone-deaf-itis].” Unfortunately my affliction is not limited to my (lack of) vocal accument.

It happens to everyone, a song hits the radio with a great beat. You start getting into it. Maybe your foot is tapping to the beat, maybe you are head banging along with the rhythm, and then you loose control. Out of nowhere you suddenly get the desire to become the second drummer in the band. If you happen to be driving, your actions are confined to the steering where. You can ease up your grip, but basically you are just beating your palms on wheel. No harm, no foul. Of course for every drive-drummer there is the air drummer. I’ve seen music videos on MTV …. at 3:00 in the morning …. ten years ago when they played videos …. I’m pretty sure there were at least two on a day. With that extensive research I surely know every move necessary to realistically mimic playing the drums. Suddenly, with fists formed, I start wildly flailing around as if trying to punch an imaginary speed bag, then I start getting fancy and form an X with my arms and start to act like I’m jumping rope. Then it dawns on me that I’m not playing the air drums at all — I’m reinacting the training montage from Rocky III!

This brings us to Guitar Hero. Easily both the greatest and worst thing to happen to the tone-deaf-itis community. In case you are not familiar with the tenth wonder of the world (Andre the Giant will always be the eighth wonder of the world, and Chyna the ninth, there’s no debating this), Guitar Hero is a game for PS2 in which you tackle the guitar portions of 30 rock songs. Think Dance Dance Revolution, only instead of some ridiculous floor pad the game comes with a replica guitar control complete with five fret buttons you use to match the notes in the game. As corny as this may seem, this is inspired stuff. Thanks to this game I believe that I can now play kick ass rock on the guitar, and this is why it is also the worst game in the world for me to be playing.

While I have always known that I can’t carry a tune, I am still capable of singing (poorly) and therefor have not had anything preventing me from doing so. Up until buying Guitar Hero I was under the (correct) impression that I couldn’t play the guitar. Now I’m starting to second guess myself. This is a bad thing. A very bad thing. Now I know what its like for smokers to be on the nicotene patch. With every song I beat I get more and more dillusioned. My friend Matt actually plays the guitar some and has told me it is completely different playing a real instrument vs. playing this game. I want to believe him, but then he’ll tell me how much easier some of the songs are to play on a real guitar as opposed to how they are laid out in the game. C’mon now! You don’t tell an alcoholic how good your Vodka and Red Bull tastes. I don’t need to be hearing things like that!

The good news is that while Guitar Hero may have been pricey for a video game, it is nowhere near as expensive as a real guitar. My sensibility has gotten the best of me and convinced myself that it is not worth buying a real guitar, because I now I have tone-deaf-itis …. either that or its just the Jew in me expressing itself by not permitting me to spend more than $99.99 on anything. I can overcome enablers like Matt, because I am conscious of my disease and know that my mind likes to play tricks on me. I am strong in that way, and with that self-awareness I am able to resist the temptation to believe I can really play the guitar. That is until those two badgering words pop up on my televsion screen as I conquer another killer tune — YOU ROCK! Damn you Guitar Hero …………

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One Response to “I Rock! . . .”

  1. Kerryn said

    Just dropping in to say thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

    Keep singing and keep playing along with Guitar Hero. Proficiency doesn’t matter – having fun does.

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