With nothing going on now that we have all been sequestered to our homes, it has been a struggle to find activities to keep myself occupied during the continuous weeks of quarantine. I personally have chosen to practice one of my hobbies, playing the guitar. While it may be a nuisance to my family having to hear me play the same song over and over for days until I get it right, I find pleasure in being able to play a song almost flawlessly the whole way through no matter how long it takes.
I have recently decided to step out of my comfort zone and test my hand at a well known, yet difficult guitar song, Purple Rain by Prince. For those unfamiliar with the song, it is eight minutes and forty one seconds of guitar greatness. Anytime I hear the opening chord played back in 1984 by nineteen year old Wendy Melvoin, I get chills. I could only dream of recreating the unique song that her guitar sang in that moment. While I can’t regenerate the exact sound coming from the guitar, I can sure try to at least play all the right notes.
My progress has been slow but sometimes these things take time. I guess you could say I’ve learned most of the song since I now know the four chords used throughout its entirety. The hard part is learning the solo that is played over those four chords for a majority of the song. Adam Levine of the band Maroon 5 did a great rendition of the solo for radio star Howard Stern on his birthday in 2016. Will I ever learn to play it that marvelously? Not likely, yet I still press on knowing how good it’ll feel to finish the song.
This hobby of mine was really great until we started online school. It is now tough for me to be able to put down the guitar to finish my schoolwork. My parents think it’s my way of procrastinating, but I think I am learning an interesting skill that no one in my family has learned before. Yes, it may be something I do to take a break from my schoolwork, but I have brought much joy to the people I have played for once I actually learn the song.
Photo by Jackson Zako.
I lay back in frustration after another failed attempt of the song Purple Rain.
All in all, I have enjoyed my time diving deeper into my hobby, yet I still would rather have quarantine end than actually learn Purple Rain. I can't wait to see what my friends say after I nail the solo of Purple Rain. No matter what we have accomplished during this unprecedented time, I know that everyone is longing to see the people, to see the places, and to experience what they love that they had to abandon to keep themselves and others safe.
It is important, though, that we remember everything we have waiting for us once this is all over and not lose sight of what really matters. Instead of focusing on the negatives of being in quarantine, I hope that people can focus on the positives, on the passions our too busy, non-quarantine lives took from us. When we return, let's keep the music of a slower life, let's continue to dedicate time to what we love but don't usually find the time for.