Please, Let Me Have Chops

Mark Jennings is an awesome music teacher. He’d have to be good, to take me on. It’s not that I’m a poor learner. It’s that I constantly test the man’s patience by doing stuff like skipping ahead in my book, writing on the pages & experimenting at home with stuff I have no business trying to play right now.

Mark knows I want to be a killer jazz pianist ASAP, but hey, no pressure, HA! My singing makes dogs howl & I’m a lousy dancer, so my biggest fear is that I won’t have rhythm. I shared this at our first meeting. “Hmm,” said Mark. “That would be a problem. Let’s learn basics now & worry about that later.”

So Friday, I’m at my lesson learning eighth notes. I try a song that’s loaded with them. At the end, Mark says I did well… except that my eighth notes were off-beat. He explained, they should sound more evenly weighted: da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da. I was playing them: da-d,da-d,da-d,da-da. I was? I played again, to check him. Sure enough. Oops.

Then Mark says, “The good news is you’ve got rhythm. The bad news, you’re swinging it. Let’s make sure you can play straight where it’s called for.” He said if I swing everything because I can’t help it, I’m no good. He told me to play it again & count it right.

Yes sir! I sure loved hearing that reprimand.


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One Response to “Please, Let Me Have Chops”

  1. mary taitt Says:

    Cool! How fun is that. K and I would both “heoretically” like to take piano lessons and it’s all the sadder now hat G qui. God luck with it all!

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