Bangkok, August 21, 2017 - Day 7/365
Alex practices playing his guitar every day. He sleeps next to it and brings it to school with him almost every day. I am proud of his discipline and determination, not to mention his ability. The other day he came home and informed me that he is now playing in a band at school. It's just him and three other guys playing a couple of Thai songs at a school cultural festival, but nevertheless, it's a gig. When I expressed my excitement to him, he immediately told me he is only playing the songs because he'll get extra credit for doing so.
"We're playing Thai songs. They're easy, but I don't like Thai songs!"
"Just play, it'll be good for you. Try to play every style and it'll help make you a better guitar player," I said.
"Most of my friends only know Thai music," he said. "But I don't care, I like playing rock and roll."
I first thought he only liked rock and roll because it's what I listen to most of the time. I was wrong. He likes rock: Guns N Roses, Slash, Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Green Day, Kansas, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Yes, ZZ Top and Ted Nugent. He also likes Johnny Cash and despises Miley Cyrus. Tell Alex or Nicholas you're a Miley Cyrus or Justin Beiber fan and they will immediately question your character and express their disgust with your taste in music.
"What are you thinking? They suck! Arrggggh."
When Alex asked what I thought of a riff he was practicing, I was surprised by what he was playing. Roundabout by Yes. When I named the tune, he in turn was surprised that I knew the song. He's been playing seven or eight months now and while he certainly isn't a guitar God yet, he's quite a bit better than when he started and from what I've been told (and seen), he does have some talent. His continual improvement is fueled by his willingness to learn and determination.
Yesterday he had his weekly lesson and for the second week in a row, he worked on Hotel California. It's probably one of the trickier solos he's learned so far. Despite his mistakes, he played the song over and over again, relentless in his pursuit of perfection. Whether or not he ever plays this song or any other perfectly is unimportant. What is important is he practices even when he might not feels like it and he strives to do the best he can.