If you’re feeling impulsive, remember that the world could always use an extra tambourinist







There are a few instruments lying around this joint that I’ve never used. One’s a guitar I bought two years ago; positive Tommy Emmanuel would soon be eating my dust. I know three chords max, so he’s safe (for now).

I had to drive all the way to Alexander Heights to get it, and I’m pretty sure they ripped me off cos there were four of them sitting around in a vaguely menacing circle drinking Jim Beam at 10 in the morning and playing a newer one. On the up side, it’s got a  few holes in it – which, it turns out, is a convenient alibi for the sound that comes out of it. Who’s laughing now, hey? Probably still them, over the six month supply of Jim Beam they bought with my cash.

Then there’s the piano – ah to play the piano. I did it for a few years, then gave it up, and, yada yada yada, I wish mum and dad had forced me to keep going yada yada yada. Moral of the story being that parents should stay strong – your kids will love you in the long run.

What I did learn was the violin, which is very disappointing because you can’t sing along with it. It’s tragic cos it’s really just the lovechild of a guitar and a ukulele, played in the wrong direction. I even did a plucking piece for my fifth grade exam which means that I pretty much played the guitar and the assessor should have said ‘cool it Santana, this is a violin exam – mad awesome guitarists are three doors down on your right.’

Never buy an instrument on a whim. My sister bought a French horn – the least forgiving member of the brass family – on a whim, and probably played a few notes before it became an installation piece in her bedroom (handy, because it means you can ask that nobody touch it out of respect for the artist). It’s a source of entertainment for the whole family and a tangible reminder that whims are dangerous, especially when it comes to musical instruments.

For some people the fact that you’ve got an instrument is enough. They do this – ‘ah, the French horn. Well done you.’ That’s usually as far as it goes, maybe because subconsciously no one wants to hear the French horn in an amateur’s hands.


I know I could pick something up now, but I kinda think that if you didn’t play it as a kid, you won’t get round to it as an adult because no one’s telling you to practice, and if you weren’t the boss you would have been sacked years ago for never turning up to work.

Oh well,  at least I can borrow that french horn in my old age and use it as an earhorn to freak out the grandkids, so that they ask questions to their parents like – is nanny alright in the head? And can I have her violin when she dies? Rascals.


4 thoughts on “If you’re feeling impulsive, remember that the world could always use an extra tambourinist

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