Dad, Why Do You Play The Guitar?
Published: 9 April, 2021

10 questions a 6 year old might spring on you when you least expect them – and what to do about it

Bearing in mind Einstein’s wise words “if you can’t explain it to a six year old, then you don’t understand it yourself” here are 10 questions you would be well advised to be ready to answer, especially if you spend any time with 6 year olds. If you don’t, applying your mind to them should help hone your thoughts and sharpen your mental reflexes for the day you are cornered by a curious infant. There are few things more embarrassing in my experience than to be wrong-footed in the brain department by a child who at full stretch just reaches above your knee.

Q: Why do you play the guitar?
A: Because it makes me feel really good. And I am so happy I feel transported to another world somewhere near heaven.

Q: Then why do you pull funny faces?
A: Because I get all wrapped up in what I am doing. I shouldn’t be pulling faces, it doesn’t look good.

Q: Sometimes I hear you talk to yourself and use naughty words. Is that what you do when you get somewhere near heaven?
A: No, it’s just me being silly. The thing is when you are trying to become a really good guitar player you don’t realise you are doing those things.

Q: What is a really good guitar player?
A: Someone who doesn’t make mistakes and has a really good technique and makes music sound beautiful.

Q: What is technique?
A: Technique is the way you use and place your fingers and hands to try to make sure you don’t make mistakes, and so you can play anything you want however hard. It takes a lot of effort.

Q: Do you play really hard pieces?
A: No, I can’t play really hard pieces yet.

Q: Is that because you haven’t got technique?
A: I do have a technique, it’s just not good enough.

Q: Why isn’t it good enough?
A: Well it’s OK. But I am still working on it. One of the hardest things you can do is learn to play a musical instrument.

Q: Then why not do something easier which you are good at, like riding a bike?
A: That is a very good idea. Let’s do that together and go cycling tomorrow.

Q: OK, but you mustn’t pull funny faces. And afterwards will you teach me to play the guitar so I make it sound beautiful with no mistakes ever?
A: Yes, yes. Anything you say. Now can I carry on doing some practice?

First posted on 18th April 2015, Mexico

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