FlogDailyHerald: Teaching Yourself Acoustic Guitar in College

Your neighbors/suite mates/dungeon mates (how do I love thee, Grad Center? Let me count the ways) have a had a typical day. Classes were difficult, but now they’re relaxing a bit in the late afternoon. Suddenly, though, your clumsily strummed chords pollute the air with acoustic tomfoolery. Em7. G. Dsus4. A7sus4.The sequence chills their blood. “And maaaybeeeee, you’re gonna be the one that saaaves-”

You’re a monster.


College is a time for self-improvement. I get that. But there are better ways to improve yourself than playing Oasis on an acoustic guitar for the dubious benefit of your neighbors.

Everyone teaches themselves guitar. Why not teach yourself something else? Like the xylophone, or the bagpipes? Why not be a drummer? I hear they’re pretty cool, even given the risk of tinnitus. Brown is supposed to be a unique campus full of free spirits, so let’s not fall into acoustic serenade stereotypes.

Old guy bagpipes

This could be you!

The world of music is vast and wonderful. Why tread over familiar ground for the sake of three chord songs? Because it’s fun and makes you seem more attractive? Because there’s a ton of great music that you can play on guitar? Get out of here, I’m ranting.

You don’t even have to be a musician. You could be a poet. That’s close (or so I tell myself). You could learn to cook, or dance, or juggle. You could even juggle guitars! You could go to lecture once in a while, you lazy hippy!

Okay, so you absolutely insist that you play guitar. How about electric? I know acoustic is more convenient, but you can just join the Brown Music Co-op and jam out there. You could even play in your dorm, if you had to, noise be damned. Who could get mad at “Purple Haze” blaring through the dorm on a nice afternoon? Sure, if you play early 2000s alt-rock some neighbor might have a sock full of pennies with your name on it, but you just have to be civil in your tune choice.

Human clay

Can you believe we never had an Inquisition for this?

No to electric? You won’t budge an inch? Then please, for the sake of your soul, take these pieces of advice:

1. No “Wonderwall”: This song is terrible, and carries a real risk of you subconsciously imitating the Gallagher brothers’ accent. There are few things more ridiculous than a false British accent.

2. No acoustic renditions of “Hey Ya!”: André 3000 is a hip-hop institution, a legend in the flesh, walking amongst us. His work deserves better than your pasty/angsty/nerdy “soulful” ass crooning a bad cover. Show some goddamn respect.

3. Don’t act like John Mayer: I’ll defend John Mayer’s jazz work, and his acoustic stuff is a good listen occasionally, but his persona should not be emulated. You will come off as a huge tool, mainly because you’ll be a huge tool. You can play John Mayer (except “Your Body is a Wonderland,” too fucking weird ), but don’t be John Mayer.

With those tips in mind, go forth and bro out, if you must. But please spare a thought for the rest of the people in your building.

Images viavia, and via.

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