Yumi La Blanca
My Guitar Calls The Tune - My Case of Flamenco Lockdown (2)
I felt guilty. My guitar was literally in limbo before the lockdown, and it was my fault.
My guitar tragedy
I was 14 years old when I first obtained an electric guitar, being influenced by a popular rock band in Japan (in other words, I had a teenage crush on the guitarist…). At first I got excited, tried some notes, but gave up quickly before even starting to learn other chords than C major.
Since I started to dance flamenco many years later, I’ve always liked the sound of the guitar, but taking up the instrument again wasn’t quite my plan. One day, probably in 2013, when I came home, I spotted something on the bed, hidden under the duvet. My husband told me to uncover it to see what was there. What I found was a ¾ sized acoustic guitar! My husband bought it in a charity shop and made it as a surprise gift for me.
Already having started the cajon, I was so thrilled to add another tool to my flamenco gear. However… this flamenquito guitar was short-lived. Several months later, I carelessly broke its bridge then the neck…
Guitar owner, not a player
The one I have now is also a gift from my husband from another charity shop in 2016, but it’s being looked after much better. I even gave it an affectionate name: Jamonita (little jamon, girl). I also replaced the strings with proper ones specialised for flamenco guitar, bought in the London Guitar Studio, aka ‘El Mundo Flamenco’ in Duke Street. With the little Jamonita I managed to teach myself very simple Malagueña and Soleá.
The love story of me and Jamonita wasn’t going anywhere further. There came my lame excuses ‘I’m too busy to practise the guitar…’ I’ve got many other things to do...’ ‘It’s too difficult…’ In fact, I’d never worked seriously enough on the guitar, before the pandemic. I only ‘had’ it, not really played it. We were like a love-less couple living under one roof.
Fine tuning to hit the right note
The lockdown was actually a good opportunity for those who wanted to take up a new hobby or brush up old skills. I decided to change my tune, ditch my usual excuses and bravely dusted off my long-forgotten friend. Let’s face the music…
Since I resumed it, my motivation has been quite high. So far, I’m prioritising the guitar practice among other commitments, almost every day, as far as my hands can cope and my husband can put up with the sounds (or noise) I make. Most importantly, I’m more committed to this relationship than ever before. I’m in love with the guitar again (not sure how Jamonita feels though).
However bad I still am, fidgeting my fingers and stroking the strings make my mind so calm and intense at the same time - it’s almost like meditating. At the moment, practising the guitar is simply for cultivating my mind and brain, rather than being ambitious for a future performance.
My guitar happily regained its position in my life. Our relationship used to be ebb and flow, now it’s peace and not quiet.
They are open! The London Guitar Studio, aka ‘El Mundo Flamenco’:
My Case of Flamenco Lockdown (Dancer Version)