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You see? In the hands of a professional, the guitar is wonderful, but in the hands of an ordinary person, the kid down the street, say, it is a horror. Sure, there is some truth to this, but don't you think that this particular thread in the fabric of our culture is what discourages young people and their children from learning a musical instrument? And is this a good thing? Isn't learning to play a musical instrument one of the best ways for children to learn the virtues of patience and discipline? Not to mention awaken their aesthetic sense?
The Electric GuitarIn the hands of a master, the guitar is an amazing mixture of music, sex and fire-breathing dragons. In the hands of the kid down the street with an amp and a fuzz box, it’s an endless loop of the first three notes of a Limp Bizkit song. Who knew you could make Limp Bizkit sound worse? Are you learning to play the guitar? That’s awesome! Buy headphones.
UPDATE: And, coincidentally, I ran across this link to a study of the benefits of "active engagement in music." Here is an interesting quote:
There are other ways to tell. In my first year German language class, the first time we were in the language lab, trying to imitate the sounds of the German language on a tape, the instructor, who was clicking around listening in to the students work, stopped when she got to me and said: "oh, you're the music student!" Each year there were always one or two music majors in her class and she could easily tell who they were because they picked up the German accent quickly.Now Ms. Parbery-Clark and her colleagues can look at recordings of the brain’s electrical detection of sounds, and they can see the musically trained brains producing different — and stronger — responses. “Now I have more proof, tangible proof, music is really doing something,” she told me. “One of my lab mates can look at the computer and say, ‘Oh, you’re recording from a musician!’ ”