The bath tub
There was the soccer World cup happening this month. And France lost. To Argentina. All right, I’ll get something out of the way immediately: I did not and I’ve never followed any sport, including soccer.
Argentina is a special country: People dance in the streets. Let’s say you’re in Buenos Aires, the capital. All of the sudden, you see a woman dressed to the max, cocktail dress and high heels on, she sees a man in a suit, he’s also dressed up to the nine. They look at each other with pride and defiance. They stare each other down. And then, as the music from the little boom box starts, they embrace each other and begin the Tango. That dance is very important other there. People stop and admire the dancers, the tourists as well as the locals. It’s serious business. The Argentinians even have competitions of tango. Regional and national. The contestant train for years, the moves, the steps, the pose, the costumes, everything counts. The competition accepts anybody from any country, but, of course, even if foreigners participate, it’s always an Argentinian that wins. Wait! Not quite.
There is an American that won. Don’t ask me the year, I don’t remember. But I know how he won. The man was born and raised in United States. Don’t ask me which state or which town, I don’t know. Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, that man, let’s call him Bob, went to Argentina and fell in love with the country, the people, and the tango. He wanted to know everything about it. He lived for awhile in Argentina but he was coming at a disadvantage: he wasn’t born in the Tango, he didn’t breathe it from the moment he was a baby. He had a lot of time to make up for. Because, I’m sorry, I forgot, yes, Bob wanted to do some Tango competition and he wanted to win them, win them all! So what did he do? He collected VCR tapes of tutorials, of the different teams, the legends, the new comers, the different styles, the different schools. Bob was doing only two things for awhile: watching and dancing. Analyzing and trying.
Bob went to the competition. He had his partner with him. They started to win. I’ll make it short: they won them all and became the Champions.
So, what does Tango has to do with learning an instrument? Well, here it is: if you want to get good, really good, do it like Bob, immersed yourself in a bath tub of music and you’ll learn fast, very fast. Get some books, make some friends, ask some questions, get a good teacher (I know a great one) and become an obsessed pain in the neck about music. Like Bob: Learn and apply, train and try. I’ve done that a few times in my life. It has gotten me places.