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Art by Grace Gill

By the time this piece is published, my guitar, Jewls, will be almost a month old. I keep Jewls in a black bag and she has three picks. A red, a white, and a gray. I normally use red ‘cause it’s her favorite color. She told me herself. (I’m going insane). I love Jewls. I come home and look over to her and suddenly I’m happy again. Up until I play her. Then I feel the need to slam her hard against the ground. Please don’t call CPS. When I first started learning, I downloaded Yousician and was incredibly excited because the lessons made sense! I learned how to read tabs in literally 10 minutes. Then I went to the chord lesson and I had to pay. 12 dollars a month. Unacceptable. I quickly dropped that dream. I then transitioned to YouTube and these lessons are the love of my life.

The song I’ve decided to be my first is “Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead. If you know me, or read my previous article, Radiohead is my favorite band of all time and I knew I needed my first to be special to me. It’s kind of funny though ‘cause… this one is one of my least favorite songs by my little british men but it’s okay. It’s easiest.


A whole seven days surprisingly does a lot for a youngin like me. Just those seven days have given me the willpower to play the verse! Let’s freaking go fire emoji, fire emoji, fire emoji!

All the verses in the song follow the same chords: A, Asus4, Dmaj9, E6, and Dsus2. The biggest challenge for me was the transition between Dmaj9 to E6. Basically, on the second fret I have my index on string 1, middle on string 4, and ring on string 5. The second chord which melds together the one just described and Dsus2 has my middle and ring jump up to string 2 and 3 and my index goes down to string 4, fret 1, and my pinky is on 5. Training my fingers to jump up strings in such quick succession was (and still is) a major problem for me and I’m not sure why. But as the week progressed I’ve slowly but surely been more confident with the first minute of the song. It’s still rough, and the tone isn’t perfect, but it’s better than day 1.


These weeks are going by faster than ever. Since last week I finished-ish the verse, I moved onto the chorus this time. The first chorus is even easier than the verse. There’s only three chords, and two of them I already learned. A and Asus4. The new one is Bm7add11. It’s the same strum pattern as before, D, D, DU, D, D, DU repeated and then some faster ones for some fun and silly mixes. This week was just practicing these sections, both by themselves and together. I really needed to work on blending them together.


At this point I was on spring break. I took about 30 minutes a day to at least pick up Jewls. This week I was just polishing the song up. I was making my chords as perfect as they can be and keeping the transitions clean. This experience was cray cray bonkers silly goose vibes. It helped me pick up a new skill and become a more well-rounded artist. It taught me coordination and resilience. There were many times where I got frustrated and shed a few tears but it’s okay because now I can play the first few minutes of a Radiohead song!!

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Si Taylor
Si Taylor
May 17, 2023

This is 🌅 x 7!!! (I can't find the fire emoji)

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