Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Guitars, gadgets and great jobs

I wrote about the Gadget Show when I was considering what the best job in the world might be. (See my The best job in the world? post.) I suggested that, for me, the best job in the world might be to present on the Gadget Show - play with technology, mess about and occasionally blow things up. What more could a nerd ask for?

139/366: Three chords...
Originally uploaded by DavidDMuir
Gadget Show
I enjoyed the first couple of episodes in the new series but the one shown on Monday, convinced me that the Gadget Show was definitely the right choice for me. Why? Because the focus of this week's challenge was to learn a new skill online. Online learning! Now if that's not a Gadget Show topic for me, I don't know what is. And even better was the skill Ortis chose to learn because while Jason decided to learn to cook, Ortis wanted to learn the guitar! Again, suits me down to the ground. Online guitar tuition - been there, although as yet, not done that!

More on my attempts to learn guitar in a moment after a word about the challenge.

Gadget Show Challenge
Ortis won the challenge (his first win apparently) by playing with a Coldplay tribute band (called Coldplace) in front of thousands of people at a festival whereas Jason had to cook a meal for a top chef.

At first I wondered if the test was fair. Ortis only had to learn one tune; Jason had to learn to prepare seven dishes. However, the more I thought about it the more I decided Ortis was the worthy winner. Partly because Jason just couldn't do it - he even managed to use salt instead of sugar in his pudding! (Clearly he hadn't tasted it himself before serving. Tsk! Tsk!) Mainly though, I think Ortis deserved to win because he used the technology much more intelligently. When he was struggling with the chords for the song, he Skyped the guitarist from Coldplace who taught him how to use a capo. When Jason was struggling, he appeared to just keep following the same instructions to make the same mistake over and over again. Perhaps it was edited to make him look dafter but why didn't he go on a cooking forum to ask for help? Why didn't he send out a request to his personal learning network on Twitter? Why didn't he Skype his mum or someone else who could actually cook? In his favour he was using a outrageously desirable Modbook!

However, Ortis performed brilliantly. The expert criticised Ortis for being a bit static on stage but to be fair he was playing Coldplay not The Clash. :-) As I said, a worthy winner.

My own efforts
I have stated elsewhere my desire to learn the guitar using online lessons and have just started a semi-serious attempt to do so. I'm aiming for a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes a day with Garageband. I'll also dip into to some of the links from the Gadget Show lists as well as the excellent Guitar Savvy site which I recently discovered. To give you an idea of where I'm coming from, here's a link to a very embarassing video of me playing the guitar Daughter Number 2 built. She can play but refuses to play it in front of other people. Since someone had to try out this gorgeous guitar, I stepped in. Everyone else in the room was an experienced and talented guitarist (especially Mark Bailey the chap that ran the build your own guitar course) so my ineptitude was clear for all to see. In the video, you can almost hear the collective sigh of disappointment at how bad I was!

I will post another video around the middle of September to let you see how far I've got in a month. (Not very far I fear!) Will I reach the standard that Ortis managed? Only time will tell. :-)

Have you ever tried to learn something using only online resources? If so, what? Also, I'm still on the lookout for good online guitar tuition resources, so feel free to share those too.

It seemed appropriate to cross-post this to my education blog. Apologies for repeating myself if you follow both.

1 comment:

Mr McAlpine said...

Really enjoyed all your blogs David - beats watching xfactor.

Gutted I have missed the "Teacher Forum event" in the process of trying to organise a teacher learning community to meet up for development of CfE at the minute to share the workload across multiple departments instead of one department - so see how that goes
Keep blogging I like nicking your ideas (also got a few off andy's, but can't get on Twitter in school at the minute)