Evolution of music in my life

Evolution of music in my life


When I was very young, I watched my dad play the piano. He played so well that I was eager to play like him although I knew it wouldn't be easy.
Since I showed an interest he decided to teach me as he had a music background.
He started me on scales and wanted perfection before attempting songs. I hoped to get through the scales and then move on to songs. However, even a small mistake would mean that scale had to be repeated until there was no error. After a few repeats it became stressful and didn’t seem like fun.
He was not very patient either and would use a wooden ruler to point to the notes and if I missed one, the same ruler would land on my fingers. I guess that’s how he was taught.
I didn’t find that interesting or fun so, I had to use plan B -an escape route. I told him, with the help of my mum, that I had school studies and hence unable to cope with the piano lessons. It was a relief but also the end of excitement to play the piano.

Every weekend we went to the city park where the bands played in their full gear. I really enjoyed watching those bands, and had my eyes on most of the instruments especially the big drums. The finale was “God save the queen”. I must’ve heard that so many times that the entire tune is still in my memory.
At home during our prayers, my dad would sing a hymn or two and I would try and learn them, so that I could also sing. Later in life, when those particular hymns were sung, I was familiar with the melody, be it English or Konkani.


The original guitar

Around grade 10 or 11, I took an interest in the guitar. However we could not afford one but we had a violin in our archives, so my parents suggested I learn the violin. In those days a violin appeared fitting for the older generation and so did not interest me.
When I watched others play the guitar it looked interesting and also seemed easy to learn. I got the opportunity sometimes, to play on my neighbour's or friend's guitar. I learnt 3 simple chords and these 3 basic chords enabled me to play a few songs over time.
Later, owning a guitar became a necessity in order to progress, but it was out of reach and so I had to wait for my first pay-check.
I remember there was this guy Peter Pereira, who handmade guitars and were supposedly the best in India, and warp free.
The waiting list was around a year as people from almost all over the country ordered from him.

I would try out different chords and practiced some songs and in time was able to accompany someone who could sing. I could not. I remember playing for prayer meetings when there was no music and they looked forward to me arriving each week. God always rewards if you are faithful in small tasks and will give you bigger responsibilities. I remember in my simple playing, I was asked to accompany the Charismatic Renewal choir on the open air stage in Bandra, Bombay. I was amazed and so were others who knew me, wondering how it was possible to get on that stage, but I was happy to serve.

By the way, the guitar that I had bought then is still around.


Listening to bands play at concerts and festivals and also at the city parks, peeked my interest and I hoped to be a drumming some day. Be it a wedding or other function, I would always try to get closer to the band to watch, especially the drum solos.

Putting the guitar aside but not away, I found drumming interesting and decided to take some classes. The practices at the institution, were on a rubber pad and the same at home. Today, they have similar but with electronic sound, however at that time, I had to be content with sound of hits and clicks on the rubber pad.
After a few months of learning, I had mastered the art of keeping the beat to some extent, and it was then that I felt the need to have my own drum set. The new ones were costly and out of my reach, but I managed to find a used one which needed some DIY fixing and tuning, but I got it to work.

During my practices some neighbours hearing the music, came by for free entertainment which embarrassed me, firstly, because I was learning and secondly, I was stage shy. We did not own a tape recorder, so I had to be content with playing from memory the music that I had heard from the radio.

Within a year, I joined a newly formed band and with a few practices played for a couple of weddings. It wasn’t perfect, but got the people's feet moving on the floor. The issue about the drummer at the end of an event is, that he has all this stuff to pack up and always the last to leave. So that was a drawback for me.

I was also attending university in the morning, heading to work after that and practicing with the band on some days of the week. With all this I felt overloaded and had to give up something, so I gave up drumming giving preference to completing my degree.

However, I must say that I did not forget the drumming lessons, beats and timings which has helped me to this day while playing the guitar as well as piano.

In Dubai, I got involved with prayer meetings and since there was no music, I was happy to oblige adding to my experience of new songs.

So, that is how music evolved in my life and though it took a back seat at this stage, there was a drastic evolution when Maria became part of me.

For now hope you enjoyed reading and would like to hear, if it peeked your interest for more.

If you missed previous snips you can find them @ lawrie.page. Also check out my youtube channel - for some new sings.