Only keyboard players will understand

You know how they say that every child should learn how to play at least one instrument? I always thought that it was to encourage creativity and unleash your ‘musical side’. But now I know the real reason.

It’s so that you don’t annoy people who can play instruments with your lack of musical knowledge, your stupidity and your sheer hopelessness.

You probably get that I’m a little annoyed here, so I’ll just go all out and say it:
I don’t like it when people touch my musical instruments.

I play the keyboard – computer gamers don’t get excited here, because I mean the electronic keyboard. I’m quite proficient too, if I may say so myself. I’m proficient enough to play Beethoven. But whenever we have guests over, the first thing they say when they see my keyboard is, “Oooh, a keyboard! Can you play ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’?” I respond by laughing haughtily, say something like ‘watch and learn’ and then proceed to play a complex symphony. And when I’m done, they look at me blankly and say, “That was nice, but I want to hear the birthday song!” So I decide to give in a little bit, and begin to play the birthday song. But at this point they decide that they could improve the traditional birthday song considerably if they stood next to me and pressed the last key on the keyboard at sporadic intervals. So this is how the resulting song sounds:

‘Happy (ping) birthday to you (ping),
Happy birthday (ping) to you (ping),
Happy (ping) birthday to you, dear (ping),
Happy (ping) birthday (ping) to (ping) you (ping)!’

Once I’ve finished playing the song, I look up at them and glare, but they assume that I’m just jealous of their musical genius.

It’s even worse when I try to show them my musical ability. I once told my cousin that I was going to play for her the most difficult song I have ever learnt (Maple Leaf Rag) and once I finished, I asked, “So, how was it?” She looked up from her Blackberry and said, “Oh, are you finished? Could you play ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ now?”

Even worse is when they decide that they want to learn. From you. “So how do you play the birthday song?” they ask. I try my best to show them, as patiently as I can, which key to press, and when, and with which finger. But when I’m done, they immediately forget everything I just told them, and, still convinced of the immense musical capabilities held by the last key, they return to pinging gormlessly until it’s time to leave.

Some guests decide that the world deserves to enjoy some of their original compositions. So they sit before the keyboard, smashing their fists and laying their palms on twenty keys at a time, with the occasional ‘ping’ thrown in for good measure, until they are convinced that the noises they’ve just made is the most beautiful song the world has heard since its inception. Then they ask you how you like their ‘song’. You’re forced to nod politely and try to top yourself from saying that what they call a ‘song’, Al Gore would call ‘noise pollution’.

But the absolute worst is when they discover that, on an electronic keyboard, you can press buttons to make it sound like the instrument/sound of your choice. When they realize this, there’s no stopping them. They embark on a journey of pressing every button and turning every knob within their reach. Out of the 600-odd tones offered by my keyboard, they try every permutation and combination, until they decide that the one they like the most is number 599- the ‘recorded human laughter’ tone. Then they listen to it incessantly, until I get so fed up that I’ve vowed never to watch any more sitcoms for the rest of my life. I often feel like telling them, if they like the sound of recorded laughter so much, they should display their musical skills to an audience of strangers. They won’t really like the sound of laughter so much after that.

There’s only one way to solve this menace. And the solution lies with companies that make these sorts of keyboards. So listen up, Casio and Yamaha. The next set of keyboards you make, be sure to fit it with a button that gives mild electric shocks when you press it.

So the next time an annoying guest decides that they like the sound of ‘recorded human laughter’, I’ll tell them to press that button.
And then they’ll get to hear the sound of ‘live human screaming’ instead.


In response to the Daily Post Challenge.


14 comments on “Only keyboard players will understand

  1. That’s exactly what happens at my place when guests come over! I still cant stop laughing, keep it up! You are amazing!

  2. rama says:

    Too good. I will now look at the key board very differently. lovely piece of work. keep it up. all the best and keep writing.

  3. Aarhata Singh says:

    I loved it. im looking forward to more of your amazing work 😉

  4. technophile9 says:

    Really funny! And I get what you mean… another annoying thing is when people assume a popular song is incredibly easy, but is actually very hard… or the other way round.

  5. As a percussionist had was EXTREMELY anal about people using my sticks and mallets…OMG…YOU CANNOT use an A7 with a B2…you JUST CAN’T…

  6. larissarae says:

    Reblogged this on Chaotically Beautiful and commented:
    For my fellow musicians. This is hilarious. And if you’re not a musician, then hey… take note. ♪

  7. On behalf of one of those annoying guests I would like to say that I am not sorry in the slightest. No really not at all, as much as I laughed and felt your pain in this post I am still not sorry. I am not saying this to be mean its just a fact. I don’t play any instruments but when I come across one I can’t help but touch, its simple curiosity. Instruments just amaze everybody , I mean just lightly touching something produces some amazing sound we can’t help but fidget with your things. I think that maybe all kids should learn an instrument so that we will be less annoying to you proficient folk, or maybe you should keep a spare keyboard laying around somewhere one reserved only for guests. Or maybe if a guest comes over just hide the thing away, sorry to the percussionist I know that will be an issue.

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