AIR GUITAR OFF THE STAGE
When I first started playing air guitar competitively, I entered because I wanted to
be the best at doing something ridiculous. Two-air guitar related surgeries and a
two-week tour of Finland later; I have discovered that air guitar is indeed ridiculous.
I’ve also learned that air guitar can take you places in life that you may have
never imagined in your wildest dreams. Of course I love competing in air guitar
competitions and everything that surrounds them, but I’ve discovered the power air
guitar has off the stage and the joy it can bring to others.
Recently I was invited to Finland to help search for Finland’s 2012 air guitar
champion. During one of the off days of the tour I was fortunate enough to be asked
to visit Oulu’s International School to play air guitar with 45 second graders in a
giant gymnasium. We started our two-hour session off with Wagner’s “Ride Of The
Valkyries”. Not your traditional version though. It was a version with David Lee
Roth screaming over the track. We all ran around and flapped our arms like birds.
You know, to get the air moving. It was made very clear at this point that these kids
were in much better shape than I by the buckets of sweat that were spewing from
After we got the air moving in the room and I caught my breath, I covered the basics
of air guitar along with some pointers on technique. Once I felt they were ready
to go, it was time to rock. We played air guitar to Loretta Lynn, Slayer, Metallica,
Pantera, The Misfits, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and The Ramones just to name a
few. The kids (and myself included) got so lost in what we were doing that the two
hours just flew by. Keep in mind we were doing 60 second edits!
None of these kids were embarrassed or felt like what they were doing could be
perceived as stupid or weird. This is something that I believe often gets in the
way of adults having fun and enjoying life. These kids haven’t been brainwashed
into being told what’s cool or what’s not. They were just having fun. Good clean
harmless fun. The best part about all of this is that is was air guitar that was
delivering that fun. It also made me realize that we as air guitarists are pretty lucky.
We are adults (that may be questionable) but we’re still able to have fun and not
concern ourselves with whether or not we look like idiots. We just accept it, and
embrace it. We’re definitely lucky in that sense.
Mon 18 Jun 2012
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