Back in March, I posted about my foolish goal of teaching myself to play guitar. I was to have been able to play a basic song by, oh, about two weeks ago. A month or so ago, I gave it up as hopeless. Some people can sit down with a book and sort things out for themselves, but I’m not of that favored class. I need professional help. So I decided to sign myself up for a series of ten classes at a local guitar school to see if a structured curriculum, the stimulation of my peers, and a significant outlay of cash couldn’t move things along a bit. Today was my first lesson, and I’m happy to say that I think this may do the trick. After one hour of instruction, my four classmates and I were playing–ponderously and awkwardly–a two-chord song (D and G, “Give Peace A Chance,” for those of you keeping score). That’s more than I was able to teach myself. I can actually switch between those two, slowly, without looking down. Again, more than I could manage on my own. Of course, the instructor has already managed to strike fear into my heart: Our “final exam” will be to play and sing a song for the class. Not so much looking forward to that, but I’ll wait at least a month before I start stressing about it.