From accordion flop to Guitar Heroine

CNET News.com's Ina Fried straps on a Les Paul for the first time and becomes addicted to rock.

Hanukkah came early at my house Sunday.

After an unspectacular debut in the office Friday, I added Guitar Hero 3 to my holiday wish list. Luckily, my partner, AJ, obliged and got me the Wii game Sunday. After putting the virtual guitar together, I was off and strumming.

The embarrassment of getting repeatedly booed off the stage was fresh in my mind as I unpacked the guitar and set to practicing. Luckily, things came more easily in the privacy of my home and, with only a couple of tries, I managed to complete both "Slow Ride" and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."

News.com's Ina Fried was a bit tragic on the accordion, but finds Guitar Hero more to her liking. Ina Fried/CNET News.com

Sure, both tracks are from the easy level, but this was no small feat. My prior musical career consisted of three tortured years in late elementary school when I took up accordion. Took up is probably the wrong verb. My parents said I needed to learn an instrument. I wanted piano, but somehow wound up with a squeeze box.

Basically, the accordion required me to play the piano with one hand, hit a bunch of random buttons with my left hand and then move the thing in and out. Not a great choice for a tiny, tone deaf, uncoordinated kid. My teacher, Ms. Scary--that was her real name, at least the one she went by--gave it her best, but I was the black sheep of the yearly recitals.

That said, maybe it comes in handy now that I have to fret with one hand while strumming with the other. I did manage to hit 50 notes in a row at my peak Sunday.

Plus, unlike with the accordion, I'm actually motivated to practice. Look out, Bonnie Raitt.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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