Chapter 3 – First Day of the Lessons

Leo woke up in the morning. He took a peep at his watch; it was ten past eight. "Holy shit! I'm late!" he yelled, and shot out of bed, speeding to the bathroom. He twisted the knob, but it didn't turn.

And a voice answered him from inside of the bathroom: "What the hell do you think you're doing, Leo?" said the voice, "Wait your turn!"

Aeris was using the shower.

Leo felt stressed, and ran back into his room to change his clothes and hurry to the school. He took another peep at his watch; it was a quarter past eight, he had another fifteen minutes before his lesson with Marty starts. So he ran out of his apartment, down the stairs.

There was a huge traffic jam; thus he ran the distance of three kilometers from the apartment to his school within fifteen minutes. When he arrived at the school's studio he was tired, and his legs gave way beneath him; and he fell to his knees right before the door. Tired and spent, he knocked the door; nobody answered so he opened the door and entered; no one was there. He consulted his watch; it was exactly 8.40. Leo was wroth; he had spent his energy running three straight kilometers just to get here on time, but Marty wasn't there.

Leo sat in the room waiting for Marty. He whipped out his iPod to listen to Avenged Sevenfold. After an hour, Marty finally came. He rushed into the room, giving an apology before he even stepped beyond the door: "Sorry, I'm late; goddamned traffics."

But that wasn't enough for Leo; he nearly died of exhaustion just to get to the studio on time: "That's it?" He yelled, "I ran three straight clicks within a quarter of an hour just to find that you're late! You told me to be on time for fuck's sake!"

Marty stepped into the room with Jason behind him; he was indifferent to Leo's outburst: "Leo, I don't command the fucking traffic." he said, and sat down on a chair while Jason sets up the electronics. Marty opened a can of coca-cola and took a big gulp, he let out a sigh as he finished.

"What are you listening to?" Marty asked, taking notice of Leo's iPod.

Seeing no harm in answering truthfully, Leo held the iPod up to show the words "Afterlife – A7X" to Marty.

"I want to be as good as Syn is." said Leo, "He's a real guitar god."

Marty laughed at Leo's opinion, Leo felt slightly insulted by this: "Syster Gays?" Marty asked, laughing, "A guitar god?"

Marty laughed loudly until he was out of breath. Leo felt uncomfortable and insulted by Marty's behavior. Finally, Marty stopped laughing and said on a serious note: "Seriously, you look up to this guy?" Marty asked, "Becker, Friedman, Vai, Satch and a hundred or so other guitarists could kill him with one note." (A/N: If A7X is your favorite band, I apologize for sharing my opinion; but it's the truth)

Leo was fuming; he restrained himself from punching that arrogant prick in the face by remembering the fact that Marty is his key to salvation. "Boy, he better keep his end of the bargain." Leo thought, and he would've asked, if he wasn't wroth from Marty's delay and scorn.

No sooner had Leo's wrath abated than Jason finished setting up the electronics.

"All done." said Jason, making the last adjustments to the Marshall amplifier. Marty walked across the room to receive the guitars from Jason.
"Here, take the Kelly," said Marty, handing a blue Jackson Kelly to Leo, "Are you ready to learn?"

Leo, holding the most beautiful guitar that he has ever seen, felt like a rockstar already and his anger, already abated, was gone; answered: "I was born ready."

Marty simply grins and said: "Good, Jason will be teaching you the basics."

Leo was surprised. Up to that moment, he was under the assumption that Marty would be the one teaching him the techniques.
"I know the basics; I've taken classes when I was in primary school." said Leo, "In fact, all I need is to practice 'till I'm faster, and the only things I need to learn are the techniques that I need to employ."

Marty set his paw to his forehead; if only that idiot had let him finish briefing Leo his plans. "Alright, you want to know the techniques?" he said, "Try to play along."

And Marty started shredding; Phrygian runs along with bends and sweep picked arpeggios. The lick sounded like classical music to Leo, and he was entranced by Marty's skills; each note that he hit were clean, and the melodies were sweet. Marty was by no means the best guitarist Leo has seen, but this display has destroyed all doubt Leo had about Marty being pretentious.

The lick ended with a Ddim chord. Marty leaned forward and gave Leo a cocky look, "That will be the techniques I will use," he said, "You, however, should stick to fast powerchords rhythmic melodies and, of course, entertaining the crowd."

"But," Marty added, "If you learn quickly, I might teach you a few techniques."

At this point, Jason —who was almost forgotten by the two— spoke: "So, are you ready to learn techniques and tips from me, Leo?"

Leo was eager to learn, he wanted this since he was a kitten.

"Yes, sensei, I shall learn from you." he said, making a bow. And Jason donned a black ESP guitar, teaching Leo the importance of the rhythm guitarist role, and teaching him techniques such as the spider chord that can help him play faster. During the lesson, Marty was using Pro Tools to record and experiment with techniques. At half past eleven, Marty told Leo and Jason that he would go out for a walk, and he left the room. Leo's lesson with Jason continued until they took a break and had instant noodles for lunch.

Marty had gone to McDonald's for a hamburger. On his way back, he had pondered on what to do with Leo. Leo sure had the skills; all he actually needed was practice.

But if Leo would be the frontman as planned, he had to teach Leo how to play neoclassical so he could show off to the crowd. But Marty knew that it wouldn't be easy; as classical music requires a lifetime of devotion, and Leo was already devoted to video games.

He pondered over the decision whether to teach Leo or not as he paced the school corridors. Finally, he came to a decision. Marty rushed back to the studio. He was only a few yards from the door when he heard the sound of distorted guitars.

He opened to door to see Jason and Leo having a good time and playing AC/DC's Hell's Bells.

Jason was a bit surprised at Marty's coming and reported the lesson to him: "He's pretty good," said Jason, "I'm sure he can play your songs."

To that, Marty replied with a grin: "Good, now scoot over," he said "I'm gonna teach him myself."

Thankfully, this story is unlikely to derail, as I have written the main plot down in a text file. Do you want to know why these chapters are taking so long to write? It's because I have to sit through guitar lessons to see what the tutors say about each techniques. Yes people, even though I can do a lot of techniques, I don't know how to teach them myself.