Air Guitar Tips

[C-Diddy wows em with his air guitar prowess…The original video is posted here.]

Yesterday I was visiting the museum where I occasionally work, conducting children’s art workshops. Lately I only make rare appearances, mainly due to the fact that I’ve been galavanting around the country with this Bon Scott business. But people in offices love a bit of news from the outside world, so I found myself chatting over the cubicles about Bon and his fans, enthusing about some incredible AC/DC performances I’ve seen on YouTube lately, and crowing about my new career as an air guitar judge.

Being an “open plan” office, people inevitably overhear (and eavesdrop on) each other. So while I was raving to my colleague Nicky about all this stuff, from across the room Penny the conservator pricked up her ears. “WHAAAT!?” she screamed. Or, would have screamed, except it’s an open plan office, so she kind of hush-screamed, and the look of intensity in her face made up for the lack of volume. She couldn’t believe I had landed this plum gig with zero experience. It was so unfair.

Penny told me a story about going to see Magic Dirt play at the Annandale once. She and another female friend air-guitared so energetically that a small circle of fans began to gather around to watch the spectacle, ignoring the band on stage. Then she beckoned me over to her desk, and clicked onto YouTube so that I might witness the greatness of the video above, featuring world-reknowned air-guitarist C-Diddy. And lo, I was indeed impressed.

“Nobody in Western Australia will come close to C-Diddy,” she said. “But as a judge, it’s important to know the benchmark of excellence.”

Being the first air-guitar enthusiast to come into my life, Penny wasted no time in presenting me with some criteria for judging the competition:

1. It’s not about realism: Get over the idea that air guitarists have to know how to play a real guitar, or hit the “real” notes as if playing. It’s a performance, and has to be judged on that basis, first and foremost. On the other hand, note how C-Diddy creates the illusion he is actually holding an instrument. A kind of Marcel Marceau mime skill. Top marks.

2. Costumes are very important, perfect bodies less so. Note C-Diddy’s whacky open shirt and Hello Kitty chest piece, eclipsing his chubby belly.

3. Engagement with the audience: note that C-Diddy acknowledges his audience, and calls for them to participate in shouting out the chorus.

4. Women who participate get extra points. Since there are not many of them.

5. Use of the overbite while strumming, in order to convey the idea of intensity of concentration loses marks, according to Penny. Too contrived. Come up with something interesting to do with your facial expression.

6. Bonus points if you bring your own air-roadies or air-groupies, anything original of this sort…

Thanks Penny. I hope this blog post doesn’t result in an office-wide ban on YouTube. Or my blog.

6 thoughts on “Air Guitar Tips”

  1. hey lucas, my buddy matt mentioned you should check out air guitar nation before you’re judging – it’s a docu released last(?) year that should give you an insight into the sport 🙂

  2. this post raises the question I was asking myself after your first post about being a judge… What are you going to wear?

    I don’t think your regular look of either the Kellerberrin fireman or 50’s to 70’s old suit is going to work. How about super-tube stretch jeans in a electric blue, high heel glam rock boots… top.. probably something without sleeves but with a print that creates a zingly contrast with the electric blue..

  3. Ha ha, Birdmonkey! How apt! This evening I collected, from a costume guru called “Dave”, the makings of a superb DIY glam rock outfit to wear in my capacity as judge! Stay tuned!

  4. I had a look at the TNT video The Idolator has on her story about the letters and think you should follow a Bon fashion tip: I notice he was wearing a badge pinned to his t-shirt (green strips on black with cap sleeves) way over to the left and kind of low down. It pinned just below his left nipple!

    The black and white shot at the top of her story shows him wearing another badge (larger) in same position… Its kinda wrong but very sexy. Maybe he had very sensative nipples and he wanted to draw attention to them?

    Unfortunately you can’t read what the badge says. I have a 1970’s “life be in it” badge if you want a period piece.. Maybe you get one made with Bon’s cheeky grin.

    I am sure Dave’s costume will be fabulous. Love his shot of him on Keg’s flickr

  5. thanks BM
    yes, his badges. that’s a sharp eye you’re wielding there!


    note the second photo of Bon you’re referring to (at the top of the idolator’s story) is the same photo that has been transformed into this bootleg singlet I bought at a knock-off shop in Freo.

    If you look closely, the original photo has been subtly changed to dodge the intellectual property lawyers: in the photo, he was holding a can of KB lager, whereas on my blue singlet, the beer label has been changed to Swan Lager (famous local not very good beer of Western Australia).

  6. Love details.. isn’t that a bit about being a fan, wanting to know all the details..

    they changed the other nice period detail too.. the 2SM logo of the zipper opening to reveal the record on Bon’s shirt. That brings back memories as it was the first radio station I listened too.

    I guess the photo was taken somewhere in Sydney?

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