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.