Air Guitar Glam, Glory and Sweat

I Need a New Sport. I Need a New Body

AIr guitar

Sheltering-at-home baking. Sheltering-at-home Zoom meetings. And sheltering-at-home EVERYTHING has created a severe case of a sheltering-at-home chubby body. I need to do something STAT to shake up the doldrums and this lardy body surrounding them. Hey, I know. I need air guitar.

Now please don’t tell me to “Just go for a walk.” BORING. Please don’t tell me just do a “Just a few minutes of any exercise routine.” BORING. And please, PLEASE don’t suggest I try an online class of this kind or that. Again, BORING.

Air Guitar Rocks!

I need something new. Something exciting. And the good news, I’ve found it in air guitar.

Don’t laugh! It combines serious aerobic movement, loud music and, as a bonus, costumes, and make-up! What’s not to love? Well, the aerobic sweaty part, but I was looking for exercise after all.

And for those of you uninitiated into the fine art and sport of air guitar, here’s the skinny:

“Air guitar is a form of dance and movement in which the performer pretends to play an imaginary rock or heavy metal-style electric guitar, including riffs and solos. Playing an air guitar usually consists of exaggerated strumming and picking motions, and is often coupled with loud singing or lip-synching. Air guitar is generally used in the imaginary simulation of loud electric or acoustic guitar.”

Air Guitar Roots

Its roots go back to that glorious habit of conducting alongside classical record albums. Your grandparents did it. Your parents did it. You probably did it too — before falling l in love with the Beatles and Rolling Stones. I still do, except now only after yelling, “Hey, Google, play Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.”

Air guitar burst into full glory when Joe Cocker took the stage at Woodstock in 1969 and, in perfect time with the music, mimicked the guitar play while singing “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

The term air guitar wasn’t popularized until the 1980s, but since then, with a little help from its friends and fans, air guitar love has blossomed in full metal glory.

A Competitive Sport

One of the first contests took place at Florida State University in 1978. Hundreds of students turned out to watch “Mark Stagger and the Rolling Bones” take first prize: 25 vinyl records. And since 1996, the annual Air Guitar World Championships have been held in Oulu, Finland.

But while its popularity has increased, so has the debate about whether air guitar is actually a sport or not.

Naysayers, of course, say, “bah, humbug,” but even the seriously august BBC has weighed in on the controversy with an article titled “How air guitar became a serious sport.”

Rock On, Baby!

As for me, all I can say is that music + bopping around+ make-up + outrageous costumes = fun. So, sports fans, turn up the music (real or imaginary), and I’m going to jump right into my new exercise routine.

Yes, I failed at tennis. (Too much running plus I was terrified of getting whacked by the ball.) Yes, I hated jazzercise. (Way too much sweating and oh, those nasty thigh-hugging leotards!) And yes, even ping pong scared me with those tiny whizzing balls flying by!

Yes, today  I may be past my prime.  I may look ridiculous. BUT finally, I have found my sport. See! I’m not too old to learn something new AND have fun in the process. Besides, if nothing else, watching me go into my daily (yes, daily!) routine is giving Handsome Hubby a good laugh.

See you in Finland?

And who knows? Next year, post-sheltering-in-place, you may see me on stage at the world championship in Finland, with shredded abs, shredding my air guitar, wailing away to Bob Marley and the Wailers, competing to beat them all!

Rock on, my dear middle-aged muddlers, rock on!

🎸 🎸 🎸

And for you new converts to the sport, there are two documentaries AND a how-to book!

  • Air Guitar Nation, a documentary about the 2003 US and World Air Guitar competitions
  • Air Guitar in Oulu, a documentary about one air guitarist’s effort to attend the World Championship
  • The Complete Air Guitar Handbook.
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