The first instrument I started playing was the Cello. I suppose technically it was the Recorder, but my 4 year old self spent the entirety of Recorder club staring at the crude paintings and bible verses hanging on the wall (I never could get the hang of playing 'London's Burning'), so to say I played the Recorder would be a bit of an overstatement.
Anyway, one assembly a few years later the current cream of the Cello crop sat in front of all of us and went through a few songs. Christ knows what attracted me to the instrument, but something must have; about three of us signed up, me and two other boys.
The school would lend out the Cellos to the prospective students. I remember the peeling yellow stars stuck on to the fret board to help learn chord patterns, the misshapen lump of resin used to clean the bow and the tattered old grey bag I would lug the cello to and from school in.
Much like my career as a professional recorder...ist, my cello playing was doomed to failure. The other students flew ahead of me, mastering various tunes and chords as I struggled to play 'London's Burning' yet again. I was sick and tired of carrying my Cello to school and back, so I swapped it for the lightest instrument I knew of. A pair of drum sticks.
I did a lot better with the drums, I started off playing the snare in the school orchestra, and when I started secondary school I began to play the drum kit proper. Skip forward around 8 or 9 years and I am thinking of a way to single handedly get a drum kit from my home in Kent to a gig in London by train. I thought back to my initial reason of playing the drums and couldn't help but think:
"Wow, I was a pretty dumb kid."
Regardless of the occasional awkwardness of my current instrument, I'm glad I gave up the cello.