US. Air Guitar 2017: The Professair finds the right track

“I’m just hoping to practice my air guitar routine enough not to embarrass myself.” I uttered this to my girlfriend in the car the other day, and she responded: “You realize how ridiculous that sounds, don’t you?”

I’m preparing for the U.S. air guitar qualifier in Boston on May 12, 2017. It takes place at Hard Rock Cafe. I’m signed up as the ProfessAIR (more on that in a minute).

As I try to find the right song for my routine, I’ve decided to completely abandon my own personal tastes in music and pick something that works for a 60 seconds of air guitar choreography. I’m recovering from a blood clot (DVT) in my right arm (my strummer, not my shredder), so I’ve got limited mobility in that arm. I had to have surgery and will have to have another, so I don’t want air guitar to manifest any sort of additional problems. I feel like, strategically speaking, I should pick a song that fits my body, rather than trying to make my body conform to a song I already like. So, I’ve begun searching for the right track.

Screenshot 2017-05-09 16.26.16.pngI like songs that are heavy metal covers of well-known songs. You can play off a crowd’s knowledge of the song, and the heavy metal genre provides a kind of authenticity/edge/intensity to the existing melody. So you can seem like you’re intensifying a song people already know, simply by having the metal distortion on your side. See my past search queries on YouTube. I can do some of the edits on my own (via GarageBand), but finding a track with a lot of pre-configured bits will save me some time.

I found this interesting track below, which features Outkast, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and Queen. It’s definitely a bit bloated as a music track goes–too many boring transitions, extended verses, and prolonged concepts. But it might work as one component of my track. I’m thinking my body and mobility issues would be best suited for something with a slow succession of power chords, with occasional riffs in between. Fast strumming of power chords is out of the question, because it might aggravate my arm and strain my veins. Screenshot 2017-05-09 16.33.33.png

I’m also wondering if my song should fit my persona, the Professair. I chose this persona because I’d like to make fun of myself and all of my colleagues. I’m thinking fake white beard. Ill-fitting suit. General aloofness. Granted, I’m constructing a certain (normative) image of a professor, and I will almost certainly become this stereotype one day. Not to mention the members of my family that this describes… But I feel like a professor is a good (original) persona for these competitions and allows me to represent an empowered professor and also the absurdity of the kinds of self-important egotism that can sometimes accompany that profession. Plus a fake white beard might give me plausible deniability, should images of me playing air guitar come to haunt me in future occupations.

So, what song should the Professair play? What is his deal? Why does he air guitar? I think a heavy metal cover of a Western art music song would help me drive home the kinds of dualities I’m trying to evoke with this persona. Refinement filtered through feedback.

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