Guitar Gifts

I’m plugging away on the guitar. I wish I knew how to play it instantly. I wish I could pick up the instrument and automatically know how to hit what where. That’d be remarkable. But I don’t. I have to hit the wrong note a lot of times before I get the right one. I have to start from scratch, like a baby, learning where to put my fingers where, what each symbol means, how things are supposed to sound. The only thing is that I’m not a baby and it doesn’t stick easily. It’s got to be repeated, a lot. I have to fight the frustration, the irritation, the impatience all to get get get to a nice sound. Tonight I had that feeling that it was the silliest undertaking in the world. If I want to hear a nice sound I could turn on itunes. There I could hear the best of the best, the best in the world, the best of anything and everything. I don’t think I’ll ever be that good. So why bother? I guess it’s the process, like everything else, I know, I know, I better like the process of learning because that’s all it will ever be. There will never be a destination or a determined end point or whatever. It will always be a process of discovery. I don’t think I’ll ever play a song and say, there, I played that song. Once I can play a song it’s generally taken so much to get there it doesn’t have the same enthusiasm it might have had if I had learned to play it the moment I wanted to. You see what I mean?


So here’s what happens: I get sick of the whole thing and in total exasperation, I strum all open six strings. What do I get? A lovely sound. On the piano, frustration leads to striking the keys randomly, never pretty, but on a guitar even those six open strings sound nice enough to want to try them again and again and again in hopes of making even more pretty sounds.

Ok, so, I’ve got to take this a little less seriously. I’ve got to slow down and enjoy the slides, the hammers, the picking and the strumming. I’ve got to feel good about the bad notes as well as the good ones, the minor chords as much as the majors, the scales, the tones…oh, so much to feel good about.

How about that slivery moon tonight? The three-legged dog at the park, the buttery avocado, the white sheets and the warm day were all gifts today, too. What were some of yours?


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2 Responses to Guitar Gifts

  1. Have you considered taking lessons?

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