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Me and My Guitar

I started playing guitar when I was fourteen, and I played all through high school, college, and graduate school.  During my college years, when I was most serious about music, I played in an acoustic trio that performed regularly and generated something of a following.  For years, I thought of myself as a Musician -- it was one of my defining identities, if you know what I mean.

But then other identities started to impose themselves on me and on my life:  Husband, Father, Historian for a short while, and then of course, Writer.  Sometimes these days I even think of myself as a Photographer.  I wouldn't want to give up any of these, but as the Musician within me has been shunted to the side, I've found that I miss making music.  Occasionally I go back to my guitar, but I don't play nearly as well now as I once did.  I used to play for hours every day.  Now I'll go for months without playing at all.  Is it any wonder that I sound terrible?  I get frustrated, I put the guitar away again, and I go back to missing it.

The other day, a friend of mine -- another guitar player; another Musician who is also a Husband and a Father, as well as a Doctor, and, right now, a Guy-Who's-Building-A-Home -- mentioned to me that he had taken his guitar out of its case and put it on a guitar stand where he sees it all the time.  As a result, when he has a minute or two of free time, he picks it up and he plays.

I have a guitar stand, too -- a cherished relic from my performing days, very much like my guitar itself.  After talking to my friend, I pulled out the stand, put it in a corner of my office, and put my guitar on it.  That was Monday.  I've played every day this week.  I haven't played a lot; I have too many other things to do.  Besides, I sound like crap and my fingers start to hurt after two or three songs.  I can't yet claim to be a Musician again.  Not by a long shot.  But I'm playing, and that feels really good.

Today's music:  Pat Metheny (One Quiet Night)


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment, Alis. The last time I was playing at least close to regularly was when the girls were younger and I'd play for them before bedtime several nights a week. They prefer to read now, or listen to their own music. But it certainly was a part of their early years, and I think all of us have fond memories of those evenings.

Edited at 2008-02-07 06:23 pm (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
I have a guitar as well. And I'm just learning to play my guitar. It was the last gift for me from my stepfather before he left) the best gift from him)
And now I can't play many songs, but playing the guitar is a good rest for me. Especially at night in a moonlit room, when you gently touch strings one by one and sing in a low voice... my poor neighbours))) but I can't say that my voice is bad - I attended vocal classes for some time.
Feb. 7th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
It is relaxing to play. It's a great break for me when I'm writing and need to clear my head. Hope you continue to enjoy your guitar. It sounds like it was a wonderful gift.
Feb. 7th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
My dad plays acoustic guitar fairly well - nothing fancy, but full of heart. I love it.

I've had passions like that - and I know how good it feels to find them again. That's how running is for me - I lost it for a few years, and now that I'm back it feels like I've discovered a missing part of myself.

I'm so glad you're finding a few minutes to play again. That's wonderful.
Feb. 7th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. I've definitely had the feeling the past few days of reconnecting with a part of myself that I'd lost and missed. I had that same sense when I started doing photography again. Cool that you've found it with running.
Feb. 7th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
I still play music with a couple bands, but I also leave my guitar out in my office, and I'll grab it every once in a while while I'm 'thinking.' It's a good way to get in a little short practice!
Feb. 8th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
Yup. And it's a good way to "think"!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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