Friday, September 03, 2010
About ten years ago, maybe less, my mother bought me a guitar for Christmas. Not just a cheap starter guitar, but a very nice black Art & Lutherie cutaway dreadnought. It was part of a musically themed Christmas, where she put a lot of thought and effort into gifts like glasses with music staffs on them, plates with piano keys, and guitar books. It was actually pretty extravagant.
There was a problem. I wasn't really interested in playing guitar.
I took a few lessons when I was a kid, but never got very good. As a kid I liked the idea of being able to play guitar, but didn't want to put in the effort of learning and the hours of practice that are necessary to get even competent. As an adult I knew I would never take the time needed to play. So I strummed it a few times, and into the closet it went, for years.
Mom kept asking me if I was playing it, and I would reply evasively: "A little bit," or "Haven't really had the time," or "I tried it out."
About 3 months ago I decided I needed to take up a hobby that didn't involve computer keyboards or video game controllers and took out the guitar. Downloaded some videos from the internet and started playing. Found I really enjoyed it, and have kept up with it, so far. I've learned a lot, even though I'm still terrible, and though I'm not shredding guitar solos I'm just enjoying what I can do right now, relishing my progress as I slowly get better, and just trying to play through the difficult stuff.
A guitar is a risky gift to give someone, and if you decide to give one as a present be prepared that it may end up as a dust collector. In this case it paid off, although it was years later. Hopefully I'll be playing and enjoying myself with it for years to come, though I may never be very good.