Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Playing around

I had an audition yesterday. Yeah, kind of a weird thing for me to do, since I don't perform, and I hate being judged (hey, I have a very fragile ego, so sue me). But it was tempered by the fact that it was our theater company looking to put together a music group, and the folks running the audition are good friends. So you think it wouldn't be very intimidating, right? Yeah, sure. Songs I have played on my guitar a jillion times were suddenly ruined by 'finger freeze up' as my nerves got the best of me. Oh well, I pulled off the strumming portion better. I'm hoping we'll get a group together to play around with.

I have been playing guitar since I was a kid. When I was nine my first acoustic nylon-stringed guitar was my birthday present. I remember I discovered it hidden in the closet and got yelled at for ruining the surprise. Oh well. I loved my guitar, and I tried to take lessons, but I had trouble getting anyone to drive me up to the music store so I missed most of them and didn't get very far. So I played by myself until I was ready to go to college, and then for some reason I cannot fathom now, I decided to give my guitar to my brother, thinking I would need to concentrate at college and it would just be a distraction. How stupid was that?

So I went through college and five years in Yakima, and then when we moved back to Vancouver I went and bought one of those cheap electric guitar kits where you get a strat-look-alike and a little amp for $100. And I signed up for lessons with Mark Lengal at SW WA Music Studio. He was a great teacher, and I learned more from him the year or two that I took lessons than I had figured out on my own in ten. It was a lot of fun! But then I moved and it was too far to drive into town for lessons.

I eventually upgraded from my cheap electric guitar to a Martin dreadnaught, which I soon discovered was just plain too big for me. I could barely wrap my arms around it! It was very uncomfortable to play. Sure sounded nice though. Then one day I was at the local music store and hanging there among the regular size guitars was a little guitar - a 'parlor' guitar. It was a Takamine, made of beautiful red Koa wood, and it had the most heavenly sound, light and bright - not big and boomy like the dreadnaught. That was it, the Martin went up for sale, and for my birthday I got the Tak, and that has been my instrument ever since.

So, many years of playing, a few years of playing well ;-) It's all fun, that's all that matters. I play by myself a lot at home when I've got the place to myself. Now if I can just learn not to crumble from the pressure when I have to play in front of (or with) other people!

(click to see the cute and relevant cartoon)
Rose Is Rose


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Way cool! Both of my sons are learning to play the guitar with weekly lessons. They started out with acoustic, but moved to electric after a year. One plays bass. Those amps are....LOUD! lol!

Is a video of you playing in the works? Say it's so!


StefRobrts said...

A video? You never know :)

They invited me to the first jam session, but unfortunately I sliced my finger installing a new screen in the back door a couple days ago, so no guitar until it heals up :(

That's cool your sons play. I think learning to play music is one of those gifts that keeps on giving your whole life!

dotoner said...

you and your HIDDEN talents! Wish you had brought that guitar over years ago!!! Here's to a quick healing finger!