Thoughts of a Neophyte Guitarist


I’m in love with a six stringed lady.

I jokingly call her my “mistress” to my spouse.

She’s got a rosewood fretboard and a mahogany body, with a rather battered wine red finish.  She stays in tune, more or less, and has only a little fret buzz.  She has dual humbucker pickups, being an Epiphone copy of the Gibson design, and sometime I’ll get an amp for her instead of plugging her into Tuxguitar on my Linux system through an adapter left over from my flying days.

I named her Rosie.

Starting over twenty years ago, I had a recurring dream about buying an acoustic guitar and just knowing how to play it.  The dream came and went but the desire never completely went away.

Now, only a year and a half from the magic number forty, I’ve decided to cross this item off my “Bucket List.”

Time’s wasting, and my fingers won’t get any more limber.  So I got this guitar, “Juke Box Hero” and “Summer of Sixty Nine” running through my head all the while.

I happily welcomed the sore fingers.  I don’t mind playing endless scales or doing the finger exercises my guitar Sensei has assigned me.  I am doggedly trying to learn to switch between C and G chords without interruption or muffled strings.  I practice at least twice every day.

However, the guitar has already brought me so much.  I’ve had great talks with people who love the instrument as much as I do, found tips on playing, learned so much. It seems like every other person I meet plays, or has played.  Several people have started up again after talking to me.  It’s like my enthusiasm has reminded them of a love they half forgot.

When I picked up this style of guitar for the first time, it fit in a way I can’t describe.  My hands knew where to go, and it just felt so right.

Right now I have a goal of just practicing every day, building up my new calluses, and seeing where it takes me.  I’m enjoying the journey every bit as much as the destination.  I think that’s something I couldn’t have done when I was younger, because I didn’t have the support network I do now and I hadn’t yet learned to see practice as fun.  Because it is.

Nobody told me practice would be fun!

I expected it to be drudgery.

“I want to learn to play…. ____.”

“You’ll have to practice a lot!”

I know – but it’s so much fun.  It’s meditative and stress reducing.  It makes me feel better.  I can’t be anxious or sad when I’m concentrating on making the notes sound right.  I relax.  And that’s all before I have even learned one song beyond “happy birthday.”

If you have something on your bucket list that you haven’t gotten to, or never thought you could get to, something creative like art or music or writing, why not try?  I did, because I hadn’t realized an electric guitar would be so affordable, or be quiet enough to practice in an apartment.  Once I learned that, it opened a bright, beautiful door that had always been closed before.

I wish you inspiration and joy.

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