Tuesday, May 09, 2006


The best thing that I've learned upon exiting Mormonism is that I really can do whatever I feel like. That's it. My time is my time.

One day as I was driving down the road and listening to some sweet tunes, I realized that I want to learn to play guitar. As soon as I had that thought, I felt so many possibilities open up to me. If you've ever read Orson Scott Card's series called The Alvin Maker, you may get what I'm talking about. Like just because of that one thought (which was really a decision, but I didn't know it yet) my future changed. Weird, I know.

So I bought me a guitar (pronounced: GIH-tahr), and with it came 2 free lessons. I wanted to learn so much that I went to my first lesson already knowing the first 3 chords. So the kid (he's 19!) who teaches me was forced to come up with an alternate first lesson. He gave me 3 more chords to learn. That was fun, and by the next week I had finally gotten my fingers used to being all bent in strange ways. But still, it wasn't MUSIC. If I were more creative, I would have taken my 6 chords and made up my own little tune. But I'm not.

So on my second lesson, I told him I was a little bored with chords. He went into full-on hard-core guitar stuff from there. He was talking riffs, tableture, and a couple of different strumming techniques. He played me the song "Santeria" by Sublime, and wrote me out the verse/chorus music. Then he let me go and said, "Here learn this." Ok, he was much more helpful than that, but I was intimidated, for sure!

Do you know what, though? All I need is to practice, and I get better each time. I wish when I was young and my piano teachers and parents were telling me to practice, that I would've understood and heeded their advice. Spilled milk.

So here I am, plucking my way through my first song on the guitar. And do you know where I'm going to end up? Rocking some stage. I have no need to be famous, but I really really want to play locally. And I'm gonna.


Rebecca said...

That's so AWESOME! Beyond awesome! I totally know what you mean about piano as a kid. I'm thinking of taking it up again when I move and get a job. I'm SO glad you're learning guitar. Have I already said that's AWESOME? If you need any tips on playing locally let me know - my brother and his friends have done it quite a bit, and I'm sure he could hook you up.

Joseph's Left One said...

That is terrific. We put so many constraints on what we can and should do. It's exciting to just see what you want to do and then just do it.

Sideon said...

You totally rock.


MattMan said...

I concur, this is awesome. I attempted to start learning guitar as a child, but never progressed beyond rudimentary basics, rife with bad habits I'm sure.

I just got a new cheapo classical guitar in the hopes that I might take another stab at it. I have a really good friend who is really good with the guitar, and he recommended that I check out "Guitar Principles" (http://www.guitarprinciples.com), which I did buy. My mess of a life hasn't allowed much adventure into it, but as I place a great deal of trust in the review this friend of mine gave it, so I pass along the recommendation to you. I got the "Principles & Path Discount Package" personally.

Best of luck and fulfillment to you on this new musical journey! Rock on! :)

Bull said...

I started playing a couple of years ago and loved it. It's such a versatile instrument and I love just screwing around with it and improvising. I got a Les Paul clone and a cheap amp.

Unfortunately, I dropped it when I changed jobs and my poor axe has been gathering dust for about a year. I restrung and tuned it up a couple of weeks ago, bought a new book, but still haven't had the time to play with it.

Life's too busy right now.