Playing the guitar. Ever since my stroke almost nine years ago, I’m unable to hold a pick, and when I go to hit a string, I miss.
An Epiphone Dot model, their version of the Gibson ES-335 (source:musiciansfriend.com)
To be honest, though, I hadn’t been playing much before the stroke, either. I have a gorgeous Epiphone Dot model that I bought to go to the National Guitar Workshop in 2002. I had a fantastic time there, too, and when I came home, it sat in the case in a corner of my home office. It’s now in the back bedroom, along with my other guitars: a Guild Manhattan I bought later that year, a Yamaha acoustic with a cutaway that has a piezoelectric pickup and tone and volume controls, the Ibanez acoustic Mary gave me for my 21st birthday, and a Yamaha 12-string acoustic I bought one afternoon when Mary and I were wandering around the Loop. I have about a dozen sets of strings and hundreds – literally – of guitar picks, including a few that are a cross between a flatpick and a thumbpick that I got, hoping to get back into playing.
I haven’t yet.
At that Guitar Workshop, the instructor told me that I needed to stop wrestling with the guitar and make the music come from someplace other than my hands. Guess it’s a fairly common mistake, and hard to break the habit. I was just starting to get the hang of it, and for some reason, I stopped. Too many other things going on in my life, I guess.
The advantage of starting up again would be I’d need to think like a beginner. The beginner’s mind. Start over again and re-teach myself. Forget Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method and wing it. Forget trying to read the inkblots and let my ear be the guide. I know enough of the theory that I can work things out for myself.
And relax and play. Maybe I wouldn’t be typing with one hand if I just did that. The whole problem was I never took the time for playing.
This week’s prompt was to start and end with a word ending in -ing. How’d I do?
Anyway, this is my entry for Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. She has the rules and the list of other participants at her place.