That’s right. 100 articles!
Hells yeah! I’ve been pounding this stupid keyboard for a while now. There’s some 100 articles! (Technically, there are 101 – but that’s ’cause I still have my “holy balls, I’m out of time” article in the queue.) So, this is the 100th published article.
When I first started this, I figured I’d write three entries and then forget about it. Hell, I figured this subject was one of my favorite subjects – so I might even make five articles.
But, you crazy bastards kept coming back and encouraging me. The truth is, I’m still kinda baffled that my gibberish amuses you this much.
I’m grateful that it does. See, these are things I’ve wanted to put down in text, for a long time. It’s your commentary, questions, and interest that has motivated me to do this.
Granted, I never thought it’d look like this. I always kind of pictured me spending my last years of life writing a few scholarly articles on the subject, destined for academia. Fuck ’em. I like this style better.
I have pondered turning this into a book and just giving it away or taking donations and giving the donations to a worthy cause. Meh… We’ll figure that out when we get that far.
Oh, I forgot to tell you…
Seeing as the site has reached 100 articles, I’m being pure selfish today. I know, it’s you that motivates me – but I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and my creative bone is still broken. So, you are getting this today.
Without further ado…
Some Entirely Pointless History!
(I’m not being completely honest – there is a point.)
The year was 1968. It was a fascinating year but it’s marked because I’d asked for a guitar for my Christmas gift. I was pretty fucking enthralled with the guitarists of the day, including one Mr. Jimi Hendrix by the way.
Note: I’m pretty damned sure some of the commenting people, at the sites this is linked to, don’t actually read the articles. In fact, I know some of them don’t. (I call ’em idiots, but that’s ’cause I’m an asshole.) Anyhow, on the off-chance that one of ’em does, I’d like to point out that I don’t actually hate one Mr. Hendrix. He was just wasn’t a great guitarist!
(It’s the 100th article, I’ll do what I want with it!)
Where was I?
Now, the process of acquiring a gifted guitar was not nearly as easily accomplished as it just being handed to me. No, this one was one of those abhorrent fake gifts – a gift with a condition.
In order to be gifted a guitar, I had to take formal lessons.
It gets worse…
These lessons had to be classical guitar lessons. (Which explains why my first guitar was a Yamaha Grand Concert.)
Let’s go back to the formal part, shall we? Not only was I to study classical guitar, I was to continue to study music theory and even have a special tutor in music theory as it applied to guitar.
It was horrible.
There were no rock screams, no distortion pedals, or amplifiers. Shit, I wouldn’t own an electric guitar until like 1976 – when I was an adult. Prior to that, I had to borrow one. I think the Yamaha GC was like $250 in those days, which is something like 1.3 billion USD when adjusted for inflation.
Seriously, it was horrible and I don’t think I truly appreciated it then. I didn’t. I really didn’t.
Those techniques and the adherence to form that I learned? Holy balls… As I look back across my decades of life, those have enabled me to cross so many genres with fluidity. Those have enabled me to learn so much new material, often with great rapidity, and that’s absolutely something I’m grateful for.
But, fuck… It was a lot of work.
I pissed and moaned – pretty much the whole time anyone was listening.
But, work I did. I worked my ass off as I realized that the guitar was something that’d truly give me back everything I put into it – and more. No, probably not financially, but for sheer enjoyment.
As much as I hated those drills, I sure had fun when nobody was looking!
Which leads me to my point…
I’ve had so much fun. I’ve even had fun typing this! It has opened so many doors, introduced me to so many people, exposed me to so many things, and helped me share with so many people – literally across the globe. I’ve stomped all across this planet and I’ve taken a guitar with me pretty much every time.
So, as much as I’d love to sit here and say it’s all about drills, expertise, technical ability, and all that? Well, it’s true – but it’s equally important that it remains fun. Even if you have to have that fun when nobody is looking. (It’s even more awesome if you can have that fun when a giant audience is watching.)
You don’t have to master the guitar to have fun. All ya gotta do is strum it and it makes a noise. After you figure that part out, the rest is pretty much a wide open road. Just pick one string and pluck it. It’ll make a sound. What you do with that sound from there on out is up to you.
It doesn’t even have to be a guitar. Y’all can play a damned kazoo, for all I care. I ain’t scared. I’ll make sound with you. More importantly, you might even have a little fun. You won’t know unless you try.
And, really, that’s my point… Have fun. Yeah, it’s work. Yeah, it can suck. But, make sure to keep it fun. If it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t do it. It’s fun, even if I’m getting paid, being professional, and calling it work (and it is work).
If you’re not having fun, you’ll burn out fast and end up with wall decorations. Negligence is the worst fate a guitar can suffer, besides willful damage. Keep your guitar strings vibrating and until next time…
Shut up and play us a song!