chewing ideas down to stubble, then moving on…

Saga of a Love Affair…

Posted by Jason on January 12, 2009

Sounds racy, doesn’t it? It really has nothing to do with anything juicy in my love-life. Marriage is great. This has to do with another, earlier love of my life: the guitar. I started playing classical guitar about 12 years ago, practicing like a madman throughout high school, playing in college ensembles while in high school, suffering through a university music major, studying flamenco music in Spain, playing weddings and dinners, etc. 

I have to confess that I don’t think I’ve touch the guitar since about October. I had a wedding and a church dinner to play for in the same week (when it rains it pours, I guess). Last year I started playing more and wanting to get into jazz, since jazz is a pretty heady music and I like that mental challenge of it. Over the summer, I kind of lost interest and just the whole prospect of playing the guitar hasn’t really excited me for a long time.

I feel a little guilty that something that I invested so much time and money in has really taken a far back seat in my life, if it’s even in the car at all… I feel weird that I don’t really care too much anymore about something that has been a huge force in my life for so long. I have so many other things that pique my interest that playing guitar doesn’t really hold the same allure as pretty much anything else that I’m into right now.

After a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I’m not going to leave the guitar just yet. I don’t think I can… ever. It would also be a sin to let the skills I have deteriorate into something I “used to do” way back when. Today when I get home from work, I’m going to file my nails to a decent shape and get out some books and a guitar and start playing again. 

I’m not going to expect much, but I’m not going to let the guilt of what I should know how to play eat away at me, either. Throughout my late college and post-college days, I had always been angry at myself for not being a better guitar player. I’ve been angry that I didn’t have the singular drive that I did when I was in high school. I got distracted by life and never fulfilled my potential for true guitar greatness…

Bollocks to all that, I say. Nobody is telling me what I should know how to play or whatever. I know how to play the guitar plenty well. I have more skills and knowledge than most guitar players that make a bit of money at it. Now I’m going to play stuff that I want.  I’m going to bust out some of my flamenco books and really get back to the heart of what intrigued me so much from the beginning. I have good foundations in flamenco from my time in Spain. It’s high time I went back to that. I’m only going to learn classical music if I feel like it, and I won’t beat myself up over not completing a piece of music. Maybe I’ll even feel like performing again, or accompanying for a flamenco dance studio or whatever.

The sky is the limit, not the goal. I have to keep that in mind. I think the communal nature of playing in a group or accompanying someone will really help me enjoy music again. However, I’m super self-conscious about my performance that I don’t feel I’m nearly good enough to play with others, especially if they are good enough to challenge me in my playing. I get embarrassed and I’m scared to hell they’ll find out I’m really not that good. I’m sure it’s also a pride thing. Well, that’s way down the road, and I don’t have to collaborate if I don’t want to. So there. 

It’s guitar time, everyone!


One Response to “Saga of a Love Affair…”

  1. I gigged around for years in Detroit and Chicago. It was a sad day when I sold off the racks and half stacks…don’t ever leave the guitar behind

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