as you may already know, i love music. i love everything about it. the concerts, the videos, the cd’s (yes, i do still buy compact discs). i grew up playing piano and french horn, both of which i never mastered but enjoyed to the fullest. i do not own a piano, because where would i put it in my cozy condo? and i do not own a french horn, because, well, because i’m not a professional musician. so, how was i to satisfy my thirst for some kind of personal musical talent? my friend nathan was quick to swoop in and provide the answer: a guitar! he owned a couple and played himself and was thrilled at the idea of having someone with which he could share this hobby. like most times, i didn’t need a whole lot of convincing.
nathan and i had tossed around the idea of me getting a guitar for a year or so before i finally, on a whim, called him up and took him to guitar center with me. i had never set foot in this store, so my first experience was a bit overwhelming, as you could imagine.
we made a beeline for the acoustic room of the store so that i could pick out my beauty. guitars lined the walls from top to bottom. they were everywhere! customers of all ages were crammed into the room, shopping or practicing or just admiring. i felt a tad out of place, but nathan’s presence put me at ease.
before we picked up anything, we discussed what i would need and how much i was willing to spend. true to form, i told him my set budget for everything and promptly blew that budget. well, yep. sometimes that’s just how i am. ask anyone who knows me and they will not be surprised. i just could not bear to merely settle on something! this guitar was going to be an investment, chartered with the mission of bringing me joy and music, so i had to have the best, for what i could afford, that is.
we made a round in the acoustic room, pointing, looking, and discussing the many models. my eyes settled on the one i would take home with me, an ibanez ac240 artwood. the rich mahogany was attractive and cool. i just had to have it! in all honesty, the one feature of this particular model that sold me was the size of the body, which is smaller and sits in my arms much more comfortably than your standard size acoustic guitar.
we quickly picked out the hard case and then came another big decision: the strap. since i blew my entire budget on the guitar alone, nathan suggested i go with a simpler strap to offset things and showed me to the five dollar rack. i was being a bit snobbish and picky, jokingly turning up my nose and stating “absolutely not.” nathan smiled, laughed, shook his head, and helped me pick out something a little more trendy.
the clerk rung us up, and i was all set! i had my case, the guitar to go in the case, a chord book, a tuner, a bag of picks, and a capo. we walked back to the car, and i felt alive. i was excited to read, play, and enjoy music again.
so, that was last fall. how have things been going? i have not been practicing nearly as often as i should, but nathan and i have had a handful of “jam” sessions, as we so lovingly like to call them. when my uncle jeff was in birmingham for thanksgiving last november, he was thrilled to teach me my first song, “who will stop the rain” by creedence clearwater revival. it may be the only song i know right now, but its simplicity is encouraging me to get this one learned and then move onto the next.
my guitar and my music are going to be a journey and a joy. i do not expect to be writing songs and releasing albums any time soon, but you never know…