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Monday, March 16, 2009


For my sixteenth birthday I asked for and received an Alvarez acoustic guitar made of cherry wood. I loved it. It's burnished a deep red-brown with a mother-of-pearl bird inlaid on the front, and it was very beautiful to my untutored eyes. It played like a dream.

I have another guitar, a classical guitar that's easier to play. I broke the tuning pin a long time ago when I'd strung it with steel strings (I know...)

My boy's been asking to learn guitar, so this past week I finally had the guitar repaired and restrung. This weekend we spent hours as he learned to play some chords.

The strings on the guitar are nylon, which means that since they were just put on they need to be tuned often until they stretch. I showed him how to tune the guitar, but don't think he quite has the hang of it yet; oh well. I gave him a chord progression to practice until he can do it quickly: C G Am Em F C F G

How fun it was for me to play the guitar again, after a good 15 years. My fingers are rusty and slow. I couldn't quite remember some songs; I'd spent hours working on elaborate patterns and fancy noteplay and they're now gone. The easy bar chords are still there, but the full ones are mushy now.

Time does march on.

My boy is encouraged, and asks me questions. It's nice to show someone what I had painstakingly mastered, such a long time ago. I tell him his sore fingers will callus up soon.


Billy Coffey said...

I've always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. One of these days, I suppose.

But there is something very special about passing on a passion to your child, isn't it?

Andra M. said...

How cool for your son to want to learn something you enjoy.

Travis said...

I once had the fancy to play the guitar, but I lent it to a friend and it disappeared. That was a lesson hard learned.

Sarah Salter said...

My mom has played guitar for 40 years. She has a beautiful, old 12-string Martin that she saved money and bought 40 years ago. My most wonderful memories from childhood are from when she would sit with us and play songs for us to sing. I always wanted to learn to play, but alas, I have a pair of the smallest hands you've ever seen and I have a skin disorder that causes the skin on my fingers to peel and tear. So, we compromise... She plays. I sing. There's just something special about sharing music with your parent/child...

Anonymous said...

My sweet hubby dabbles with the guitar. Took a few lessons, did some "teach yourself to play guitar" DVDs. He got pretty good.

That's pretty cool your kid is asking about it now. Sweet!