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.
from The Sound of One Hand Typing