Now I just need to learn to express them with my guitar.
I took classical guitar lessons for a year, and really enjoyed them. Unfortunately, the three hour (each way) commute I was doing at the time didn’t lend itself to a lot of outside activities. I eventually gave it up to protect what little was left of my sanity.
I kept playing on my own, although I haven’t played any classical in months. I mostly just fooled around or practiced scales. For a few months earlier this year I really went nuts practicing every day, and a few hours on weekends. I jammed with friends a few times, and really started to feel like a musician.
Then the inevitable plateau hit, and I stopped playing for weeks at a time. Once I got out of the habit (yes, habit is our theme for today) of practicing, the time I’d already missed was a perfect excuse not to start practicing again.
My commute is much shorter now (1/3 of what it was last year), so I’ve got a lot more free time than I used to. Unfortunately, I’ve been spending that time playing video games and surfing the web. Both quality time wasters, but not likely to lead to any kind of artistic expression.
So, on a lark, I got in contact with Jonathan Kalb. I had my first lesson last Monday, and I was as nervous as if I was about to head on stage for my first show. I’ll be honest, I’m not a good guitarist and I have a pretty tin ear. Playing music doesn’t come easy to me, and it never has.
It sounds silly for a grown man to be nervous about taking a guitar lesson in his own living room, but I’ve never been comfortable with struggling. Most of the things I’ve stuck with and improved at are the things which I was immediately good at. Not always the best, but definitely above average.
Guitar is completely different as I’m mediocre at best. It takes me a long time for me to learn even the simplest things. Most of all, I hate to practice! But I’m going to stick with it despite myself. I’m never going to be on the cover of Guitar Player, and no one is going to mistake me for Buddy Guy, but I’m having fun and I’m going to keep at it.
And if I miss a few days of practice, I’m going to give myself a break.
There, that’s a public challenge!