Saturday, July 2, 2011

Shiny new guitar


A while ago I bought my wife an electric guitar.  One of the side effects that had was I started to learn to play.  We had two guitars in the house and I thought it was rather silly to own something I couldn't do anything with.  I found myself spending more time with the old, pretty battered,  acoustic guitar and not the shiny electric guitar.

Shortly after I realized I liked the acoustic better I tried some "better" acoustics than what we owned.  They sounded different, but more importantly (to me) they were easier to play.  I decided that "one day" I would get a better instrument, and didn't really think about anymore (pretty unusual for me, maybe I've finally grown up?).  Then a couple of similar events made me realize that life is pretty short, so why not just get the instrument now?    Guitars, if chosen properly, don't become worthless doorstops like digital cameras over time. It's not like I'm wasting a good instrument on a beginner.  I'm simply borrowing it from a better player, my future self.

I realize that just like owning a "great" camera doesn't make you a photographer, owning a "great" instrument doesn't make you a musician.   In fact I have no delusions at all about my lack of musical ability--   I realize any musical path I take is probably a little bit of side-street.  But, its a good one for me to take.  I believe we give up creating in our lives to consume what is on TV, on the radio, in books, in movies, or on the interwebs  instead of making our own stuff.  I don't think there is anything wrong with enjoying the work of others, but if it prevents us from creating anything on our own I think we have a HUGE problem.  We all are creatives at our core, but unfortunately we have lost touch with that.  Playing the guitar is my way to (attempt to?) create musically instead of merely listening-- it gives me a chance to reclaim that piece in my life.  It doesn't matter if it is terrible or not.  The point is I am doing it.  I had given it up, and simply became a consumer of others' work.

I'm visual by nature so a lot of the choice behind this guitar is because I like the way it looks.  I find cut-a-ways fun to look at and I really like the unadorned simplistic, maybe even rustic, approach Martin took with this model.   I also like the way it smells.  Yeah, I know, that seems ridiculous.  But I wasn't prepared for that aspect of an instrument made with real woods.  Of course it sounds good... when someone else plays it.

Anyway, if anyone cares it is a Martin DC-GTE, and did I mention is smells pretty incredible?

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