It all started when my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Darby, would bring her acoustic guitar to class (usually on Friday afternoons) to play for us. As students, we were encouraged to sing along, and it became a really a fun way to end the school week.
Thats when I fll in love with the guitar. I wanted to learn to play this instrument. The melodic sounds were magical to me. So I begged my parents to grant me guitar lessons with a guitar we rented for about a year. The rental wasn’t the best; the strings were hard and made new calluses and indentations on my virgin fingertips. But I didn’t care. I was learning to pick and strum and train my ear to detect the notes of the scale. I was learning to hold chords across the fretboard that I thought my young fingers could never reach. I was in guitar heaven!
And about a year later, my parents surprised me with a new Martin acoustic guitar of my own. I still own her. She is absolutely beautiful! (see picture below). Lets just say, “I adore her!”
Thats how it began. I took lessons for about 6 years until the diversions of sports, academics and boys got in the way during high school. LOL…yep…guess that what happens when you are in your late teens. But aaahhh…
The “guitar gal in me” never ceases to move me. To this day, it has taught me amazing lessons of tuning into my soul, expressing myself through music, understanding the benefits of hard core practice (yep…you just got to practice) and just letting go and allowing music to move me. I am a Motown gal…grew up with soulful sounds which still resonate with me today.
Research has shown that playing an instrument or moving to music has wonderful mindful and medicinal and healing effects. For me, the guitar is all that. I can feel melancholy with it. or super joyful. It reflects me. It can be soothing or hard a**s rocking. I get to choose.
So if you are new to playing a guitar, (or desire to play one) here are a few things I can share with you to help you on your guitar journey:
1. Practice your musical passion. Play your instrument as if it were an extension of your physical body. Yep. An additional appendage for your soulful enjoyment.
2. Feel your instrument. Don’t just touch it, but FEEL the music you are able to create from it. How special is that?
3. Know that the music you make may seem methodical at first, but after you become comfortable with it, your body will magically adapt and the music you create will flow with ease. It will soon become medicinal…magic melodic medicine for your soul and for others who will enjoy hearing you play.
4. Play genres of music which “speak to you”…whether its rock, pop, country, latino or everything in between. Experiment with other types of music as you improve your ability to play.
5. At a certain point, you will naturally just begin to create your own sounds and melodies. Happy dance here ! You will create chord progressions which sound just perfect for your very own song. Dont worry about lyrics..just get the basic melody down…hum along as you play with chords that might fit with your own song.
6. Give your guitar some real love. Keep it tuned, restring it as necessary and keep it away from damp or cold/dry places/storage.
7. Play when you feel you want to be expressive ..during both sad/melancholy AND joyful times. You will be amazed at the different types of music you can create depending upon your moods when you play. Your guitar will become your bff !
My love for many genres of music was certainly heightened by learning to play my guitar. The “guitar gal” in me will always be there. The guitar not only echos the music in me, but the harmonies of my soul. (A sweet Tweetable!)
Wishing you the melodies of music in your heart to keep you happy and optimizing your Well Being !
Keep Living Life Passionately !