The occasionally interesting story of my life


Lifelong
Registered User
Joined: 04/12/23
Posts: 3
Lifelong
Registered User
Joined: 04/12/23
Posts: 3
04/12/2023 7:12 pm

Hello all. I chose the name "Lifelong" because 1) I really don't like putting too much thought into these things, and 2) it has been a lifelong, unfulfilled ambition of mine to play guitar.


When I was 10, my parents bought me a snare drum, and I played percussion in school bands for the next several years. I considered myself a "drummer," basically having fun with it, and being able to hold my own in a school-level concert or amateur performance setting. Throughout my childhood, I dabbled with other instruments as my parents picked them up on a whim at yard sales or flea markets. These included the accordion, trumpet, piano and mandolin. My folks were never musical, but they encouraged it in their kids, especially singing. I've sung solos, and in various choruses and groups for most of my life.


My three sisters' boyfriends (later husbands) played guitar, guitar and piano, respectively. I was always pretty impressed with their ability (insofar as I knew how to judge their abilities). Dad bought an old electric guitar and amp from one brother-in-law; I "adopted" it and twanged out single-string tunes like the Star Wars theme and "Another one Bites the Dust" (this was the early 80s). But my chubby kid fingers couldn't do anything beyond that. so my guitar ambitions pretty much stalled out.


As an adult, I tinkered more with drums, plunked out the occasional simple tune on piano ("Color my World" by Chicago was one within my limited grasp), and even bought a ukulele on a couple of occasions (I figured that even my adult stubby fingers could manage that tiny instrument). I bought my dad a banjo after he retired about 20 years ago, as he said he always wanted to learn, but he never touched it after the first day. When he passed away a couple of years ago, we found it stuck in the corner behind the bedroom door. That was a little heartbreaking.


I bought a cheap bass and amp about ten years ago, and actually had a lot of fun with it, playing along with the oldies station, and occasionally with friends. Over the last few years, I went through a phase of impulsively buying numerous instruments: a violin, trumpet, clarinet, flute, keyboard, ridiculously cheap (crappy) acoustic guitar and drum set. The last three are gathering dust in my basement, and I quickly gave up and sold the others. I had big dreams of learning instruments, but fear and apathy held me back from actually investing the time. I got discouraged and/or bored quickly, and had a lot of wasted money and frustrated self-disappointment.


Then, a month ago, I was cruising Amazon, and a guitar & amp combo popped up. Dare I? No, resist the urge; you'll just give up quickly as always. It will be another impulsive waste of money that you can't really afford right now.


Despite my sensible and practical side's caveat, I went for it, and a week later, it arrived. I was so excited, I unboxed it and immediately realized I still had no idea how to play. This time, however, I went to youtube and started watching "beginner guitar lesson videos" (there are one or two of them, it turns out).


I watched videos from "The Art of Guitar," "Marty Music," "JustinGuitar," Rick Beato and others. From these videos, I learned:


1) everybody stinks at first; don't be discouraged


2) you have to practice every single day


3) the F chord is impossible


That was March 31 of this year. So after two-and-a-half weeks, practicing at least a few minutes a day (I missed only one day, because my mom was in the hospital), I've managed to learn a few chords. I joined Guitar Tricks after seeing their ad on YouTube, so we'll see how it goes. But the bottom line is, I've accomplished a great deal more by actually making an effort and applying myself in the past three weeks than in the previous 50 years. I feel pretty good about it.


Well, that's my story so far. I am eager to learn and grow, and am very happy that I am, at long last, learning to play this beautiful instrument. Thank you for indulging me in this rambling novel.


# 1
Guitar Tricks Admin
Full Access
Joined: 09/28/05
Posts: 3,479
Guitar Tricks Admin
Full Access
Joined: 09/28/05
Posts: 3,479
04/12/2023 11:07 pm

Thank you for choosing us to help you continue in your journey. It's great to hear that you have made progress in such a short time, no doubt your past experience certainly helped. 


If you ever have any questions, please feel free to reach out to an instructor on the forum, they are a great resource if you ever get stuck. 


Keep enjoying the journey you are on, rock on! 


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.
# 2
William MG
Full Access
Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,636
William MG
Full Access
Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,636
04/13/2023 12:47 am

Not sure of your exact age, sounds like you are close to me, I just turned 60. I didn't learn to play the guitar I purchased at 17 until I was 56. I finally decided I was going to learn to play 1 song. That would be a major accomplishment. 


Things have progressed since then, but it all starts with a goal. It can be as simple as learning a song. 


This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 3
LisaMcC
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 3,966
LisaMcC
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 3,966
04/13/2023 2:36 pm

I love this story!


When I first started learning guitar, I thought the F-chord was some kind of evil plot, lol. 


So glad you are with us, with your guitar, and getting into making some music!


Welcome! -Lisa


Lisa McCormick, GT Instructor
Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Blues

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# 4

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