Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My New Obsession

Meet my new obsession. I'm not sure what to call him yet. I'm leaning towards Jonsi, after the lead singer/guitarist for Sigur Ros. Mostly because he makes beautiful sounds that make me happy. Well...both of them do.

This past year I decided that I want to learn an instrument. I learned the saxophone when I was in grade school but I hated it. I tried the piano at 12 but when I realized I wasn't going to be the next Chopin, I gave up. Neither instrument was practiced enough. This time I knew I wanted to take my time and learn to play slowly, by practicing consistently. The guitar seemed perfect. My father has played guitar the entire time I've been alive. He started taking lessons shortly before I was born when he was 33. Now at 37 I've decided it's my turn.

When Jeff and I came home from St. Louis after Thanksgiving, I went over and my dad taught me the very basics. I learned how to hold the instrument, how to strum with the pick, how to read TAB, and three basic chords. He sent me home with a lovely guitar, an instruction book, an electronic tuner, and some picks. He also sent me home with the directive to practice. And I've been taking him seriously.

I play every night. At first I could only practice for about ten minutes before my fingers hurt so much I had to stop. I'm learning with nylon strings thankfully (Thanks Dad!) but it still hurt for the first week or so. This week I can play for 40 minutes or more a night. I've developed the calluses I need on my fingers. I'm learning my chords. I'm taking my time with this. And I'm practicing hard and I'm not getting frustrated. Suddenly I'm looking at my favorite songs and wondering what key they are in. I'm excited to practice, even if it's just playing with some finger picking.

But the big thing for me is that I'm learning. I didn't think I could learn an instrument. I had told myself that I just wasn't musically inclined. It feels good to have the discipline to practice everyday and the ability to learn. My chord transitions are smoother today than they were two days ago. I feel good to be taking my time. It may take me years to learn the guitar but I'm okay with the slow pace. It feels good to learn and to try.

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