Monday, January 28, 2008

Guitar Talk

This past weekend we went to hear some friends play at Java and Jams Coffee Shop in Birmingham, and while we waited for the music to start, a security guard who had stopped by for a cup of Joe before heading home, asked Jilda and me what we did.
While I sipped on my Mocha Latte, I explained that I was a computer guy during the day but that our "real calling" was songwriting and pickin' guitars. He said, "I'd give anything to learn to play a guitar, but I'm too old now." He was my age. I told him the story about our friend Randy who learned to play the guitar "late in life."
The thing is this, I explained, "if you want to learn to play badly enough, and you are willing to invest the time, you can learn to play." He looked at me as if he thought I was trying to sell him a used Toyota Tercel. It's a matter of focus and determination. While it is true that getting good enough to perform at Carnage Hall might be a stretch (though not totally out of the question), getting good enough to entertain your friends at parties is very doable.
I've heard so many people say "I don't have any talent," or "my fingers are too short," or a hundred other excuses. But the fact of the matter is, if you make up your mind you want to play and are willing to practice about 30 minutes a day for the rest of your life, you can play the guitar.
I'm not sure I convinced the security guard, but at least I gave him some food for thought and hopefully removed some barriers that might keep him for trying.

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