Thursday, January 12, 2017


I was slothful over the holidays, barely picking up my guitar. Normally, I play a little every day, but after my oral surgery I guess I felt that with tender gums, I had a "Do Not Practice, Do Not Feel Guilty Card." But I didn't. When I didn't practice, I felt guilty.

After the first of the year when I picked up the guitar, my hand felt weak and my fingers couldn't find the notes. I shook my head and plowed on toward the refrain. By the time I'd played 30 minutes, the tips of my fingers throbbed. It's a temporary condition remedied by playing until they are numb. After a few hours of torture, the callouses harden which makes playing chords painless.

It's easy to let things go. Inertia is a formidable force. It sets in like rust on an old plough. One day it's shiny from use, and the next time you use the implement, the surface is pitted with rust. An old rusty plough can be beautiful in photographs, but over time, rust will consume it. Fortunately, once it's pressed back into service, the earth shines the surface like a polishing cloth.

Inertia is not our friend. Rest is good from time to time, but it's not wise to rest too much. Fortunately, after a few hours of practice, my fingers are tender but nimble again.

We're performing at a local coffee house at the end of the month and it will be good to get back in the saddle. And that's all I'm going to say about that, as Forrest Gump might say.

Our old garden disc


  1. Sometimes when I miss a day of practice I think I play a little better, like a day off is good, but longer...we have a trip to Alaska this spring and I'm afraid I'll lose my callouses.

    1. You should treat yourself to a travel guitar that you can pack in your luggage. It's really just a neck that you can use to practice.

  2. I like the picture if the disk. I used to think Grandpa's was so pretty when it was all shiny.

  3. I can play an air guitar pretty good.

  4. Moderation in all things - particularly in rest.

  5. The old saying goes like this: Use it or loose it. I think there's some truth to it. I hope you're not suspicious as this is Friday the 13th.
    Hugs, Julia

  6. I agree with Julia's comment If you don't use it you'll lose it! I have learned that lesson well.

  7. I don't think people realize that musicians must practice and prepare for performances. Nothing happens without effort.

  8. I never thought about it that way ...

  9. Anonymous3:02 PM

    If necessary, I know you'll play through the pain!!

  10. Yep, you have written one of those Truisms. HoweverI was discussing sore finger tips with my musically TALEnted grandson and he said, "Grandpa your $5 guitar has strings 1/2 inch above the frets. You better get a $20 one." He let me see the one we bought him (some super duper one). The frets about an 1/8 inch. I know you guys who play, know the tricks of the trade. LOL I do Like the old disc!

  11. I read a book series that was written for young adults but is was a very interesting, futuristic look at society. Folks our age were called "The Rusties"....I feel like that rusty farm tool some days! For me it's sitting too long. I'm so used to standing and running around at work that when I do sit down it takes me awhile to move when I stand up! Pathetic! Good luck with your gig, I'm sure you will be great!

  12. I wish at times I could play some kind of musical instrument but sadly I don't


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