Thanks to a Christmas gift, my fingers have been hurting lately.
The new year brought new calluses.
You see, for quite some time now I've wanted to learn to play a musical instrument. At first I was interested in learning to play saxophone.
For years I had listed a saxophone on my wish list for my birthday and Christmas. In recent years I mentioned to my other half, Rebecca Ricks, a guitar as a possible alternative.
This past Christmas Rebecca gave me a new guitar as my main gift. I was literally almost afraid to pick it up, it was that pretty.
It's a black acoustic guitar. Becca had it sitting on a guitar stand. She had enlisted the help of a musician friend to pick out a good beginner’s guitar. (Thanks again, Sean T.!)
When I first received the guitar I naturally had to strum it. Along with the guitar and stand, Rebecca had bought me a 12-pack of assorted guitar picks. I immediately chose a favorite, though I had no professional criteria for the selection. It was blue. That was my criteria.
Since that first night I've downloaded an app to tune the guitar and learn chords, and I've practiced on a fairly regular basis, about an hour most days. I've referred to the ever-helpful YouTube.com to watch training videos. In fact, I learned a two-chord song rather quickly. But then it was, after all, only two chords.
That didn’t preclude me from performing it for Rebecca, who, like a proud partner, sat through the awkward presentation filled with clumsy chord changes and tentative tempos. She’s my number one fan.
The thing is playing music is not completely new to me.
During elementary, junior and high schools I played clarinet in concert and marching bands. Unfortunately, that was the limit of my experience as a musician of any type. On the other hand, I think there is something about artistic types which often lures them across boundaries of their primary focus. Painters might feel compelled to produce creative writing, musicians might find themselves taking to the easel, and writers might begin strumming a guitar.
Truth be told, I’ve always enjoyed music, and throughout the years have both written works formatted as lyrics or had original songs spontaneously spring up in my mind. There’s nothing like going about your day when a random original tune quickly forms in your head and becomes an earworm.
In most cases, I’ve had to let those random songs just fade away. I had more than enough to deal with in my life without cataloguing a lot of music I could do nothing about.
But maybe that will change now, as I embark on my musical journey. Or maybe it won’t change much of anything.
All I know is I’ve been ready to try this for some time. And despite sore fingers, I’ve been enjoying the experience.
Just how far I take this is literally at my fingertips.