Sunday, November 15, 2009


I used to play my guitar constantly. It was to the point where I’d bring it to work with me and play during my lunch hour. I played when I got home from work. I played in the morning before I left for work. I lived in an apartment and my neighbors on the other side of the walls must’ve hated me.

I used to play open mic nights religiously, and that habit was what led to meeting my husband.

Then life got in the way. I got into other things like boat restoration, writing a book, diving, living with a boyfriend who eventually became a fiancé, then eventually became a husband.

Every so often I hear music that inspires me. When I get home I pull the guitar out and strum a few chords and grimace at the pain in the tips of my fingers on my left hand. The thick callouses I had developed had worn away to reveal softer skin underneath.

Then I went to see Willy Porter last weekend, and I am inspired. But I teeter between being inspired to smash my guitar into a wall, or to quit my job and play constantly and get really good. I need to find some middle ground.

On Tuesday Todd came home from work and saw my Gibson Epiphone acoustic draped across the couch and said “I was wondering when that would come out.” Then he noticed my laptop was open to a guitar tablature site and said “Let me guess, you’re trying to learn a Willy Porter song.”

“No” I replied indignantly. “Willy Porter songs are way too good and too intimidating. I learned a few Matt Nathanson songs instead.”

“I can see the fan mail now,” he joked. “Dear Matt Nathanson, I love you. You’re like a dumbed down Willy Porter.

Last night Todd restrung one of our acoustics for me. It looks like I am on my way to becoming a hobby guitar player again.

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Anonymous Taoist Biker said...

After I played "Little Martha" at the request of the volunteer we were honoring a couple of weeks ago, I've been slacking. Hard. Even though I'm radically busy and therefore have good reasons not to devote at least half an hour to it, I am somewhat ashamed of myself.

November 16, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

TB, it's amazing how those little half hours add up. Like, a half hour playing, a half hour working on the book, a half hour doing stuff around the house, a half hour to cook dinner, a half hour to eat dinner.

That's nearly 3 hours right there.

Maybe I need to devote an entire evening to guitar, then another entire evening to the book, then another entire evening to doing stuff around the house. Might be more efficient.

November 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you!

I find the entire-evening approach works better and leaves me less panicky, but that's me and might not be true for everybody.

November 16, 2009 at 9:03 PM  

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