Playing any instrument will make you sharper and more attractive to others.
When I was a young teenager I fell in love with the guitar. It was it’s symmetric shape at first that drew me closer. The guitar has a wonderful shape and size. It felt great in the hands and the woods used in it’s construction where warm and always smelled of roses. It was around this time that I first heard it played by a master and another miracle was revealed, the guitar could produce more than one melody at a time. In musical language this is called polyphony, many voices. It was a very important discovery for me because I knew at that point in time that I would try to make a life with the guitar.
There is a particular quality to the sound of a plucked string. In listening to recordings I was struck by the very human quality of the tones. The strings sounded like voices from a choir. Tone, the color of the sound, is a quality of the guitar that keeps me listening and practicing. I have continued to work for 30 years to produce my best sound. I have to practice every day to hear what a great sound could feel like.
There is another attractive feature of the guitar, it’s mobility. I could take my guitar anywhere. I put it in it’s case and took it with me so that I never had to worry about being apart from It. This was so important for me because I moved a lot when I was young and I grew up in a boarding school where my guitar was a very needed and familiar friend. The guitar gave me an opportunity to build a landscape of sound that I could visit every time I picked it up. A world of music, pieces of art from as far back as 600 years. This was a very important connection I had with practice and the masters of the guitar’s history.
The guitar is an instrument that fits me particularly well because it is a very individualistic instrument. An instrument that can be played in many different ways and reveals the personality of the person playing it. The fact that the music is created with hands on the strings makes this possible. There is nothing in between the hands and and the music.
Finally, there is the love of music itself. An instrument is only a means to enter the world of music. It is music itself that has kept me working to get better as a player. Music gave me something to concentrate on when I could not concentrate. It gave me a purpose when I felt none. Music gave me hope for the future when I felt I was going nowhere. The work of the guitar taught me what can be achieved with daily practice. There was no other subject that did this for me while I was growing up. Even today the guitar still challenges me to no end. I still have to work hard to create and the next level of skill is always in the future after daily work.