Strumming my new guitar

I love music. I love listening to all genres of music. I sing all the time (apologies to people around me!). I was in choir from 5th-12th grades, even getting the courage to audition (and get a spot) for our high school’s honor choir. The one thing missing from my musical love is the ability to play an instrument. I tried the violin in middle school but we had to choose choir or band/orchestra so I picked choir. I’ve always regretted not learning an instrument. And then realized, duh, I’m still a young, able-bodied person. So, as part of my Best.Year.Yet., I put ‘learn to play instrument’ on my list. It came down to piano or guitar (I know I can learn both but let’s tackle one thing at a time). And I bought…. a guitar this week!

I’m pretty geeked about this guitar (and using the phrase ‘pretty geeked’ makes me sound like a geek, but that’s okay, you get my point). After a lot of input from a musical friend, research (because that’s what journalism majors do) and help from some guys at the local guitar store, I purchased a Fender acoustic-electric guitar. The sleek, light instrument fits me well, and even though the sounds coming from my playing aren’t quite yet fabulous, it ultimately will make great music with me.

I was admittedly a bit nervous walking into the music store. A lot of guitars and other instruments greeted me (I might have been distracted by bongos and drums for a few minutes). I had no idea where to begin in searching for the right guitar, how I would know which one fit the best, etc. But as with most in life, these were silly nerves. A friendly and very knowledgeable guy asked me lots of questions about my goals/interests, shared lots of knowledge and guided me through the process. He showed me several acoustic guitars, demonstrating the various sizes, strings and a host of other stuff that I honestly forgot as soon as he moved to another point (yes, this was reminiscent of shopping for my road bike). When I finally held the Fender I ultimately purchased, it felt good. Right. Then I strummed the strings and played for a bit. He left the acoustic room (the acoustic guitars are kept in a humidity-controlled room to protect the guitars’ wood) to check on some things for me, leaving me alone to practice with the guitar. When I realized that a huge smile was on my face, I knew I’d found my guitar.

I appreciated the guy gave me the low down on various accessories I may need, being honest about which I should purchase soon, and which I may want in the future. My next step was to register for lessons so I can understand the guitar better and get comfortable learning songs. My first lesson is next week!

I’ve been practicing and strumming quite a bit since I brought my guitar home. I’m a long way from The Allman Brothers’ Little Martha, heck, I’m a long way from any recognizable song, but I keep smiling when I hold the guitar and play my own tunes (my 6-year-old niece says I’m fantastic so I already have a fan). You all know I’m a big fan of doing what makes you happy.

I’ve wanted to learn an instrument for SO many years. I don’t know why I waited this long….maybe, as with most things in life, the timing needed to be right for me to fully embrace the opportunity. Whatever the reason, I’m happy and proud I made the decision to bring more music into my life. Music simply makes me happy. Doesn’t it you?

Do you play an instrument? Do you have any tips or resources for playing the guitar?

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