When I was a kid, my life had its own sound track. There were tunes that played in my head (and in my 8-track) that reflected and affected my state of mind and it didn’t matter whether I was alone or in a crowd, I’d sing along. I sounded great singing along. So good in fact that I developed a notion that it would be cool to learn how to accompany myself on a guitar. One truism in the world; Chicks did the guitar player. Go solo, so to speak. The idea of making my own music appealed to me and how hard could it be?
I know, you’re way ahead of me. Yes it was always very hard for me, so hard that I gave it up after about five years of trying. Maybe it came much easier to George Harrison, Eric Clapton or Peewee Adcock. I felt like it was just getting worse for me, to the point that where I once sang out loud anywhere I happened to be, now I’d lock myself away when playing. I learned just enough to know it’s very hard and that I’m more or less tone-deaf and (surprise) I don’t sing all that well afterall. Then after a little accident with my hand, I quit playing cold turkey.
Leaping forward 20 years and my exposure to the campfire crowd of ITSA. The music there was infectious and I soon found myself singing out loud again. It got back in my head, so I bought a couple guitars to go with the old flattop I’d had from before and gave it another shot. Let me tell you something, I don't play or sing well anytime and not hardly at all if anyone is around. When forced to by circumstance and peer pressure, I play very tentively and sing as weak as possible. Most everyone is supportive and I don’t want to let anyone down, so I keep at it (mostly).
I practice and practice and it mostly sounds bad. If alone, I can actually open up a little and that helps. Sometimes I stubble onto an arrangement for a song I like, only to have it die like the dog it is when I play it. It’s a lot like my golf game. I play that poorly as well. I’ve tried to buy a golf game with countless new clubs. and it’s still no good. Shank em right, hook em left, top the ball and watch it dribble off the front of the Tee Box.
But you know how you’re up on the tee and no one seems to be watching and you suddenly turn into Tiger and smack it clean and long, right down the middle? The club feels like you just barely touched the tee and struck the ball dead on its sweet, soft spot, which resulted in one of those long, tall, slow motion drives that change your whole day and keep you coming back to play because it convinces you that there’s a golfer in there somewhere, after all.
Tonight with the house asleep, I sneaked into the next room with my guitar and I began playing my regular smelly junk. GOOD GRIEF. Then I turn to an old gem and I play it real slow (because it has an F in it and that’s slow or no go for me) and playing it seemed to work a little. It was in my range to sing along and for just that one song, it lifted straight and true and drove right down the middle. It’s them that keep me coming back to the music. Just don't ask me to play it for you.....
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you