Happy Birthday – My Guitar

I haven’t written for a while, possibly because I’m just completely drained and utterly fed up with life at the moment, but I will make an exception for a recent notable event.

Two days ago my guitar became 10 years old. 10 years that have rattled by in the blink of an eye. I wouldn’t normally celebrate the anniversary of an inanimate object, but this particular one has some significance to me.

It was my first ever high quality musical instrument. The previous guitar I had was just something cheap from Argos, picked especially because I just wanted something to learn on. My shiny new one, in 2002, cost me about £250… and has brought many years of enjoyment.

I am glad that I bothered, because it gave me a proper hobby for a change. Up until that point, when people asked about my hobbies, they invariably involved computers. A dull, dreary thing. Of course, now everyone is using computers, that one is no longer seen as unusual, but the guitar was away from the computer world, and it finally allowed me to pursue the interest I’d had in music for my whole life, but never had the ability or the knowledge to do anything about it.

The guitar got me to the USA. In 2005, as chronicled on this blog, I visited a summer camp in Colorado with this very instrument. It enabled me to entertain, and probably irritate, a number of people for nearly three months. If I’d not taken up music to that level, I would never have got the job I did – which was all about entertainment – and consequently probably not actually went to America, where I had the best time of my life, and continue to regret to this day that I never repeated it.

But what it hasn’t brought me is any kind of development from there. I often toyed with the idea of being in a band, and made several attempts, all of which failed. I wrote my own music, 95% of which is trash, and the rest is good, but probably only to me. I always thought if only I could turn my attention to it and get the right breaks I might have some sort of sideline, at least, in the music world. It didn’t happen, primarily because I just don’t have the talent. Now I can only sit and enjoy, though quietly enviously, the likes of Ed Sheeran.

I still don’t play anywhere near as well as I’d like to. After 10 years, I thought I might be a bit better than I actually am, but unfortunately time and, dare I say it, a lack of inclination in recent years, has put paid to any further improvements. I look back at my youngest brother, who is learning and doing really well, and see myself in his situation. It’s all so much easier when you have more time and don’t feel guilty about using it. When you’re grown up and boring like me, you can get into the horrible mindset of thinking “I could be doing something more productive than this”. I’m getting better at unlearning that, but being self-employed I think I am in a different situation to the majority of people…

But through all that time my guitar has been a constant. In my bedroom, sitting right beside me, ready to rock at a moment’s notice. The tunes that guitar could play if only it were in the right hands. But it has to put up with my mediocre strumming, and increasingly crap efforts at singing.

To celebrate, I’ll play a Bb major chord. Maybe my favourite. Sad, I know.

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