As I See 8-13
Monday, July 20, 2009

By Melik

It seemed like classic rock received a massive jump start because of a video game that has people going nuts playing the air guitar to an intense physical level. I was prodded to give it a whirl but never felt compelled to. I thought if I were going to stroke an ax maybe I would be better served if I took the hit and tried my hand at the real thing. Besides, I am not a fan of video games to begin with so it was not a stretch for me not to have a desire to get in on the craze.
So there I was with a check in my hand from someone that had borrowed some money from me. It had been a long time since I had loaned the person the money so I figured I might not see it return, however, there I was with an unexpected cash windfall. Okay it was not a huge sum but enough to get me thinking maybe I should go directly to a place that knows guitars. I asked around and found someone that was very knowledgeable about guitars. Lansing has an extremely well known store that specializes in the sale of guitars and guitar equipment. If you want to go somewhere that is all things guitar, and more, Elderly Instruments near Old Town is definitely the place to go. So I met my guitar guru, David Shier, at the Ax Mecca. I will save you some details but after an hour lesson about parts of a guitar, different quality guitars, styles, makes, models, and prices from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars my mind was mush. However there was one guitar in particular that I was drawn to. Usually when I make a major purchase I make myself sleep on it for at least one night. Sitting there holding this guitar in my hand had me mesmerized. It felt as if I bought this beautiful combination of wood, metal, and lacquer that I would somehow have a ticket for a musical journey that I has been a constant longing during my life. Although I have played the trumpet and the piano in my youth the thought of ripping through a majestic riff filled me with exhilarating excitement. Thoughts of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Frampton, Jimmy Page, Chuck Berry, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Slash raced through my mind. By the way, did you know Slash’s mother is black?
In my hand was a Fender electric / acoustic. I thought to myself if I were going to buy this luxury item this would probably be the most practical. I could play it alone or with amplification. It seemed to have solid hardware. It also had an electronic tuner and a three band equalizer. This was definitely a guitar that I felt I could grow with. The guitar is simple yet with a beautiful womanly design. I will tell you what won me over though. It was the fact that it was all black save for the maple neck. It seemed perfect and I knew she was the one.
Four months of plucking, strumming and taking lessons I have given me a new respect for anyone that can play the guitar well. It amazes me that anyone can play and sing at the same time. That is a whole lot of stuff going on with your right hand doing one thing, the left hand doing another, whilst keeping rhythm and singing. My mind is going to take a lot of training to figure all that out. I found a teacher, Rob McCloy that teaches a finger-style way of playing the strings. That means he can play a melody and bass line simultaneously. It makes the sound of what is being played sound fuller than playing chords. It is a colorful way to play. It is a very difficult way to play. I am accepting the challenge. I have pulled off 12 bars of basic blues riffs and memorized them. Now that I am getting more comfortable with the six strings hopefully soon I will be able to incorporate some singing. Soon I will be a living room rock star. I am excited but for now it will be my private concert for me. I would not expect to see me doing musical concerts anytime soon. I will have to keep my day job.

~Melik melik_2001 @


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