Just when I was ready to throw in the towel and leave this blog untouched for the rest of the week, Across the Bored posted a challenge I could easily fulfill. This week’s topic selected for Two Cents Tuesday is Toys. Even though daylight stretches on a bit longer these days, I seem to have less time for certain endeavors (such as writing and blogging) as I’ve rediscovered a favorite toy of mine from my high school years.
I received this back in 1997. My grandfather bought it for $30 from a buddy of his that used to play it in a mariachi band. Even though the rosette around the sound hole was already chipping away and the case had seen better days, I was so ecstatic to own a guitar. I signed up for 2 semesters of guitar class my senior year of high school and happily strummed along as my guitar instructor taught us chords for tunes from the 50’s and 60’s, from groups such as the Beatles, Doors, Beach Boys and Kingston Trio to name a few.
My grandfather lived long enough to see me learn these songs. To celebrate our year of learning guitar, my guitar instructor held a guitar concert on Cinco de Mayo. The entire guitar class stood on stage and played many of the songs we’d perfected in class for all our friends and family in attendance. I’ll never forget how my grandfather stood proudly as we took our bow and clapped as loud as he could.
After high school, life happened. Faced with adulthood and the reality of juggling work and school, many hobbies I enjoyed as a teen took a backseat. About two months ago, I looked over at this guitar sitting in the back of my closet and wondered why in the world I am just letting this thing collect dust.
I dug out my old guitar instruction books and have been sitting down each evening working through lessons as well as practicing some of the songs I already knew from high school. I never felt disciplined enough to really sit and work through all the lessons in the books when I was younger.
Revisiting this years later, I find that I’m comprehending the information much easier these days. I also feel my coordination and dexterity has improved compared to my teenage years.
I know this because suddenly I’ve become picky about, well, picks. I’ve moved beyond mere chords to single note playing, riffs and 12 bar blues progressions. Picks can’t magically make one’s playing sound better, but the right pick can make the musical journey that much more enjoyable for the player.
The clear pick sitting in the pick holder is satisfactory, but I definitely prefer the stiffness of the Dunlop Tortex picks (the green picks pictured lower right). However, I just discovered the rough grip of the Dunlop Max Grip Jazz III Carbon Fiber picks (pictured below left). Though smaller, the grip is steady and I’ve yet to accidentally drop it in the guitar. This pick could very well rival the Dunlop Tortex as my favorite pick.
Well, what else can I say? These are the toys I rush home to play with these days.