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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Rediscovering my Guitar, and also Quitting Smoking

Current mood: contemplative

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Whooa. I feel kind of out of the loop; I discovered about 10 minutes ago that UG now has a blog feature. Yeah. 10 minutes ago. Which brings me to an honest confession to open up this first post of mine: I haven't really spent any time on UG since just after I got out of high school several years ago. And, perhaps more importantly (and tragically) I haven't really played guitar seriously since about a year after that. 

I know, ridiculous, right?

It all started when a buddy of mine snapped a string on my guitar, and offered to make it up to me by buying a whole new set of strings AND re-stringing it for me, which I heartily agreed to, given that I rock an Ibanez RG series which is a total BITCH to string sometimes. (The first time I ever attempted it, I ended up having to go into the back of the guitar and mess with the springs.) ANYWAY. To make a long story short, he made good on his promise, but under the influence of a lot of alcohol, and somehow lost a rather obscure part of my guitar: a string holder block, which NO music shop in the world (or at least my city) seems to have in stock. And, instead of tracking down the part online like a normal guitarist, I gave up far too quickly and allowed my rather tumultuous life to slowly take over and phase out my desire to play. 

I do, of course, have another guitar. The problem is that it's a wee little acoustic I've had since I was about 12, seemingly impossible to string (and therefore has been sporting the same frayed vinyl strings for probably half a decade now) and sounds pretty terrible. Thus, no attempt to play on my part for a really long time. 

Unsurprisingly, I've pretty much forgotten everything I once knew in terms of songs, theory, and ability. Not that I was ever a stellar player: I was just starting to get decent when tragedy struck, and now I'm back at square one. 

Cue heavy sigh.

I am not looking for any sympathy here; obviously if I had at the time had a strong enough will to become a better player, I would have taken care of business and kept on keeping on, so to speak. I am simply sharing my story here. 

Speaking of which, this is where it gets better. Ish.

So, out of nowhere, last week I picked up that wee little acoustic and started messing around with it. I found myself frustrated by my lack of ability and by the fact that I honestly couldn't remember any of the songs that once belonged to my little repertoire. But I kept noodling around anyway, and put it down a while later. The next day, again with little premeditation, I did the same thing. A week later, I've somehow fallen into the habit of picking up my guitar every day--just like old times  -- with no effort on my part.

So, huzzah, it would appear that I'm finally ready to pick up where I left off, and make an honest attempt to start playing and maybe even writing/recording songs. I've even managed to track down that obscure lost part for my Ibanez (and plan to go on a journey to find it in the near future). 

What's really badass is the fact that this has come at a time in my life where I am desperately struggling to quit smoking and in serious need of a distraction (or two, or three...) to keep my mind off of the insane urge to break all my furniture. So I'm thinking that between my rediscovery of playing guitar (and drawing--been doing that too, for the first time in a long while) I might stand a chance of replacing this gnarly-ass addiction with something productive. And maybe I'll blog this shit out in here, where I won't have nosy relatives poking around to evaluate my progress (*cough*Facebook*cough*) on the nicotine-free front. 

Moral of the story? Guitar=good. Smoking=bad. Perhaps Guitar+Willpower=Quitting?
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