Friday, February 29, 2008

My New Guitar

I’ve been reading Ed Cray’s Ramblin’ Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie the past couple of days. Somewhere in the house is another Woody biography that I read a few years back when I “discovered” Arlo. Having neurological problems that cause psychiatric problems and problems with fine motor skills, I’m drawn to his plight. His time and place on this earth didn’t help any. It’s a good read. I may finally read The Grapes of Wrath, which I was supposed to read in high school. Instead, I got my mom, who was then the bookkeeper at my high school (mortifying, but it had its perks) to get me the Cliff’s Notes, and I copied them in the teachers’ lounge for everyone in my class. Fortunately, we were a special GT class, so I only needed seven copies.

Yesterday, I was seized by an insane desire – no, desperation – to buy a twelve-string guitar, having seen Arlo, read about Woody, playing around on my other guitars (classical, acoustic, electric and now twelve-string). I will be paying for this whim for the next four months or so. Ah, well. There are worse things to throw money at. And I’m working on building up calluses. So far all I’ve got are near-blisters. The problem is that the only lessons I had were in classical guitar, but that’s not what I want to play. I want to play folk music. So what I know now is how to read music and play it on the guitar. Unfortunately, most folk music is written in tablature or chords, which I have yet to learn. I understand the concept; it’s just that I can’t understand why tablature was necessary when we already had a perfectly good musical notation system in place. So I guess I’ll be keeping myself motivated. Oh, I’m left-handed, too.

I’ll be off of the Guthries and onto something else soon enough, in case you’re sick of it. I get hell-bent on something and then get distracted by something else. Wonder why I haven’t achieved what I’d hoped to in life?

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