What came first: the chicken-pickin’ or the egg-head who bought a guitar on a whim?


Thoughts

Everybody has a story behind their desire to pick a guitar for the first time and start the long, rewarding learning process. What is so magical about the guitar? What’s so appealing? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can certainly tell you my story.

I picked up guitar because the creative process can happen impulsively.

From a very young age, I was an artist. Well, not quite. Calling myself an “artist” would be an insult to actual artists. To put a finer point on it, I could draw. But to everyone else around me I was an artist. And early on, I thought I was an artist too.

In high school, I took every art class the school had to offer. I went to Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, so believe me there were a lot of art classes.

Through high school, I slowly started to realize how mundane my “art” was. Sure, I could draw. But there are only so many fruit arrangements one can accurately render. I never really hit my creative stride because I really didn’t have anything profound to say other than “Hey, look. I can draw pretty good and stuff.” And yeah, as a teenager, every sentence ended with “…and stuff,” like “I’m pickin’ my nose and stuff,” or “I like cool stuff and stuff,” but I digress…

I was, and still am, an impulsive person. If I did have something to say, taking three weeks to render the message with charcoal pencils wasn’t cutting it for me.

It became clear in my senior year that I wasn’t going to pursue art in college so I went to University of Maryland with empty expectations. I continued to draw occasionally in my free time, but I really wasn’t into it. Left with a creative void, I bought a guitar in the summer of 1998 on a whim.

Immediately, I fell in love with it. So different than creating with pencil and paper, which takes hours to form a coherent image, playing music takes mere moments. Instantly satisfying, guitar was exactly what I needed. I could be creative impulsively.

For that reason, guitar will always be the brush I use to paint my pictures.

Now that I’ve shared, I’d like you to share too. Why do you play guitar?

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