Guitar Week

So apparently no one really cared to submit a theme of the week. You know what? That's fine with me. I can run this ship all by myself. I've been doing it for months already, so don't worry about me. You'll just keep on getting what I give ya.

I've deemed this guitar week. This month marks the 12th year that I've been playing the guitar, so I thought I'd pay homage to the anniversary by talking about my guitar experience. Today I'll fill you in on how I got started playing.

I played the violin, thanks to Oak Hills music program, for ten years [from third grade till I graduated high school]. I was pretty good at it for not having taken private lessons, but I knew I didn't want to play it forever. You can't really sing along with the violin, plus it was never the kind of instrument that got you chicks. Since I was used to playing a stringed instrument, jumping to the guitar was pretty natural.

When I was seventeen, I borrowed a guitar from a friend along with a chart of chords and kept teaching myself stuff. It was definitely a slow process at first, and a painful experience for my family who had to listen to me learn; you really learn how much people love you when you're learning to play the guitar. That Christmas I received my very first guitar- a cheap Yamaha beginners model. It wasn't anything special but it had a darker finish that gave it a unique look. A year later I knew 7 chords and was still learning how to strum.

Then I started college, where a few people in the dorms who played taught me a few more tricks. I got a lot better during my freshman year, but sorta rested on my laurels and stopped learning. I began to lead a little worship here and there, but still wasn't very good. After graduating I began a youth ministry and it became imperative that I start playing more in order to lead worship. It was then that my playing took off. The calluses on my fingertips became permanent, I taught myself to finger pick [even though I still only use three fingers to do so] and learned a little bit about music theory. In the past seven years my playing has accelerated to the point that I lead worship on a consist basis for our Focus service. I'll be the first to admit they I'm not really that good, but I know enough now to fake it.

I can't believe I've been playing this long. I'm so glad I taught myself to play. It's therapeutic, when you're having a bad day, to pick up the guitar, strum hard, and musically beat the crap out of it. If you've ever had the desire, I'd encourage you to get a an old guitar, surf the web for a chord fingering chart and have a go at it. I swear, it's not that complicated. And if you give it a few years, you can be better than you think.