I believe that my guitar is the biggest influence in my life. It all started when I was 9 years old. My elementary school had a program where students could choose an instrument and get lessons from the local band director. I decided I wanted to play something but didn’t know what I wanted to play. So I experimented. I started out playing drums but didn’t like that because I couldn’t play any melodies. Next I moved to trumpet, and even though I liked it better, it still wasn’t what I wanted. I stuck with it, but I started teaching myself a little bit of piano at home. I enjoyed that because I could actually play songs I heard on the radio. Then came that fateful day when I met the instrument that I would play for years to come.
I remember it well. I was at my grandfather’s camp and was going to go hunting with him. My cousin was there as well, and had an old acoustic guitar with him. He was teaching himself to play. I asked if I could try and immediately fell in love. I went home that day and asked my mom if I could take lessons. She of course said yes and we borrowed her friend’s old acoustic. I took lessons at the local music store and immediately started playing everyday.
Over the years, I’ve been through good times and bad, played in bands, had loves, lost loves, had my house burn down, rebuilt from the ground up, met new people, lost people, and countless other joys and tragedies. The only constant things I’ve had have been my family, my music, and my guitar. It has come to embody the way I look at life.
I have a friend who I joke with about the possibility of me being a rock star. We laugh and joke about it back and forth, but in actuality, that is what I want more than anything in the world. Call me jaded, call me a dreamer, call me whatever you want. But can you imagine, waking up everyday, knowing that you get to go out and do what you want to do and have fun doing? Can you imagine having the power to help people in a way that nothing else can? By playing music in front of people, there is the possibility, and often the reality, that it is making at least one person’s day just a little bit better. I’d love to do that and would love to have the kind of influence over people. Music can change views, change moods, and change lives. It has certainly changed mine.
I leave you with a quote from Joan Jett.
“My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am.”
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