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Why do you play guitar?


Compact Diss

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After practicing tonight I was wondering why the hell am I doing this?

 

I first took up guitar in elementary school, took lessons for probably six months and dropped out. EVH was my guitar God.

 

Never picked the guitar up again until two-three years ago. Just about 20 years difference by now.

 

Why are you guys playing?

 

I guess if I was in a band and had a regular jam session or gig then it would all make sense but right now it's just me sitting around this room and playing the same shit over and over.

 

I can't help but think I might be sitting around wasting my life away. I spend the proper time with my kids and wife, I know they have my 100% attention, but when it's time for me-I'm either online or sitting in front of my amp.

 

It makes me wonder if this might not be the best thing to be doing all the time. I just hope when that time comes I don't lay there and say....I wish I did this or I wish I did that...

 

Whatever.

 

Why do you play the guitar? What is your motivation, why do you spend all your time doing this?

 

I can answer that I love music--it is a lifelong obsession, that does not mean I am able to make music. You can love something (Monet, Michale Parks)but never be able to reproduce something like they have done.

 

Is that it? Is this what it's all about Tony?

 

What am I doing?

 

 

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yeah i agree with caevan. i just do it because it brings me pleasure. i really started listening to "better" music a few years ago and a little while after that i realized that i wanted to play that music too and there was no reason not to.

 

i already played tuba at the time and that was a good time so i knew some about music and it wasn't a complete plunge into something unknown. i was curious about guitar though and figured it'd be something fun to do in my spare time. the times i've really jammed with my friends i just felt great, someplace different and away from everything, lost in the moment.

 

i know it sounds cliche and i'm really sorry for that but it just felt awesome. it always feels better to play with other people then it does to play by myself. i'm really hoping in a little while i'll have more time for that.

Then you'll never hear surf music again...
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I love playing the guitar. I can't imagine not playing.

 

I have never been very good at holding people's interest (or my own) with my intrumental playing, but have found pretty good success accompanying myself while singing. The guitar for me has always been my singing partner. Also, I always have a guitar in my hands when I'm trying to write a song.

 

As a front man for various bands over the years, I played guitar live intermittently. Some guitarists didn't mind if I played, others didn't want me to. Most of the time I'd play on a few songs each set where two guitars were needed. I have only been in one band that had two guitarists. With some of the bands I'd do an acoustic song or two after a break and the rest of the band would join in to kick off the set.

 

Two years ago I decided I wanted to get "proficient" as a guitar player and started playing it seriously. I still suck, but it's ok. I really just play for my own enjoyment.

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It's who I've always been.

I close my eyes, follow my thoughts and let everything inside of me wander out through my hands in a way that other avenues can't touch.

 

I'm limited by the lack of a James-Italy and the one I worked the best with gave up playing after coming down with leukemia.

 

Somehow I hope that I'll find that magic combination to pull it all together out there but in a rural setting they're difficult to find. I'll never give up so long as I'm breathing.

 

So until then I'll show up whenever I'm invited, work on new material and keep moving forward be it for myself, my kids or anyone else.

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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Two years ago I decided I wanted to get "proficient" as a guitar player and started playing it seriously.

 

I know for myself I have come to that point, in fact just as recently as two weeks ago.

 

I am practicing with a new devotion. I'm tired of thinking of where I want to be and hopefully I am spending the time, energy, and sacrifice to get there.

 

I feel the last years have not been watsed but I could have used the time a hell of a lot better. I should be ahead of where I currently am in my playing. All I got is myself to blame(oh yeah and you guys for countless hours reading/responding to posts ;)

 

I'll never give up so long as I'm breathing.

 

I said the same words in a different way to my wife, probably in the same last weeks as I said above--I'm at a point that --whatever--as long as I'm doing it--I'll get there eventually.

 

Where am I going?

 

Some say-what's the quote?

 

It's not accomplishing the goal but the journey to get there??

 

I'm on the journey, been there for a while but hopefully I have taken the right road instead of the one I was on.

 

 

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It's an election year here in the U.S. Compact's avatar is his "bumper sticker". I may not totally agree with his politics, but I will completely defend his right to put that bumper sticker on his car, which seems to be what so many have forgotten the U.S. is about. His post was not political in nature, and I will not treat it as such. We don't even want to get into that "dead baby" stuff, that's completely uncalled for.

 

We do want to welcome you to the forum, Actor J. And, noting that you're a relative newcomer, would you move into a brand new neighborhood and tell everyone you didn't approve of the way they were doing things? Probably not.

 

Now, as to why I started playing guitar? Some guys were good at sports. Some guys were rich. Some guys were suave and debonaire. Some guys were good at a lot of stuff. I found something I was good at. Not as good as some, better than others.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Originally posted by ActorJ:

i think your avatar is innapropriate for this forum. if you want to use it you should restrict your posting to the politics forums. To me you avatar is like a picture of a dead baby, and i dont apparetiate you dragging that in here.

Dude, he's not blatently expressing each and every political view. Just relax. I don't think anyone else really cares. It being this close to the election, I don't have a problem with it. If you want to post a Kerry sticker thingy go for it. And a Bush logo is hardly a picture of a dead baby.

 

Anyway, back to subject, I play I guess in part for the pleasure and in part because it helps me organize my emotions. Guitar is one of the ways I express myself, that and my writing. What I cannot express in words, I express in music, what I cannot express in music, I express in words. Sort of a healthy way to relieve stress and anger or love and hate.

Shut up and play.
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Originally posted by ActorJ:

i think your avatar is innapropriate for this forum. if you want to use it you should restrict your posting to the politics forums. To me you avatar is like a picture of a dead baby, and i dont apparetiate you dragging that in here.

If you don't like it, use the option in your profile to turn off avatars.

 

It's that simple.

 

Peace

"Treat your wife with honor, respect, and understanding as you live together so that you can pray effectively as husband and wife." 1 Peter 3:7

 

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When I was a naieve teenager and just getting into rock music, my best friend got a guitar and we decided we were going to form a band, I was going to play bass. My parents gave me the money to buy an instrument on my 18th birthday and the bass plan went straight out the window and I bought a cheap Les Paul copy and took it from there.

 

Never did form that band, think that guy gave up playing and I'm in another band (took me 10 year to get into one tho!).

 

Have come and gone on playing, played a lot while I was a student, less so in the years following, got back into it in a big way a few years ago when I took some lessons and started playing in a band and found that as I work now I could afford to start buying more gear, oops!!! I also find it somewhat therapeutic, spent a lot of time sitting an strumming random chord progressions while my Mother was recently ill.

 

As to the avatar thing, I don't like Bush either, but I like Compact and have never seen him try to push politics in the guitar forum, so why worry about the avatar?! I am sure you are seeing Bush & Kerry slogans a lot more where you are at the moment for the next few months and there have been far worse avatars come through here, I assure you!!!

Fa Fa FA Fa fa fa fa fa FA fa FA FA
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The respect.

 

there was a time i was hanging about with these people who i didn't really connect with, you know the types, people who always talk about themselves this that blah blah.. and because i'm not good at doing the same, and so wasn't barging in with rhetoric about myself, these people thought i didn't do anything worthwhile.. and made me feel so. then weeks down the line one of them had a guitar and they heard me play it. from that day on they seemed a hell of alot more interested in listening to what i had to say. (and others whom they'd overlooked). there was a definite change in them, like they'd learned something that day. i dunno, something like.. "shut up for a minute and you might learn something ineresting".

There was a certain sense of satisfaction that goes along with things like that.

 

Although, i'm not a praise seeker.. I hate that period after a gig when people are complementing the performance. I really honestly don't know how to react/respond, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. I love playing the gig, but dread peoples' (sometimes false-feeling) praise at the end. does anyone else suffer from this feeling?

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It wasn't a choice. Like being blue eyed, tall, or getting bald as I got older, it just was a part of what I am.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by Compact Diss:

 

Why do you play the guitar?

 

What am I doing?

Wow! This question begs for a history lesson.

 

Did I choose the guitar? Or, did it choose me?

 

I'm almost embarrassed to admit, but, the artist who was my mother's favorite when I was very young had a lot to do with my picking up the axe. He wasn't at all noteworthy as a guitar player and, to many, hasn't contributed much of anything original to music. But, he was the King, and epitomized all that was first cool about Rock 'n' Roll (except what lead to his demise).

 

Then, it was holding that strat copy against my gut, its curves, fit and vibrations. Then, it was the first time I played along with some song, virtually note for note. Then, it was the time I put together my own chord progression. Then, it was the time I played an outdoor gig and got to move a ton of air! Of course, this seems like decades ago, because, it was . . . :rolleyes:

 

Through college, I put the guitar on the back burner a bit. When I got to graduate school, my academic schedule was very intense. I would do school work until 11pm and not be able to wind down to fall asleep. I would play the guitar (through my Scholz Rockman) for that last hour to get me to relax enough to sleep. That was probably the period during which it was finally cemented to my soul. Someday, I'll retire from my day profession. But, I'll die playing my guitar.

 

Gato, thanks for saying it was to meet girls. Somebody had to because it's true for many. I can honestly say that playing guitar has gotten me into more trouble with girls than anything else with them.

 

Now, I am able to express myself with the guitar, almost as much as I am able to with the English language. I play in two bands: One is the blues band I front which features my original music. The other is a society/event band; a high form of musical prostitution, but also my first opportunity to recoup my investiment in all of my gear!

 

GEAR! Did I say I love guitars, amps and effects?!

 

Diss, what I recommend to you is to find a teacher. Spend an our every week, or other week with a reputable, accomplished player, respected in your area, who can push you in the direction you need to go next. Your teacher can push you over the hurdle you're having trouble finding and bring you closer to your nirvana.

 

As for your politics, aren't most of us GP readers? Don't you remember when GP editor, Mike Molenda, had the audacity to express his political opinion, get reader lashback, and respond by saying that journalism is about free speech? Diss, you are who you are. As long as you don't tell me who to be, you can be who you are.

 

R-O-C-K in the USA?

Vinny Cervoni

vcbluzman@hotmail.com

www.bluzberrypi.com

www.42ndstband.com

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Yeah, I think that avatars and sig-lines plugging a party, candidate, or other politically charged entity are O.K., and it doesn't matter to me which ones, either. (Had Compact Diss' avatar referenced Kerry or Michael Moore, I seriously doubt he would have gotten the flak he has from time to time...)

 

O.K., back to guitar stuff!

 

Here's a link to a previous thread on a similar topic: BiC's excellent "Defining Moment" -thread. Some great stories there! A recommended stop.

 

I'll elaborate a little more on the 'why I play guitar'; I seem to always have wanted to, since early childhood...

 

*When I was about four years old, I saw some cheesey Western on TV where this guy in Mexican Dandified "cowboy" regalia, all tassles and conchos and fringe, was playing flamenco-ish geetar by a campfire in the desert. I just thought that was cool as all Hell, and the way he kept playing faster and more intensely blew me away.

 

Right then and there, I wanted to become the "fastest guitarist in the world". Not in today's context, I didn't know anything about any lead, guitar-hero, soloing stuff; think Speedy Gonzales with a flat-top acoustic, that's the image that was in my mind.

 

When I was a little bigger, I finally got my hands on a real, live, borrowed guitar. I stole off to my room, to begin what would surely be the first but thrilling steps towards world domination, to find that... I couldn't fret one single note!

 

I didn't realize that I had a very bad example of a guitar on my hands, a warped-neck Kay with cheese-cutter action and no intonation to speak of, and a big metal logo on the headstock that vibrated, even if the strings wouldn't. But I became totally discouraged by the experience, and did'nt get back to the guitar 'till years later, when at the age of thirteen my buddy decided that as hyper, skinny, and long-haired as I was, that I had to be the Angus Young type lead guitarist in his semi-imaginary band. It didn't matter that I knew less than Jack $h!t about guitar playing, he insisted that I get one and commence rockin' out. What a lot of noise he started! And I mean that in every best possible way.

 

*(Cut 'n' Pasted from the "Defining Moment"-thread")

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by Chris_C:

The respect.

 

there was a time i was hanging about with these people who i didn't really connect with, you know the types, people who always talk about themselves this that blah blah.. and because i'm not good at doing the same, and so wasn't barging in with rhetoric about myself, these people thought i didn't do anything worthwhile.. and made me feel so. then weeks down the line one of them had a guitar and they heard me play it. from that day on they seemed a hell of alot more interested in listening to what i had to say. (and others whom they'd overlooked). there was a definite change in them, like they'd learned something that day. i dunno, something like.. "shut up for a minute and you might learn something ineresting".

There was a certain sense of satisfaction that goes along with things like that.

 

Although, i'm not a praise seeker.. I hate that period after a gig when people are complementing the performance. I really honestly don't know how to react/respond, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. I love playing the gig, but dread peoples' (sometimes false-feeling) praise at the end. does anyone else suffer from this feeling?

Man, I can really identify with a lot of what you say here.

 

As for the "really don't know how to respond to a compliment"...someone posted a bit here on Carlos Santana, and how he responds to compliments. He says, simply, "Thank you! I'm glad my music brought you a bit of happiness", or words to that effect. :thu: Words I have to remember, because I find myself in that boat too...on the one in a billion odd chance someone likes what I'm doing... :D

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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BUSH! CHENEY!

To me it's become somewhat of a "Kramer". mildly offensive, intriguing, mysterious, obnoxious, rude, vacant, irrelevant, interesting, provocative, argumentative, passionate and demented.

 

And as a result it's pretty easy to ignore.

 

Drugs & girls..... shit that was an honest thing to come out with. Why couldn't I remember that.

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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Wanna hear somethin' funny?

 

A few years ago, my beautiful beat-up old Buick caught fire. Upon hearing the news, many people who knew me blurted out the same first words in response- "Oh, my God! Were your guitars in it?!!?"

 

Not, "Are you O.K.?" "Was Anybody hurt?" :D

 

I guess they knew me well! (And, no, my guitars were safe in the house, which, in turn, was safe from the fire; I had almost parked the car in the garage, which is under the house...)

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by Tedster:

[As for the "really don't know how to respond to a compliment"...someone posted a bit here on Carlos Santana, and how he responds to compliments. He says, simply, "Thank you! I'm glad my music brought you a bit of happiness", or words to that effect. :thu: Words I have to remember, because I find myself in that boat too...on the one in a billion odd chance someone likes what I'm doing... :D [/QB]

wise words indeed, they work for him.. i think that them coming out of my mouth would sound arrogant, and one of my life struggles is to fight against ever coming across as arrogant, because its a quality i can't stand in others. there must be a trick to it i haven't learned yet.. but hey I'm still young!! ;)
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Originally posted by Chris_C:

 

...wise words indeed, they work for him.. i think that them coming out of my mouth would sound arrogant, ...

Yeah, me too. I've never been good at accepting compliments, which takes a certain grace. I'm used to it in a performance situation, because that is just a part of the experience of being in a band.

 

But the first time that I was recognised on a show floor and complimented on my writing, I handled it very baddly. (I was totally stunned, but that's no excuse.) I've gotten a little better about it, but all in all, it is a very strange experience to be complimented for having an opinion, or sharing information.

 

The Germanic side of my personality already gives me a built in arrogance factor that I fight to overcome, too. Though it is not really arrogance, it is the belief that some things should be obvious. I finally tipped to that after visiting with some Germans recently. There was a lot of that flying around, and once I understood that it was not directed at anyone, a light went off in my head.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I play guitar simply because I enjoy doing so. I enjoy making music, and I enjoy playing with others as well as by myself. I enjoy improvising and "noodling around", and I also enjoy creating and playing songs that I've written as well as songs written by others. I also enjoy playing guitar because it give me another way to praise and worship my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who I know is the One who has given me this wonderful gift of music--often times during the course of practice I'll end up "having church". As Psalm 150:4b (NASB) says, "Praise Him with stringed instruments..."

Robert J. ("Bob") Welch III

 

"If you were the only person who ever lived, God still would have sent Jesus His only Son to die on the cross for YOU, because that is how much HE LOVES YOU!"

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