This week Adam from Falls Rock Shop in Ohio e-mailed to say some nice things about Guitar Idiot and asked me to write a guest blog for their site and talk about my “guitar learning journey.” You may have clicked the About link on this site and read why I started Guitar Idiot. But while I was writing the blog for Adam, I thought: why do I play guitar? What makes me keep at it? Well, here are my top ten reasons.
But first, one huge caveat: I’m well aware that one of the best things about playing guitar is playing with others. I loved my very short stint playing in a band when I was younger. But because of my tinnitus I need to keep the volume way down. So I pretty much play alone. Anyway, this is my top ten as of today. I may update the list later.
1. It’s a great distraction. Playing totally puts me in the zone. I don’t think about anything else while playing. It’s great.
2. It’s hard not to get better. First of all, if you suck like me, you should take lessons. It’s well worth it. But even if you don’t have time or money for lessons, there are some great books out there, and some great videos on YouTube. And if you practice just a little bit every day, guess what: you will get better. Pretty much guaranteed.
3. It’s ok if you suck. It’s not ok if you suck at playing a trumpet. It’s not ok if you suck at snowboarding. Or golf. But it is totally ok if you suck at guitar. Cause it’s still fun.
4. You learn a lot more about the music you love. Trying to learn some of my favorite music has really made me understand so much more about the songs and how they are constructed. And yeah, it can be pretty humbling.
5. It’s fun to share with the family. My family isn’t that interested in my other hobbies, but everyone likes music. Even if that mean’s learning your kid’s favorite Taylor Swift song.
6. It’s a cheap hobby. When I got back into the guitar I spent $150 on a Chinese Tele and another $100 on a Fender Mustang amp. Both brand new. I now think I would have been better off with a MIM Strat or Tele off Craigslist, but still. It’s pretty cheap all things considered.
7. There are tons of cool toys. Yeah, it’s cheap to get started, but if you want to spend money, the sky is the limit. When I win the lottery I’m totally getting a Fender Custom Shop Tele or Strat and a boutique tube amp. Just cause.
8. The technology is amazing. Sure, it’s hard to beat a good single coil guitar and an old school tube amp. BUT these new modeling amps are so cool. So is Garage Band. And YouTube.
9. There is a great online community. I participate in several other communities for my other interests, but the guitar community is hands down the best I have experienced. The people at TDPRI and Strat Talk are awesome.
10. Music stores. I love going to music stores and trying out guitars–anything from the small independent shops to Guitar Center. It’s fun. Rock on!