Sometimes, particularly when I am playing or practicing a lot I suddenly am reminded of what a miracle I hold in my hands! The guitar has such expressive and sensual qualities sometimes it’s almost hard to comprehend! Also, what happens is when we get so “deep inside” our instrument, we sometimes forget to “step back” a bit, and really reflect on just how wonderful it is, and what it really does mean to us!
This is very important, because in the end I feel that it still helps us to become better players to look at our guitars as great companions, and as truly the miracle that they are. I find so many things about the guitar truly fascinating; for example, how is it that we all end up with our very own sound that moment we really start to play? I mean, sure, I can imitate B.B. King, Buddy Guy, or any number of other players, but I’d be hard pressed to actually sound like they really do! I have had to do this identity “game” by guessing who a guitarist may be, and I even surprise myself at how good I can be at identifying a certain player by his/her touch. Sometimes, it may be just a slight turn of the hand, a certain vibrato, or some natural pitch shift that triggers me being able to identify a certain player, but it certainly is a sign of a well-tuned ear to be able to do this!
Finding your own “voice” on the guitar is a real challenge, but at the same time, a very natural progression that evolves over time. In a way, it’s something that you needn’t even worry about. The guitar and you will continue to develop a closer and closer relationship to the point you may hopefully reach a day like I did, once when I was about 17 or 18, when I realized I was at “one” with my guitar! What a moment that was…imagine realizing that you’ve just reached that amazing feeling of being able to truly “speak” through your instrument. Definitely a revelation, for sure! These are the moments we, as guitarists, live for, and I find that these kinds of wonderful moments will continue to happen for you, as long as you really open yourself to the instrument, and all of its wonderful qualities.
So, the next time you pick up that guitar of yours, remember to appreciate its beauty, its voice, its expressiveness and most of all, simply appreciate it for all it can do and mean to you! These lovely sensual creatures allow us to be their “keepers” for a very special time while they “pass” through our hands…let’s treat them with that same “respect” they give us!