By Francisco Villegas
When I first saw her, I immediately fell in love. What caught my attention were her mesmerizing curves which complemented her body, and her long slender neck which embraced her delicate head. Her skin tone consisted of two colors, tan and dark brown, and even though she was only about three feet tall, she was perfect for my liking. I could not wait to bring her home, strum her chords, and listen to her sweet harmonic sound.
Whether it was a simple rhythm of an old country song, or an amazing guitar solo from a Rolling Stones album, the art of playing guitar has always grasped my attention. I was instantly staggered by the incredible tunes and melodies a simple wooden instrument could deliver with the simple act of strumming. The rapid picking of the guitar strings and the graceful finger patterns for distinct chords seemed like a remarkable talent that I felt compelled to master.
As my fascination towards the guitar grew so did the variety of music I began listening to; the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin, were a few bands that contributed to my desire of learning how to play guitar. I was completely determined to learn the new skill, and about a year and a half ago I purchased my first guitar. Among every guitar in the building, there was one that stood out; it was a six string Maplewood acoustic guitar. It was a simple and inexpensive guitar, but it was everything I had ever wanted.
On the car ride home from the guitar shop, I carefully plucked each separate string and attentively listened to the different tones they would convey; I admired the refined body of the instrument and the detailed craftsmanship of every piece it consisted of.
Without a professional instructor, I strived to master the skill of playing a guitar on my own. I watched various videos on the web, and studied a range of guitar handbooks; everything I came across was either much too advanced, or something I already knew how to do. The more I practiced, the more irritated I became; that heaven like sound being distributed from the sound hole of every artist’s guitar by no means was similar to the abrupt and unpleasant racket I was creating.
After every mistake, I would cringe with anger, and the extensive exercises left my finger tips blistered and bruised. Never did I imagine that learning guitar would be such an excruciating task both mentally and physically.
After weeks of practicing, the skin on my finger tips became thicker, and immune to the sharp sting of the metal strings. I was finally capable of firmly holding each chord, without sensing any pain, and instead of the repulsive noises I had been accustomed to, my guitar began to produce definite and pleasing sounds. Little progressions, such as learning new chords or tabs, helped me stay motivated; after the first song I mastered, all I desired was to learn another, and in a few months I had memorized three songs, and could play them with ease. Even though my talent by no means compares to the extraordinary music of the greatest rock bands and my simple acoustic guitar is but a piece of wood when compared with an expensive electric one, my passion for guitar is still immeasurable.
The Strings To My Soul
By Francisco Villegas