I miss my guitar... I mean, in times like these, where I feel that my mind simply cannot stop racing at the constant 100mph rate in which it does - a result of furious writing and meticulous editing, it reminds of the days where there was only one true solution to relax and allow the uncontrollable and misunderstood stream of ideas in my overemotional, young adult mind... playing my acoustic, and writing a song.
It is one of my hard-earned skills which I very rarely talk about - much less show off to other people. But back when I was a man in my early twenties, I would often spend three to four hours a day strumming, barring, finger-picking, soloing, and constructing my way to eventually attain a pretty high level of guitar playing ability.
Like most avenues I undertake in life, I was going about it in an odd yet successful manner I was - and still am, a left-handed male who plays a right handed instrument, I had no musical ear - though it improved greatly over time. And I used to break strings faster than the callouses would form on the tips of my fingers from the friction of pressure... but I persisted. I wanted to learn, I needed to learn. I had told myself I would, and once I do this, I cannot allow myself to stop. So I bought myself an acoustic guitar, and off I went...
The first song I ever learnt to play in full was 'About A Girl' by Nirvana. I never played too many songs of others, simply because I wanted to copy as little as possible - though I always loved Kurt Cobain's simplistic yet raw and passionate attack of the barre chord, and Nirvana are still the one group I would choose to see in a live and intimate venue over all others - should a magic and quite bored genie offer me the random opportunity to do so. I wrote pretty decent indie type ballad songs, or second rate attempts at generic rock. To me, the message mattered more than the music - and even now, words mean more to me over any other form of expression in art. Which is ironic as I realize more than most, that actions do indeed speak much louder than words.
Anyhow, as time passed, and I grew in the knowledge and design of playing, I became better and better. It is a truly incredible moment in any aspect of learning in life, when you can apply yourself to a developed skill, and suddenly... it simply becomes you! You feel that the instrument is little more than an extension of your own being. It is much like the feeling when learning to drive, and - about ten to fifteen lessons in, you suddenly feel as if the car is not in control of you, but you are in control of the car - as if it is some form of robot, and you are it's rampantly beating heart.
I only ever really taught myself so that I could write songs. I loved writing songs. Anytime I had a bad day, felt low, had a issue on my mind - I would sit down, strum some chords, find a formulation of words in my head, express them through a melody, rhyme, and a pleasant sounding chord structure. Ten minutes, or a few hours later, bang! I had another song to play.
I wrote over 150 songs in the end - I still have all the hand written lyrics and chord structures in the A4 note paper from all these years back stashed away in an old folder. Looking back now, some of the lyrics are a little soppy, and come across as the oversensitive musings of a boy, but that is who I was, and I am very proud of my song collection. Some are actually pretty good, and there is also a great indication of the intelligent wordplay and deeper understanding of the emotions, which as a man of thirty, I command a greater strength and rigidity of.
Somewhere, sadly - the music lost me, or I lost the music - I don't know. A part of me felt I did not have the natural soul which practically any success in the field tends to have. Maybe this was a subconscious excuse to justify hiding in my fears, maybe I was lazy, maybe I just didn't care enough. But I just stopped. No slow death, no gradual yield, I just, stopped. And almost seven years later, I still have not started again.
I stuck my Choloclate Brown Fender Electro/Acoustic dce22 in the loft, then gave it to my sister in Bedfordshire - as she wanted to learn herself. Stashed my song list away, then slowly convinced myself that I couldn't even play the instrument - even though I am pretty awesome at it.
Oddly enough, last May, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to the British Music Exhibition at the O2 Arena, with my good friends Carla and Jamie. Where there was an interactive room full of instruments. Before me sat a golden brown Gibson Super Jumbo 200 - my dream wife of acoustic guitars! I picked it up, began to strum, finger-pick, pluck, and solo away to myself, lost in a feeling which took me right back to the troubled young man who finally found a way to express himself. For the next hour or so, I forgot I was even in this world. And - for this same hour, the little chubby boy waiting for his turn to strum my baby, remembered what it was like to wait around in vain... poor chubby boy.
Sometimes, I wonder if I should make the trip to Sandy, and retrieve my old buddy, or simply buy a new Guitar. I miss the musical therapy. I miss writing songs... I miss my guitar.