I was 13 years old when I was gifted my first guitar. To my recollection, guitar-playing didn’t come that easily to me. Still doesn’t. I learned to play “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith and the Van Halen cover version of “You Really Got Me” plus some other random tunes, riffs & licks (that’s what “guitar-music” segments are called in guitar speak).
I was pretty happy with my guitar journey but I didn’t know how important the guitar was going to be in my life until after my freshman year of high school, my dad got a new job in San Jose, CA, and after much family discussion my dad accepted the position and we left Tucson and moved up to Gilroy, CA.
I wanted to leave Tucson. Truthfully, my freshman year had been a VERY challenging year for me. I had no desire to return to what I presumed would be another challenging year ahead. So, I put all 85 pounds of my weight (yes, I weighed only 85 pounds after my freshman year of high school) into my vote for the move because I wanted a fresh start. Lacking the foresight to know that I was asking for another “Freshman”-esque year at my new high school.
But, I had my guitar…my guitar was my refuge. I was able to come back home every day from my new school, in a new state with a new start and pour my feelings, frustrations, confusions and confessions into my guitar playing. I was able to get through that difficult transition in my life with the guitar as my consistent companion.
That experience was a whisper of what the guitar would provide for me in my life…
The move to Gilroy, CA would prove to be a game-changer in my life in many ways. Little did I know that the move itself was a life training opportunity and gave me the opportunity to see that the guitar was not only about playing and making music, for me, the guitar provided an anchor to something constant in my ever changing world.
The guitar was (and still is) my journal, my diary, my outlet for all my questions and gave me the opportunity to transform my troubles into something constructive, something that made sense, something that was sometimes very beautiful even if it came from a place of sadness.
Playing the guitar is my emotional alchemy!