Many people consider the guitar to be nothing more than an ordinary instrument – a tool used by musicians, maybe something you fiddled around with once in music class during junior high. Guitars have always held a special place in my heart, however, and I actually credit my first guitar with saving my life. While not everyone can become a famous rock star, one thing I learned at an early age was that anyone can pick up a guitar to see improvements to their life.
Here’s the story of my first guitar, and how it saved my life.
I never thought I’d be a guitarist
Like surprisingly many people who eventually became dedicated guitarist, I actually had little passion for music until my teenage years. While everyone daydreams about being a famous musician at some point in their life, I never had serious ambitions about nursing whatever musical talent I had. For the most part, I was a quiet person who would much rather be standing in the crowd than up on stage wailing away at an instrument.
That all changed just before I graduated from high school, when I finally determined I was fed up of having virtually no meaningful hobbies. With some tips from the director of my school’s band in my pocket and a guitartricks coupon code, I went down to my local mall and picked up my first acoustic guitar. To be honest, it was really a piece of laminate junk, with little authentic wood and virtually no chance at all of lasting me for more than a short while. I didn’t care, though – I was hooked from the first moment I picked up a guitar, and knew I had a fresh hobby to look forward to mastering.
If I had one of the handy guides telling me how to buy a guitar that you can find so easily on the internet today, maybe I would have made a different choice, but looking back at it, I can’t say I regret picking up my first guitar. Making mistakes is a vital part of any beginner’s journey, and one of the things I learned about playing the guitar early on was that the amount you’re willing to invest in your instruments matters. Despite my slowly developing skills and the shoddy nature of my early equipment, however, strumming on my new guitar’s strings quickly became one of the highlights of my days.
Entering university was tough – I had new responsibilities, was losing old friends, and was dealing with a slew of family problems. Music was always a retreat, however, and I can’t even begin to count the amount of times that I took refuge from life’s storms by playing music, either by myself or with others. I never joined a band, and to this day I only have a bit of experience meaningfully playing long sets with others, but meeting other like-minded people who also enjoyed the guitar helped me when I was at one of the lowest points in my life.
Music is good for the soul
Everyone who loves music, and those who love creating it especially, understand that it’s fundamentally good for the soul. Only in recent years have I truly begun to appreciate the positive ways that creating music with my guitar has impacted my life. When I reflect on how meaningful the guitar is to me, I can’t help but think that there’s something chemical about how relaxing the soft chords of an acoustic guitar can be.
The chills that run down your spine when you’re listening to a truly melodic tune are unmatched by anything else I’ve ever experienced in life. Some people protest that playing instruments complicates life – you need to invest money in your equipment, you’ll have to devote serious time to your craft if you want to get good, and some people you meet will always try to one-up you. Nonetheless, the natural benefits of strumming a guitar overcome just about every negative aspect about it I can fathom.
When I think about the advice I can give to young people today, I naturally start gravitating towards guitar tips. I’ve caught myself discussing the differences between acoustic and electric guitars with beginners for hours. The most important thing I can say about guitars has nothing to do with which type you eventually settle on, however – the most important thing I can say about guitars is that they probably saved my life. Music gives us meaning in life, and if there’s one thing I can always say sincerely, it’s that learning to play the guitar will change you for the better like it did for me.