Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I've got blisters on my fingers...

I don't play the guitar. Not really. What I mean is, I don't practice. The only time I pick up the guitar is to either work on a song or to record one. It's shameful, and I often entertain the thought that this might be the year that I finally get it together and start working on my playing. Oh well; it's the thought that counts.

It's sad because whenever I do pick up the guitar to record a part and begin the usual 'fumble around blindly in search of something that sticks' routine, I get to a point where, if something finally clicks, I admonish myself with a stern talking to. A sort of "See what you can do if you put your mind to it?" finger wagging, that's usually followed up with a guilt-inducing "Just think how good you could be if you practiced every day for about the next, oh... 35 years or so".

I recently had one of these episodes. I had a song that I originally thought might sound great with a fiddle playing the solo, but budgetary concerns prompted me to have a bash with electric guitar, just in case it worked. I took out the guitar from the closet, dusted it off, and played around for a good hour or so before it started to sound remotely musical, and although I knew I wanted to work on it a little more later, I recorded a take so I could do a quick mix to listen to in the car, just to see if I was on the right track.

Now, I play electric guitar even less than I do the acoustic, and boy did my finger tips make me pay. I ended up nursing two ridiculously raw finger blisters that left me unable to play either guitar for about a week, and to add insult to injury, I was still undecided about the suitability of the guitar part. So I gave the CD to a mate of mine and requested a little honest feedback.

He took the CD with him and when he returned it a while later, I plied him with the query,"Do you think that this is a good approach for the song?" After a brief hesitation, he sidestepped me with a query of his own. "I thought you were going to have fiddle on this one?"

Like I said, I need to practice, and I will. As soon as these blisters fully heal...