Guitar Man

Our oldest son has been interested in learning to play guitar for quite some time.  We recently bought him a “starter” guitar and he couldn’t be more excited about it!  What makes it even better is his Dad knows how to play and he’s almost as excited to learn from me as he is to learn how to play the instrument.

I’ve played acoustic guitar since I was a wee lad of 13 or so.  I learned on my Mom’s guitar (couldn’t even begin to tell you the brand name, but it was a small one and served its purpose well).  She didn’t get it out much, but when she did, she’d sing John Denver songs or children’s songs that my brother and I would sing along with.

There were some college students at the church we attended who played acoustic guitar.  Well they put their heads together and decided to offer free lessons to anyone who wanted to learn.  There were probably around 12-14 other kids in there with me and 5 or 6 college students teaching us and we had a blast!  They taught us basics and then went into chord playing where we formed certain chords with one hand (which is placing certain fingers at certain places on the fretboard to produce certain tones from the strings) and strummed the strings with the other.  Once we got that down, we learned all kinds of praise songs and choruses together and eventually played for the Sunday morning youth services at our church.  I’m telling you, some of those songs sounded amazing with nothing but a piano and eight to ten guitars strumming along!  One of the college students went over to Japan for a few months and came back with a 12-string guitar that he bought over there for $80.  What was so amazing about that was back then, at least, that same guitar would sell over here in the U.S. for around $1000.  I’d say that was a good buy.

We would typically have the first part of our time together be practice and the last part be devotions of some sort (usually a few minutes learning something out of the Bible and then spending the rest of our time talking about it).  One night during this devotion time, one of the college students was reading a passage from the Old Testament and came across the word “circumcision”.  Then–still not sure why he did this–he asked us all if we knew what that was.  Well, that opened a can of worms!  It didn’t matter who did and who didn’t; between laughter and guffaws, we all agreed that he should expound on the subject at hand.  He pointedly refused and, with a very red face, told us to ask our parents about it (which, I’m sure, resulted in some very interesting conversations occurring in multiple households with some parents wondering afterwards what kind of Bible studying was being done in this “free” guitar class).

Interesting the memories that stick with you.