Call me Al.
I am a rock star. A guitar god.
I am as cool as Clapton, as smooth as Santana, as exhilarating as Eddie.
Actually, truth be told, I’m a middle-aged white guy from New England with a few extra pounds around the midsection and thinning hairline…
BUT… I aspire to be an awesome guitar player!
I aim to develop a skill level equal to those aforementioned guitar heroes. I have a dream; I have a burning desire; I have faith. What I don’t have are the chops. Not yet, anyway. And many people remind me I don’t have the time, in life that is… that I’m starting too late. But we’ll get to that in just a minute…
For now, just know that at the time of this writing I am 36 years old and I am a beginner guitarist. I fully recognize that this might still considered a baby in many of your eyes; after all, your 30s are pretty young in the grand scheme of things. But everyone knows it’s not an age when someone is supposed to be starting as a guitarist and have any realistic dreams of becoming an expert. It’s not the kind of that age where you decide it’s time to start an artistic pursuit like music and have any aspirations of fretboard mastery… Well, nothing I suppose there’s nothing I can really say to that except that if it were true then I wouldn’t be here writing this (and you wouldn’t be here reading it), so maybe it’s time we change that way of thinking…
Before we go any further, Let me be absolutely clear: I do not want to just to learn how to play a little bit of guitar… I want to really play guitar.
I want to kick ass on the guitar.
I want to be a master.
Yes, that is my mission. To be a master.
I know, I know, I know, I know… I’m “too old.” I accepted that as fact for a long time, until I woke up one morning and realized just how fucking stupid that sounded. Age really ain’t nothing but a number. That line of thinking was holding me back for a long time. In fact, I first picked up a guitar 20 years ago and, although I could feel my heart beat a little faster and my glands begin to salivate as I grasped that fine instrument, I felt like I was too old then! So I never practiced as much as I could’ve/should’ve… I didn’t think I had a chance to “make it” (or something or other… tough to recall exactly what was going through my 16-year old head)… the bottom line is I didn’t follow that calling in my heart and let the passion die before it ever got a chance to bloom… And the years rolled by. And here I am in my mid 30s with the flame still burning inside just screaming to be let out.
So here we go.
I’m starting Grown-Up Guitarist because I am ready to prove that you can become an expert guitarist at any age. Yes, expert. Like you, I am a grown-up with many grown-up responsibilities – I have a young family to take care, a full-time job to report to, a mortgage payment due each month, and a ton of other commitments that I must attend to – but I also have the desire to play guitar. I believe there are many of us out there. I believe we can seize the opportunities to become expert guitarists even with balancing the other parts of our lives. And I believe we can support each other in this mission. This is the purpose of Grown-Up Guitarist.
As you’ve probably found, the internet is overloaded with places to learn techniques and skills and tutorials for guitar playing, but there is hardly anything out there on how to make the guitar part of your live and achieve your guitar dreams as a grown-up. So on this blog we’ll get in to the fact that being too old, or young, is only a matter of perception; we’ll discuss how that topic may haunt many of us but really does nothing except fuel our personal insecurities. We’ll also share practical advice on how to sneak in a few minutes of practice here and there, offer tips on how to soothe our aching hands and shoulders, and share an honest appreciation for what it takes as an older beginner. We will support each other.
So with that said, it is time to get started. Every journey begins by putting one foot in front of the other and today I am taking the most important step – the first one. I am declaring to the world that I will be an amazing guitarist. Brick-by-brick, step-by-step, I will do whatever it takes to get there. I realize that it will take time, but I refuse to get derailed by excuses. I will live from this day forward with a commitment to getting better each day, and I promise to celebrate the journey as we move steadily towards the destination. If it takes 10 years, so be it; if it takes 20, fine; 30 or 40, no problem. Progress will not be measured in the time it takes but in the development of my abilities.
But it’s one thing to make bold promises to myself, it’s another to shout it out to the world.
So here it comes.
If I am going to be successful in this mission, I need to put myself out there so you, and the world, can hold me accountable. I need to be open and honest with myself, and I have to be transparent and share my journey with you here. I am asking you to join me and come along for the ride. I am inviting you in to my world. I am encouraging you to play along, or at least cheer me on. Inspire this grown-up guitarist to achieve his dreams.
Let’s get started…