Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Guitar Strings

That about sums up what changing guitar strings is like for me.
I need to do it more often to get better at it--like anything else--practice makes perfect.
As I was putting new strings on my Guild acoustic (a beautiful old full body guitar I've had for 2o-some years), it occured to me there are some parallels between guitar strings and life:

  • you don't realize how amazing new strings sound until you take the old ones off--in other words, old patterns of behavior become very familiar and deafen our ears to the beauty of new sounds
  • in order for a fine gauge steel string to make the "sound" of an E (for example), it has to have just the right amount of tension on it (wound between the peg and the tuner). too little tension and it's flat, too much tension and the string breaks. in order for us to produce the "sound" we're supposed to with our potential, it's going to take just the right amount of tension.
  • new strings are shiny
  • old strings are dirty
  • new strings require a lot more tuning to keep them "on pitch" but produce a more brilliant sound than old strings
  • putting new strings on is a chore. it's easier not to change them.
  • new or old, nothing happens on a guitar until you play the strings purposefully!

I have several musician friends that are amazing guitarists (Monty Martin, Brad Turner, Marty Theis to name just a few). I will never play as skillfuly as they do. However, this just makes me want to be a better guitar player. They inspire me.

And, it occurs to me that life is an awful lot like this as well. There will always be others "better" at something, others who aspire to reach our level. We are inspired by others as we inspire others. Whether fine or heavy gauge, old or thine own string be true!

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