The Guilty Party

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Keep Learning

How many folks do you know who just seem to have stopped being interested in learning? Why read a book? Why learn a new skill? Why do anything that is challenging when just getting through life is enough for anyone? According to them life is doing their job, watching their television shows, going to the time share condo a couple of times each year. The time for stretching, for facing new adventures is past. That sort of thing is for young people.

Well, my father-in-law, who is in his seventies, decided he wanted to learn how to play the guitar. And he's going about it in a pretty intensive fashion, including taking lessons twice a week from two different instructors. One of the snags he has run into has been finding the right instrument, one that fits him, has good action (guitar players will understand) and ideally has the sort of sound quality that makes a fellow want to keep practicing. After two tries with an okay quality dreadnought and an entry level classical model, he asked me to go guitar shopping with him. Well, that was an easy "you betcha".

So a couple of days ago he and I went to Milano's Music in downtown Mesa, the place where decades ago I took lesson from a terrific teacher named Charlie Cooper. The salesman unlocked the padlock on the Nice Guitar Room and my father-in-law settled in to try a whole bunch of guitars. We almost missed the one you see in the picture. It's a Martin OM-1. Just the right size, beautiful action and a bell-like quality to its sound that made us both smile from the first note.

I know not everyone has a bucks to put down on a Martin. But that's not the point. Attaching enough importance to doing something new, something difficult, and making the commitment to follow through and take the challenge, that's the point.

Go Ye Forth and Do Likewise 


Timberati said...

Good for your father-in-law. Metal or nylon strings?

Alan Hutcheson said...

That's a steel string guitar. The second one he tried was a nylon classical model and the wide neck gave him problems. The action on the OM-1 is wonderful.

A Bit About Me

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I am a writer with a longtime interest in photography. I'm a dad, husband, photographer, and not very good guitarist. My first novel, Boomerang, is available in both paperback and ebook form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and As a matter of fact, my second novel, The Baer Boys, can be found at exactly the same places.