Wednesday, September 13, 2023

I wonder if this guitar could be my fountain of youth

One problem with being someone who thrives on habit and routine (like me) is that your brain goes largely unused.

When you do the same things in roughly the same order most days, you unwittingly fall into a kind of mental autopilot. All of the books about aging say you need to engage your mind as you get older, whether that means doing puzzles, playing word games, learning a new language or taking up an instrument.

I'm not a puzzle guy, and I can take or leave word games. But the language and instrument options are intriguing.

I once started teaching myself Latin by reading "Latin for Dummies." Maybe I should try that again.

I'm also interested in learning to play something besides the saxophone. I love the sax and have been playing on and off for nearly 44 years (amazingly), but I've often thought about branching out musically.

More than once I've considered the bassoon, which is a beautiful instrument but also a costly one. It's also a double reed instrument, and I'm not sure how well I would adapt to that after decades as a single-reed player.

Plus, I think bassoon music is in bass clef. I choose to believe bass clef isn't real, so that won't work.

One possibility is the guitar pictured above. It's one of four Daisy Rock guitars I won on The Price Is Right, though we won't get into the game show thing yet again.

We sold three of those four guitars on eBay, keeping only this six-string model. I have it here in my home office and will often pick it up and noodle around with it when I'm bored.

"Noodling around" is somewhat limited for me, though, because I only know how to play two chords and can pick out maybe three other tunes. One of those tunes is a piece I wrote many years ago about a toad sitting in the middle of the road. That's a true story.

The problem for me when it comes to the guitar, you see, is that I have small hands. Fortunately, Daisy Rock guitars are somewhat smaller than normal guitars, having been designed largely for young girls.

So while I still don't know what I'm doing, I can at least be confident that when I pick up this particular guitar, it will fit my teenaged girl-sized hands and fingers nicely.

I take this to be a sign that the guitar should be my instrument of choice as I transition into Old Guydom. Playing chords on a stringed instrument feels devilishly difficult to me, but working on it will no doubt keep my brain more engaged than it would otherwise be.

Once I figure out four chords, that's when I will proudly and officially join the ranks of the white-haired guitar geezers.

I'm warning you now in case you come to the blog one day and wonder why I've posted yet another video of me playing Smoke on the Water.

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