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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Alleged Guitar

The Alleged Guitar, is arguably, one of the best presents I've ever received.  It speaks of love.  It speaks of KNOWING someone.  It speaks of sacrifice.  It speaks of thoughtfulness.  It speaks of faith.  Yes, the Alleged Guitar has a LOT to say.  The one thing it doesn't speak of is music.  Let me explain.

The Alleged Guitar was a gift for my forty nth birthday.  Which one doesn't matter.  It was the last one if you're reading this as a fresh post.  It might not have been if you're reading this in the future.  It was an awesome gift.

Robyn KNEW I'd always wanted to play guitar.  Robyn KNEW I'd regretted not sticking with it.  Robyn KNEW I loved music.  Robyn KNEW I could learn to play now.  Robyn KNEW it would be good for me- I carry a lot of stress and she knew this would help unwind me.

And Robyn ain't got a dime to spend on such high falutin nonsense.  So Robyn WORKED to get me this guitar, from a neighbor.  Robyn also sucks at surprises... But she kept this one!

The surprise present was a beautiful black rogue dreadnought, 3/4 size, excellent learning guitar, beautiful sound.  Which happened to have a quite broken and quite repaired neck.  So long as you didn't tighten the strings.

Stepfather Mark worked his butt off to try and repair the guitar.  And he did.  And it was solid.  So long as you didn't tighten the strings.  Meanwhile, I did try and learn, and Robyn, hero of this story, went back to work and for a SECOND guitar from the neighbor, which was just missing a string.  It's alright, but it is NOT the Alleged Guitar.  The sound is thin.  Action is high.  It's not as pretty.  But it IS a guitar.

Here's the deal in all of this.  I am left-handed.  I was left-handed when Dad bought me my first guitar.  I was left handed when the Alleged Guitar became the keeper of my heart.  I was left handed when the Replacement came home.  The more I played, the more I understood being left handed.

Many assume traditional guitar will be easier for a lefthander, which is why NO LEFTY HAS EVER made a left handed guitar, or restrung a righty, and why all rightys immediately restring their guitars left.

The fretting hand, is, after all, all about strength and flexibility, which you'd have more of in your dominant hand.

Here's the problem:  the strumming hand is all about speed and fine muscle control, and rhythm.

Now for some, this may make no difference.  While I am left handed, I can wrestle a steak right handed out of my best friends fist,  AND cut it up and eat it.  The steak, that is... Not my best friends hand.  He needs that.  The point is every lefty is a little bit ambidextrous.

However, when I tap rhythm, I do it with my left side.  When I clap, I lead with my left.  I cut, bat, throw, hit, hammer, screw, tie knots, and pick up tiny things with my left.  I'm pretty into this lefty thing, is what I'm saying.  So, while I was reacquainting myself with the guitar, I'd throw it upside down and left, for awhile, just to set how it felt.

Turns out it felt better.  So I bought myself a lefty electric, cheap knock off fender style, no whammy bar, one pickup, basic as it gets.  I didn't buy it to shred.  I bought it to learn to play guitar.  I bought an electric because it's a bit easier on the tender princess fingers you find out you have when you start trying to learn.  ( gender is unimportant here, we ALL have tender princess fingers, especially us desk job, geeky types.)

She has no name, though  Craving  will do.  I don't LOVE her, the way I love the Alleged Guitar.  But she fills a need.  I end my workday and ache for her.  She gets touched and played with more than anything or anyone in this household.  My dog is barely speaking to me.  I'm surprised my partner is.  She's a bad affair is what I'm saying... An obsession.  My electric, that is, not my partner.

And meanwhile, the Alleged Guitar?  She has a place on display, and always will.  I love her and sneak glances at her, even as I practice each day, with the electric.  She is the symbol, of hope, of faith, of rebirth, and of someday making pretty sounds.  Her name is Dark Matters and she is helping me to reinvent me.

One more time for prosperity:  best present ever, Robyn.

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