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OCTOBER 2, 2000

Guitar Begins at 40...

...at least it is for me, though I've actually been playing since I was thirteen.

From the ages of about 13 through 25 I never went anywhere without a guitar...or at least it seems that way now. Somehow over the succeeding fifteen years the magic faded, and in the past seven or eight years I've played a few times with friends and haven't learned a single new technique.

In a moment of stress in early September, I picked up a guitar and a wonderful thing happened: the stress went away and I was totally sucked into the fretboard the way I was 25 years ago. The magic was back, and fortunately my finger's hadn't forgotten everything they'd learned. But, BOY, am I out of practice! ;)

Even though they've been neglected for years, I still have my babies: a gorgeous easy-to-play '81 Guild 12-string that I had refretted a while back and a little Washburn 6 string about the same age. I'm thinking about getting an electric if I can find one that I won't pull out of tune!

It's amazing how fast the entire body remembers. My fingers are growing callouses a lot faster than they did the first time around. Things that used to be easy hurt now...the body remembers but the muscles no longer exist. Since I'm out of practice, I'm hoping I will have an easier time eliminating bad habits. We'll see.

My tastes are pretty varied...I listen to just about any type of music except opera. I used to do a lot of finger picking to accompany myself. While I've done hard rock and blues and such in a band situation (and was actually paid for it...poorly, but paid none-the-less) I was usually a vocalist and/or an occasional keyboard player. I played guitar mostly for pleasure, for solo work and jamming with friends (who don't care how much my guitar playing sucks sometimes, because I'm good at arranging on-the-fly background vocals).

My current musical goals are:

To learn to keep time (in bands that I was in they always stuck me right in front of the bass amp...it helped) To learn to play an electric without pulling it out of tune. To learn a variety of styles, guitar techniques and licks that always knocked me on my butt when I heard others play them.

On the off chance I happen to achieve any one of these, I'll update the list.

Bored yet?

Julie