Give Up

June 5, 2009
By Jimmy Satterfield BRONZE, Clovis, California
Jimmy Satterfield BRONZE, Clovis, California
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

It started when I was young… my dad listened to his hard rock, and I willingly listened with him. Then, I reached the fifth grade, where we were given a choice of whether or not to play an instrument. I chose the violin... but by the time I reached the seventh grade, I was done with it. I switched over to percussion instruments, hoping to play something I liked. It came close… so I stuck with it through the year; however, by the time it was halfway through, I had a fateful encounter with an ‘acquaintance’, meaning we didn’t like each other, but we withstood being ‘friends’ due to another friend holding us there. That day changed my life… for the better. He had brought over a new game that had come out, called Guitar Hero. This game surprised me; even though we could only play with three notes at the time, it had the music that I liked. We played each other, him beating me constantly, but I kept playing, not for the game, but for the music.

I hadn’t even waited a full month before I had the game. I found myself becoming accustomed to the Guitar-shaped controller, playing better and better each time I decided to switch the gaming console on. I moved on to higher levels, and decided that my ‘acquaintance’ and I needed to meet again. We did.

It was easy to spot how he had leveled up as I did, as we both now played on expert level. We played each other for only a few hours, and he still held the upper hand… I hadn’t won one yet. I started to lose hope. Many songs later, I had already decided to give up Guitar Hero, try to find something I can beat this guy at, but then it was time for the last song. I chose it, “Decontrol” by Drist. I played this song harder than the rest, as it was my favorite on the entire game, and I didn’t pay attention to scores or anything as to who won, since I figured he would again. I was surprised in the end… he admitted he ‘wasn’t ready for this particular song’, and, when I looked at the screen, I saw why.

Soon after the seventh grade was over, I purchased my first guitar online, and it came in quickly. It wasn’t much of a guitar, but it allowed me to play a little. I knew, as soon as I could play a few notes, this was the instrument for me.

My sophomore year started and our local music center was sold to a man with the last name Gottschalk, so it was soon named Gottschalk’s Music Center. For a while, I visited the place as a regular, watching for new items to come out that interested me. Only a few months before December, my visits had been shortened, and limited. I went in for a look around to create a small Christmas list when I saw a guitar that I liked… a few of them. I tested each one out and found that one of them was especially to my liking, and its name stuck in my head easily: Godin. I nearly begged for this main item on my list… and it soon paid off. Christmas morning, it was in my hands. I compared it with the guitar I had already owned, and it outmatched it not only with my novice eye, but with my uncle’s trained eyes. Even he admitted that it was a great guitar.

Soon after, almost too conveniently, I met a new friend, one who had played a guitar for a great chunk of his life. In the brief visits he has made to our house, he has taught only two or three things to me, but I’ve already been able to use those few to improve my playing. He taught me how to use my pinky, a skill some people neglect from their training, and a small warm-up scale, which he fine-tuned until I had it nearly mastered. Through these, I’ve started to teach myself to strum up and down, as well as play a good song. His very limited teachings will take me far, and I hope to be able to learn more from him.

Now, I, and three other friends of mine, have started a small, intermediate band, which is still in the process of finding a singer and getting a name… but naming isn’t going to be needed yet, anyway. Even now, so many years after the Guitar Hero showdown, I will always remember what it feels like to win… and to never give up.

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