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Striking the Right Chord

The feeling of the warm, smooth, mahogany neck sliding across the palm of my hand sends shivers of pleasure down my spine. The beautiful grain of the flamed maple top showing through the light, honey-burst finish of the stained wood makes looking away nearly unbearable. The light highlights the natural tiger stripes of the maple and the beautiful swirls of the mahogany. The high gloss of the polyurethane finish shines so brightly that it reflects any image set before it. My beautiful Epiphone Les Paul standard plus top guitar sits on its guitar stand calling, begging me to play it. Playing the guitar is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced, and it has become an addiction that has changed my life forever. My mind is consumed with a raging passion for the music, like an addict having withdrawals. I long to play my guitar; the desire fills every breath I take and every move I make. My fingers yearn to feel the smooth wood beneath my finger tips, and my ears ring from the lack of the music filling my ears.

My guitar calls out to me every day from the moment I lay my eyes on it to the moment I close my eyes to fall asleep. Every little feature of the guitar grabs my attention with an iron grip, refusing to let go until I am forced to play it. I love and enjoy every little detail of the guitar, from the beauty of the wood, to the beautiful sounds that it creates; from the meaning and passion behind the music, to the texture of the coarse, nickel strings beneath my fingers. The complexity and diversity of it is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. The possibilities of my musical imagination are endless and immeasurable when I play.

The joy and pleasure I get as I feel the coarse, metal strings beneath my finger tips and the warm wood sliding across my palm is indescribable. It is an adrenaline run unlike any that I have ever gotten before. With every note I play, my senses tingle as I feel the smooth fret board beneath my fingers, and the beautiful music fills my ears. It is my own creation, and just as a mother loves, admires, and cares for her child, I love, admire, and care for my music. Every note is clear, warm, and bright as it fills my ears. The slightly overdriven sound that I love layers the original note, bringing out the rich, full harmonics of the sound. My amplifier compresses the sound, making the darker, warmer note sustain longer than the original. The two-twelve inch speakers pump out the rich music as I feel the vibrations reverberate through my hard wood floor. I feel the cold, rough string beneath my finger vibrate as I pluck the note with my smooth, acetylic pick. The first “bite” of the pick decays rapidly as the vibrations comes to a smooth, even frequency. The bright, full note screams as it is picked up by black, uncovered bridge humbucker, the DiMarzio Andy Timmons model pickup. My third finger fills the small seventeenth fret as I fret the note and begin to bend the string, raising the pitch to match the sound of the note two frets higher, muting the other strings with the flesh of my index finger. I slowly release the note, controlling the speed of my fingers to create a smooth, even release. I finally end the note with a slow, meaningful vibrato.
I begin playing note after note, creating a bluesy melody that I adore. I include as many different techniques as I can, from bends to double stops and everything in between. The melody fills my room with a rich, overdriven sound like the warmth of a fireplace, spreading its heat from wall to wall. I feel the weight of the guitar on my shoulder as my strap holds the guitar to my body, and I feel the thick, rounded neck in my hand as I play each note unconsciously. My hand moves without my direct thought, letting my subconscious control where my finger will land next. My fingers and the stroke of my pick across the strings are moving in perfect unison as I fret the note the exact moment my pick strikes the string. I submerge myself in the sound, losing my entire grip on reality and becoming surrounded by the music. I stay in this state of unawareness until I hold the last note of the melody, and just as the vibrating note decays, so does my loss of reality. Reality comes flooding back into my mind as it fades to silence.





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