Guitar Man | Teen Ink

Guitar Man MAG

May 27, 2022
By jacksonob27 BRONZE, Temperance, Michigan
jacksonob27 BRONZE, Temperance, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

My guitar pick is a small, modest tool that can be used to create sublime, elegant music.  By itself, the pick is just an ordinary piece of plastic; it’s made of inexpensive celluloid that forms a small isosceles triangle with smooth, rounded edges.  Similarly, the surface of the pick is unremarkable.  The brand mark had worn off after countless hours of practice, leaving only the design of black and purple splotches.  Overall, when it's alone, the pick seems to be a dull and worn-down tool of no value.  However, when paired with a guitar, it transforms into a genius device that produces magnificent symphonies.

The monotonous atmosphere of my room creates the perfect environment for music-making.  As I enter my room, the dull stuffy climate begs for change.  The boring beige walls, dying dim lights, and tedious tan carpet form a depressing prison-like ambiance that longs for color.  This bleak, dreary turf requires something cheerful and upbeat to transform the darkness into happiness.  Luckily, I have a simple solution: I grab my pick, take out my guitar, and fill the room with my spirited performance.  The previously lonely space is furnished with optimism and joy.  As I play, my exuberant yellow labrador Lily eagerly rushes upstairs to get to my room.  When she arrives, her demeanor instantly changes from vigorous and rambunctious to calm and quiet.  She slowly creeps into the room, silently crawls into a corner, and solemnly sits down.  Lily has learned through experience that loudly barking or rowdily running around leads to doggy purgatory: getting locked out of my room.  However, since she is acting well-behaved, I ignore her and continue playing.  Her ears perk up as she sits in a trance, mesmerized by my notes and harmonies.

However, my musical journey has prior origins.  Many years ago, I began pursuing music by joining my middle school’s orchestra as a violinist.  I loved the dazzling, graceful singing of the famous four-stringed instrument.  While learning the violin, I first experienced the sense of complete immersion that can only be induced by music.  As my hand sped up and down the cold wooden fingerboard while my bow glided across the stiff metallic strings, I became totally absorbed in the melodies of my music.  All other thoughts were pushed out of my head as I completely zoned into my playing.  The fingers on my left hand perfectly locked onto the correct notes while my right hand attacked the strings with my bow.  I adopted Spongebob’s state of mind when he hypnotized himself to forget everything except “fine dining and breathing.”  This otherworldly experience led me to develop a deep passion for music as well as an appreciation for the skill required to excel in the field.  

Unfortunately, after years of playing the violin, I had found one major flaw with my school’s orchestra - the Victorian-era classical songs it exclusively plays are bland and uneventful.  After performing dozens of nearly identical symphonies by Mozart and Bach, they begin to feel shallow and repetitive.  I longed to play exciting modern music instead of dismal etudes from the 18th century.  Not being able to handle the drab, emotionless tunes, I retired from the violin after four long years.  However, unable to shake my musician’s spirit, I retained my drive to make music.  Eventually, one mundane afternoon, I picked up my family's ancient dust-covered guitar that hadn’t seen sunlight for over a decade.  After sitting down and strumming a few simple chords, I instantly became obsessed with the instrument.  At that moment, I made a goal to become talented at the guitar and expand my instrumental palette.  For the next few weeks, I spent each free moment studying basic techniques and learning beginner songs on Youtube.  

Today, after years of taking private lessons, I can now play the music I enjoy.  While it was a long and drawn-out process to reach this point, I loved every minute of it; some of my favorite memories are from experimenting with my guitar.  I achieved my musical accomplishments by creating a goal and working hard to fulfill it.  Just as a guitar pick is an undistinguished tool that can be used to make beautiful melodies, goals are ordinary thoughts that can be used to achieve greatness.  If you set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them, you can accomplish anything.

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