The Magic of Guitar | Teen Ink

The Magic of Guitar

August 3, 2021
By lillyknight SILVER, Ventnor, New Jersey
lillyknight SILVER, Ventnor, New Jersey
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Playing the guitar is nothing short of magic for me. All it takes is a little time and passion to transform a chunk of hollow wood and metal strings into a beautiful and harmonious piece. It is amazing that something could look so complex and effortless at the same time.  Music has always been a part of my life. It has become a reflection of my identity and an outlet to express my feelings. I even began to connect the emotions and experiences I have had in life with the music I was listening to. The song Tangerine by Led Zeppelin conjures the image of my trip to Aruba, where I listened to song relentlessly on the plane. Guitar is much more than an instrument to me. 

I have always admired guitar playing. At a young age, Jerry Garcia and Jimmy Page became my heroes and who I would resort to when I was feeling down. However, I never had an interest in playing the guitar. It looked too complex and took too much concentration. It wasn't until my cousin Lisa got out an old guitar from her basement that my intangible interest became a legitimate goal. 

Seeing Lisa teach herself to play guitar was enough encouragement for me to try. I learned the basics and struggled greatly in the process. I began with learning the chord progressions of my favorite songs when one would normally begin with learning individual chords and notes.  

A common misconception is that learning the guitar is easy. Becoming accustomed to this foreign practice is probably the most frustrating things I have ever done. I was so determined on being as good as the icons I looked up to and it hindered my learning. However, through this emotional and physical struggle I learned a lot about the power of determination. 

The tough experiences I endured made me stronger and more resilient. There were times where I wanted to smash my guitar against a wall because I couldn't perfect a difficult song or picking progression. I then realized that this was not beneficial, so I took deep breaths and continued. This has taught me to have patience with myself and my work. 

Now that I am accustomed to the basics, guitar comes a lot easier to me. I am through the beginning of the tedious beginnings of playing guitar. Instead of being dreary and aggravating, playing calms me. If I am stressed out after a long day, the first thing I do when I get to my room is grab my guitar. Focusing my mind and energy on playing a song is therapeutic. My mind becomes clear and I begin to refocus. 

I never would have thought that learning an instrument would have such an impact on my everyday life. It has given me a source of tranquility and clarity in my mind. Every time I look at the calluses on my left fingers, I am reminded of how far I have come, and that perseverance pays off. I didn't realize at the beginning of this process that I would learn about my ability to learn and find a calming outlet that will be forever evident in my life. 

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