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Thread: When guitar isn't important... or is it?

  1. #1
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    When guitar isn't important... or is it?

    I've been absent from this forum for a while as things have been hectic for one reason or another. I've hardly touched my guitar these past few months but recently I was feeling in the mood to play again and had been visiting the site more frequently.

    Sadly the past couple of weeks have been the worst of mine and my fiancée's life. I'm not going into details on a public forum, suffice to say we're dealing with it and will be for some time to come I expect. Time heals and all that but what about the now?

    I'm finding myself buried in guitar related things again as it's my way of dealing with things. I got into guitar during a tough period in my life and soon realised it had the ability to soothe any troubles but I also feel a tad guilty. Perhaps this is the equivalent of burying my head in the sand?

    What about you guys? Do you find the guitar helps with the stresses of everyday life or worse? is it your therapy or just a bit of fun? Perhaps both? I've come to realise there's more important things in life than playing guitar and yet without it I'd be less of a man. That probably sounds daft to none guitar players or to those who only dabble in it on rare occasions. And yet, it has been an integral part of my life for many years now. It's helped fashion who I am, the people I've met and many of the decisions I've made in life. I wouldn't be with the woman I am if it wasn't for the guitar (She's not into guitar but in a round about way it led to me meeting her).

    Somehow it doesn't feel that important and yet clearly it is. A paradox I know!

    Just how integral is the guitar to your everyday lives?
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  2. #2
    Playing any musical instrument helps to detach one from life's daily concerns during the time one's concentrating and playing. Just doing it is a zen-like experience (if I may use the phrase loosely). In a way, it can be like meditation.

    Music, whether guitar, piano, or other instrument, is my life, so I guess it's integral.
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    Senior Member gush's Avatar
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    My grandfather was a musician and had a knack for figuring out how to play different instruments on his own. It kind of skipped a generation as my dad plays guitar but only a little and his skills are very limited. I was a trumpet player in school starting at 5th grade and continued until I graduated in 1983. In 1981 I really started to get serious about guitar and 5 of us that were friends started a band. It was cool but never really went anywhere but that experience got the ball rolling for me. I love the high I get layin down music in a live situation.

    I find myself always thinking about songs that would be cool to play. It's kind of crazy but I ALWAYS have a song running through my head no matter what I'm doing. I think it has a lot to do with the fact I can't remember information very well as I always have songs playing in my head in great detail. Distraction maybe?

    The point is that if I didn't play music there would be an empty hole in my life. What would I do to fill that? Not sure but it seems to be the one thing that keeps me moving forward.

    I'm going to be 49 this year. Equipment is getting heavier, it's getting harder to stay up late and I think maybe I should hang it up but here I am joining a new group of weekend warriors. WTH

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    I have my priorities in life and I wouldn't say guitar is the most important thing in my life. In fact, it's number 3, behind my girl and my family. For me, guitar is like, a portion of the fun part of my life, a hobby. Ever since I got into it, it feels like, without it I'm a little lost and lifeless sheep. But I definitely can live without it.

    I can't believe how Steve Vai had this 9-hour-routine in his younger times (he did say he was "brutally obsessed"...). I can't sit with a guitar in my lap and noodle around for more than 1 or 2 hours, because I'll fall asleep playing! And I do have times when I feel that there's nothing to play and I don't feel like touching the guitar. That's because you're feeling uninspired. And the last thing you want is to play guitar while being uninspired, it'll bore you to death and you'll never want to pick it up again. I'd just get away from it, get as far away as possible. I'll watch TV, hang out, play some games or do some casual reading. Then when I do feel like playing it, I'll pick it up again.

    I personally feel that the guitar should be enjoyed. I don't look at it as if it's a treadmill, otherwise every single time you get on it, it'll be like a growing burden. You're constantly working on it to get yourself "toned", not indulging in the process of playing it. Well, sometimes you have to escape (by playing guitar) , but sometimes you also have to "escape from your escape" just to keep life interesting and diverse.

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    I'll be brief. A few years ago my job had been cut, and I was dealing with some complications following a surgery that would eventually put me in a hospital for five months, and for a bit there it was looking like my life was at its end. After I was laid off I went and bought a guitar. At one time I was a music major / jazz musician on sax and clarinet but had gotten away from it because of, well, life. Having the guitar seriously helped me through that time. It made the days better and my having something to look forward to learning and improving on gave me something to look forward to. If it wasn't for that I seriously doubt I'd still be around.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    It's important to have something in this world you can call your own that nobody can take away from you, music and guitar to a degree, is that thing for me.

    I became (overly) active on these PRS forums when my mother became ill and needed assistance and my fiancé (at that time) was in grad school. I went from living a life filled with new people and places daily to somebody who was forced to figure out how to stay home and work, and find some enjoyment in a somewhat solitary environment for the time being.

    I work in a bunch of musical genres that have absolutely nothing to do with guitar, but I came to the realization that the guitar is part of who I am as a person, and that I instinctively crave the social atmosphere of "band" dudes that my life is presently lacking... So here I am!

    If music and guitar fill your life with joy, never feel guilty about it.

  7. #7
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I came to the realization that the guitar is part of who I am as a person, and that I instinctively crave the social atmosphere of "band" dudes that my life is presently lacking... So here I am!

    If music and guitar fill your life with joy, never feel guilty about it.
    This pretty much sums it up for me.

    Appreciate your comments guys!
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
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    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your troubles. I know 2013 was a roller coaster for me and I can safely say the forums were a way for me to feel connected when I thought my day to day was going to collapse. And while the forums aren't necessarily guitar...they are...that's what brought us here.

    I hope 2014 comes together for us both.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    I need it. I spend the bulk of my free time working on writing, rehearsing and playing shows. Even when I didn't have a band for long periods, I still worked on writing and arranging. It's gotten me thru my darkest days and gives me sanity thru the general chaos of life. I'm not an obsessive practice person to work technique but am always trying to improve at writing and conveying the emotion I feel. Everyone close to me knows I need it to be happy. The forums give me a place to talk about the OCD I struggle with day in & day out

  10. #10
    I Don't Re-Member beas's Avatar
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    When we play, we are engaged in present-moment experience. That helps suspend all of the over-processing of irrelevant stimuli that all brains have some predisposition toward. We worry, we anticipate, we ruminate, we re-traumatize. These are habits common for the human brain. I like that we call it playing the guitar, rather than working the guitar. It is intended to be pleasurable, immersive and, for me, it successfully interrupts my brain's efforts to upset itself. It is hard to beat that deal.
    "When I'm in my head I'm in a bad Neighborhood!"

  11. #11
    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
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    I have a very stressful job. I find playing helps me overcome what happened during my day. Guitar has always been important to me but not number 1 . My family and daughter come first. Now that my daughter is older and playing along side me, it helps to bond a little easier and help with stress. She helps with ideas and helps me write music or we both work on something together.

    I feel music is very much apart of me and my personality. Even so much to the way I dress and carry myself.
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