The two pictures at the top of this post were sent by me to my partners this past Friday. The one on the left, the Ibanez Artcore garnered the following response, “Who let you in a music store unsupervised?”.
That is a fair question. I am a musician even if writing has overtaken music as a creative outlet. I never considered music a possible profession, at least not after my sophomore year of high school. When I briefly considered majoring in music I got the “what kind of job can you get with a music degree” question that also kept me from applying to, much less attending, Saint John’s College (which is a whole other blog post).
As a result I have an extensive collection of music making items including two guitars, a Yamaha acoustic and a Squire SSH Strat, a bass guitar, a clarinet, two flutes, three keyboard controls, a sampled piano, FL Studio, Reason, Arturia V, and NI Komplete Ultimate. I have a nice audio interface for my computer. As it my want with any subject I have more than a passing interest in I have a lot of books and other written material.
Yet, beyond my weekly clarinet and flute lessons I find I don’t play much. The odd thing is playing is a lot like the gym. I don’t easily overcome the inertia to do it but when I do I’m a much happier person.
I really wanted to buy the Artcore and a new amp but I honestly had not played guitar in years. I was never very good. I’m too embarrassed by my skills to try a guitar in the store. Saturday while waiting for a computer repair I found an Artcore in a Guitar Center used gear rack and played a few notes with it plugged into a used Valvetronix amp. I almost left with them as combined they were less than the light blue Artcore.
I didn’t because, as I said, I hadn’t been playing much guitar.
Hadn’t is the key word as I’ve played some guitar four days straight. In fact, I played some before work this morning despite feeling like death warmed over from a cold.
One reason is I cut a deal with myself. I got out a copy of Austin Kleon’s 30 Day Challenge Sheet. On the “Every Day I Will” line I wrote, “Play Guitar”. For “After 30 Days I Get:” I checked the fill in box and wrote, “$100 for a hollow-body and an amp.”
That Artcore and a good amp for a Rockabilly sound would run about $700 or so if I catch a sale. That is 210 days of playing guitar. If I play 210 days straight I can justify the cost. Of course, I could play my way into the guitar and, goal achieved, watch it gather dust.
Maybe, but maybe I’ll trick myself into quit being so lazy and into doing something that is always worth having done.
I have a room full of guitars and amps and I don’t play them I constantly try to convince myself I will… alas…