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Dulcet Tones

Week Two of the thankfulness blogs:

Last week was a pretty deep and serious thing, a way my daughter delights my heart. This week is something much simpler, but something that has been huge for me lately.

A couple months ago I traded a guy some guitar equipment I no longer used for some that he no longer used. I ended up with a new (to me) guitar amplifier. It happened to be an amp I had been wanting for a decade. And I couldn’t feel more pleasure playing through it.

A whole cascade of things changed with this ‘purchase’. I picked up and dusted off my electric guitar, something I hadn’t played much at all in a couple years. I did the same with my array of guitar effects pedals. I had to replace some stuff that had broken down over the last 15 years of ownership. I went head first into researching new pedals and how to configure a board and tune pedals properly. I found what is now one of my favorite YouTube channels: That Pedal Show. I even bought a couple new pedals.

Beyond just the equipment, I started to dig into old music I used to love to play on guitar, and felt a rush as I tried to retrain my fingers to play the songs. The muscle memory was still there for a lot more than I expected. I started looking up tabs and tutorial videos, actively listening to songs trying to piece together how something might be played. It was a lot of fun.

I felt an exhilaration I haven’t felt in many years, maybe since I bought my first Marshall tube amp when I was 16.

I love guitar. It isn’t just playing it, maybe it isn’t even really playing it. I get really into all the gear and the equipment and the sounds and the theories and technique regarding it. I get all geeked up about it. When I was young I would spend hours online looking up articles about rigs of my favorite players. I had as my homepage for a few years. It was such a big hobby for me for so long.

Something I forgot I enjoyed so much.

Since I got this amp, I have pulled out all my old stuff and spent hours researching how people use it all, tweaking it myself, and enjoying every minute of it.

I have tried to play on that amp every day for at least half an hour. It hasn’t always worked out, and with small children, bed times, and late dinners get in the way.

Oh, and one other part of the childhood came roaring back my way as well: a fed up adult shrieking at me in a shrill voice that I’m playing too loud.

Rockers gotta rock, man.