I went to my guitar lesson this week and plugged into the amp. As I played I realized that the sound coming out was not even remotely similar to what I hear at home. This was crunchy and grungy and erm…not quite the me I expected to hear. I was thrashing without even trying, babe. My guitar teacher reached down and turned a knob, pressed a button, something… bringing me back to familiar ground and sound.
I confess that while I feel I’m picking up the musicality of the instrument fairly well, I am still finding my way around the technology. For the first time since I made the decision to purchase my semi-hollow body electric rather than the nice sounding but not sexy acoustic I wondered if I was maybe in over my head.
I’m making some good noises with the guitar. I am really very happy with my progress. I even “hammer-on” stuff now and again. Yeah, baby. The trouble is that I still have to think about what each of the little knobs and buttons and bells and whistles do in this setup. I am astounded at how one thing turned ever so slightly completely changes everything.
Things are simpler on an acoustic. You sit, you play. No electricity involved. No 9v batteries to change so that your humbuckers stop humming. No grunge buttons pushed by mistake. You sit, you play, kum ba ya, my Lord, kum ba ya.
I imagine my learning curve would be less steep had I gone with the acoustic.
Then again….there is this moment I recognise in all of this and if everything is metaphor then there is one here as well, yes?
There is this moment where I think about this complicated choice, this sharp learning curve and I see how having this kind of latitude in sound fits me. It mirrors so well the life I’ve chosen….the life of the artist, the wife of an artist, the mother of the chaos crazed artists in training. Nothing is certain. Everything can change in a breath. We adapt, we push a button, we turn a knob and find a sound that works here. Half the time we don’t know what will happen…feedback, more often than not, trial and error, it’s all good….or it’s all good-ish at least. It’s an adventure.
I will learn what each knob does in time. I hope I remember after I learn it. It will probably take the rest of my life to figure it out and put it all into practice…then again, metaphorically the lesson is that perhaps really it’s more about seeing this AS my life after all…rather than something I do to fill the time.