Loving the Guitar: Memoir Mondays

Loving the Guitar

I have been making music with my guitar since I turned 50 and went to see David Broza in concert. We sat and watched him make love to his guitar and I sat in my seat watching my fingers begin their journey to find comfort on strings.

By that next summer I had my first guitar and a teacher. Soon I had a real teacher and a better guitar, a classical guitar with nylon strings and I was working hard, trying to make music. I wasn’t there yet, but I was willing to keep at it. I loved my teacher and while his passion was for classical music, he was open to challenging me with any style I wanted to try: Dylan, the Beatles, anything.

I worked hard. It was harder than I thought it would be when I sat watching David Broza make love with his guitar. I had patience. Down the road, maybe into the second year, when my passion for the Spanish sound led me to listening to Segovia and focusing more and more of my time on classical pieces, John hinted that he would be giving up his guitar teaching and began to transition me to a new teacher who was completely passionate about classical guitar. I was sad about ending our teacher/student relationship but open to work with his best friend who was also a Jon.

Jonathan is passionate about his music and only taught classical guitar and that was fine with me. I had also made the commitment and for the last 5 years I have been working with Jon and practicing almost every day and loving the challenge. I feel a connection to the great classical guitarists when I try and play their music, when I watch them in concert and even though I don’t sound exactly like them, I feel a unique connection with each one.

For the last year, I have been wondering where I am with my guitar. I have an excellent 3rd guitar now. I have been working as hard as usual and feeling my passion as I play but I guess I want it to be easier. I want to pick up a guitar and just noodle around on it. I want the guitar to be a more social experience. At this point I can’t work on a piece without Jon’s help. Each measure is a mine field.

So, on Tuesday when Jon arrives for my lesson, back from our summer break , I will probably feel worse than he will about talking about moving away from just classical guitar and lessons with him. I have been agonizing about this decision all weekend.

One thing’s for sure, I love playing guitar. I love music and want a challenge I can master and for sure, classical music is a mountain to climb and I still have a fear of heights.


I can cheerfully report that life still has its surprises.  I am beginning to move into the rock world with Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, an all-time favorite and I’m doing it with Jon who loves it as well.  I’m sticking with classical for now and with Jon and I feel great about it.  I’m not good at abrupt change, is anyone?

Categories: Memoir Mondays, Music in my life | Tags: , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Loving the Guitar: Memoir Mondays

  1. I tried guitar when I was 15. I failed miserably with it and subsequently realized it was something to come back to later in life. Sixteen years have passes, but I still don’t think I’m ready to focus on it.

  2. Kia ora Bonnie!

    The guitar is such a splendidly sociable instrument. There are few instruments like it that permit the instrumentalist to be in F2F contact with people – and so facile. I can think of only the concertina, which, like the guitar, has a few relatives that can be used in a similar way. But all the wind instruments with the exception of the uilleann pipes occupy the player with the mouthpiece. Even the piano, for as much as it is said to be the heart of the home, is not as sociable as the guitar, lovely though its music is.

    I love my classical guitar. I don’t play it so much now, for I have arthritis in my hands (old age 🙂 that gives me discomfort if I play for long. I’ve played guitar since I was 15y, having played violin since 5y, and of the two instruments I prefer the guitar for making love with music.

    But though you may choose to climb mountains in playing your guitar, do remember about the hills as well. It is fun sliding down the other side of the hills once you’ve climbed them.

    Ka kite

  3. I am looking for those hills now Ken. I love the struggle and I’m ready not to struggle and share more with others. I want it easier.
    Sorry to hear about your finger aches.

  4. You are a woman of many talents Bonnie! I love that photo of you. . . so filled with joy!

  5. Thanks Jane.

  6. Your post takes me back to when I started playing myself. It reminded me of the fact that I was lucky enough to see Segovia play in Manchester in the UK: it must have been his last tour. All I can remember about it is the way he held a packed Free Trade Hall (it’s a big place!) spellbound.

  7. Wow, Segovia. I listen to lots of guitarists and there’s only ONE Segovia who plays guitar like a poet with droplets of sound. I am so jealous. Thanks for reading my piece and leaving something behind.

  8. http://www.debrennersmith.com My children have the passion of cello and viola. I appreciate that you have shared your passion of music today.

  9. Nice to see your post.If we are like many people, we have long contemplated learning to play the guitar. If for whatever reason we have not learned yet, it would be wise for us to remember that there is no time like the present to learn to play. All of the rockstars and famous musicians have one thing in common with us … they all had to learn the key steps for learning to play the guitar somewhere along the line. A good guitar guide is just the first step.

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