William H Macy – Six Strings Led to a Movie Career
My husband gets the Wall Street Journal and I see the value of the writing and that it helps his business. But the only thing I really enjoy reading in the WSJ is “House Call”. Being a creative person, I find it intriguing how other people ended up making their living in the arts, music and theatre. What or who influenced them? Was there a turning point in their lives that took them down that path? In this article, William H. Macy shares his answers to these questions.
What or who influenced you to pick up the guitar? What positive reaction in others or within yourself did you experience? Was there a defining moment when you knew that you were going to play guitar or never stop? Or perform? Or join a band? Or jam with others? Or sing to your spouse? Or to write a song?
We Play How We Practice
My son (who is a fine young golfer) and I were taking in a golf video together recently. The coach on the screen was promising a lower score when something he said caught me.
“We play how we practice.”
I rushed to write it down in my guitar practice notebook. And since then I’ve been thinking about how it applies to guitar. Read more
Your Guitar Misses You
We’ve all been there. You’re enjoying playing guitar and then life gets busy. Work demands, the kids need fed, the faucet in the kitchen breaks, your car needs washing, and on and on. “Adulting” can be hard on guitar playing. Or guitar gets frustrating and just doesn’t seem worth the effort or the time.
Time ticks on and you just haven’t picked up your guitar and you feel rusty and just can’t seem to pick it up.
You are in good company. Sometimes our heart and our lives just don’t align. Can you let go of the comparison to how you played before? It can be hard if a lot of time goes by. Maybe months. Maybe years. Drop that story.
Well, I want to invite you to come back. It’s like Guitar Church. No judgment. All are welcome.
It is time for a guitar revival. Let the spirit move you. Your guitar is waiting. Your heart is waiting. Come on back!
Reach out to me for tips on how to make this process easier and more fun.
Do you remember the first time you played your guitar in front of other people? When I first started guitar lessons, I didn’t even want my husband to hear me play in our own home. Call me the Guitar Bandit. I hid out and I was bad.
Then Melissa, who was my very first teacher and the reason I ever even thought I could learn to play guitar, announced we were going to do something called a “song share” where we found a song and worked on it and then presented it to our classmates. The horror! I was going to have to “turn myself in” and show myself to others. Read more
The Advantages of Taking Music Lessons
|During the past year, music has become an even more important part of our lives. We haven’t been able to attend concerts or play music with friends due to the pandemic. Perhaps it’s the lack of musical connection with others (and boredom) that’s inspired so many people to purchase a new musical instrument. So much so that instrument manufacturers can’t keep up with demand.|
So, what do you do when you have that new guitar or banjo in your hands? How do you even begin to learn? Sure, there are YouTube videos and music books. But for the beginner or someone who wants to take their playing to the next level, the best choice is finding a music teacher. Let’s find out why.
A New Story – Amie Voss
The attachment we feel for inanimate objects often goes beyond just a familiarity. It becomes an emotional connection, a spark for a moment in time where we remember who we are and were, the people around us, the story it tells. It’s a nostalgic memento that keeps its place and context until we decide to separate from it. That separation may be prompted by a painful following or a constant reminder of something we may finally find healing and growth from. We may find the courage to finally part from it.
My teal-green Ibanez Talman Acoustic-Electric guitar was not my first guitar. It was my first important guitar for the fact that I was now taking my playing seriously and finding that from then on, guitar would be a part of my life. It was a thoughtful gift from someone who once held a majority stake in my heart and life, and I was instantly in love with the instrument. I was excited to show it off, to gain new skills, and jump from a beginner to an actual musician, with my new guitar a part of my journey forward. It was beautiful, shiny, exciting, and I adored it. I was at that time playing group lessons on Tennyson with Melissa and Robyn (Forte Music Education) and people that were becoming part of my guitar community. The lightness and compactness of the guitar were perfect for my smaller sized hands and clunky fingers, and the cutout allowed me to try notes and chords farther up the neck. The strings were soft and the tone was true. I often wore the guitar around the house, hanging from my neck, absent-mindedly strumming as if I was to become a famous rockstar. It became a beloved companion, an object of affection. The story changed though.
Many years later, and after a divorce which had resulted from my awareness and acknowledgment of a long-term abusive relationship, when the healing started at the point I finally found my voice and fire again, I was sitting in a restaurant alone when Robyn walked in. I had taken a break from playing, as I put aside many things while I was trying to navigate my new life and decide what truth had been mine- what I wanted to hold onto. Robyn told me about a new group, a hodge-podge mix of musicians playing in the basement of Parisi’s Italian restaurant on Tuesday nights and invited me to join them. I knew. I knew that I missed it and that guitar was meant to be a part of my next chapter too, just as it had been my last. I pulled out the teal blue guitar confident that I could make new memories and deny the prior story. When I decided I couldn’t, I happily bought myself a new guitar, a bright red, jumbo Gretsch. Here it was, a new friend and I again, fell madly in love with the red instrument. The Ibanez guitar was put aside and exiled to hang on the wall, as a constant reminder of that hopeful person, and the many songs and song shares along the way. Until now …
A few weeks ago, a treasured friend of mine in Seattle mentioned one of her girls was interested in learning the guitar. (I adore Megan’s girls). She asked for recommendations and ideas as she was going to gift Amelia the guitar for Christmas. Without hesitation, I said, “I have the perfect guitar for Amelia.” I described how the size and the features fit a beginner player and a young girl’s hands and fingers. I described how I came to have it and my own story with it. Megan felt that Amelia would be excited to play a guitar that had once been mine but, as a true friend, asked if I was sure, if there were sentimental attachments – if I was ready to part with it. For a moment, everything, the memories, the person I was, that life … it all came flooding back. I knew there were attachments. I also knew that this was the perfect opportunity to give my once beloved teal-green Ibanez Talman guitar … a new story. One of Amelia’s, as she begins her musical journey. Today, I said goodbye and shipped the guitar on its way to someone who would feel joy, hope and excitement at finding it. Her attachment will start soon and while I’ll remember my own story with the instrument, my own joy is in parting from it and giving Amelia a magical object to begin and build her connection with. I cannot wait to hear the songs she plays. I cannot wait to see the smile and freedom it gives her. I cannot wait to hear her story.
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