Monthly Archives: March 2014

Review: Guitar

Wow, well, you could do a lot worse. The guitar is a fine and decent instrument, very versatile, and has had enduring popularity. John Fahey, Tal Farlow, that guy from down the hall, Lil Wayne, Katy Perry: All of these people have played guitar. It has strings, like the piano, but is also different from the piano.

You started on bass, you say? Don’t worry, it is a little cliche, but a lot of people do. I did. It’s easier; there are fewer strings.

I mean, guitar is cliche to begin with. You’re just getting on there and doing things that literally everyone has heard before, and about half of all people have already played that progression you were really proud of for a second. That might trouble you for a couple years in middle school, when you were still obsessed with originality, but everything you have ever done and felt has already been done and felt. Unless you’re the first person to walk on Mars, it is very unlikely that you will have a wholly unique experience. And if you do have a unique experience, (e.g. It is very likely that no one has ever stood in this spot and uttered this phrase while jumping on one leg after having eaten KFC), it doesn’t feel special. It just feels petty, almost defensive, to cling to that as a mark of individualism. 

You’re not the protagonist of the world’s story, you’re just some incidental combination of flesh and consciousness. And you’re kind of stuck with that. You can’t really deny it, but a satisfying purpose evades you. You think you need some third-party confirmation of your importance. You’d really like one, at least.

And the only consolation that you can come up with, the only reason to keep existing after you’ve been told your whole life that you are special and that there is a god and he has a purpose for you, is that maybe all of that is totally unimportant. Because everything is unimportant, except for one thing: How you feel. All else being equal (which it is), you’d rather feel good. The basic premise is really simple. Feel good, not bad. Seek out goodness. Originality might come out of it, but you don’t need to pin your happiness on what other people have or haven’t done.

How you go about doing that comes down to personal style and self-knowledge. It seems to justify taking drugs every night to feel good, but that’s not a very deep enjoyment. Happiness can be simple or complex, and is valid on every level, but the right career and good relationships tend to grant a more resilient satisfaction.

That being said, who cares if someone else has played a Gmaj before? Not anyone whose opinion should matter to you. That sounded pretty good, and you’ve improved. Realistically, you won’t get famous doing that, but you might. Mostly, though, it felt pretty good, too, right? Nice.

8.6 / 10

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