Tuesday, May 2, 2017


It’s that wire that no one sees but draws us to the magician’s hand.

It’s the true north that mysteriously keeps our needle pointing one way.

One day we hear the jangle, the strum of an E chord, the tip-of-a-hat in a G run, or the one-man-band of a fingerstyle song and we’re never the same. We wander through life with a different song in our mind. We notice everything guitar—of course in sound on the radio and in recording—but also the physical presence of the guitar in the background scenery of a movie set, in a commercial on TV. If we walk into a strange place and there happens to be a guitar in the room, little else occupies our mind. It calls our attention like an overheard conversation that sounds more interesting than the one in which we’re currently engaged...

“Oh, excuse me. Did you say something?”

Maybe it’s the sound that hooks us first but almost simultaneously we’re drawn to the guitar as a work of art. Curiously, in the horizontal position we view it as a practical tool to make our music. But we view it as art in the vertical—resting on its heel, that perfect balance, that anthropomorphic symmetry. Proof? --the guitar tester’s dance-- you know the one. You’ve seen it and you’ve done it. Play a riff, a chord, a song, and as that final strum is cast…we pick it up, left hand still holding the neck, right hand on the end pin…and we do that graceful pirouette ‘til we’re face to face with the guitar and the sound it’s making. Eyes take in the beauty from peg to bridge. Then the grin…

...Fred, meet Ginger.


  1. I live with a man who sleeps, dreams, hears music in his head all the time. I use to think he was really paying attention to me as he nodded away I rambled on thoughts, then as I would wait for him to answer, he would say, have you ever really listen to.......

    1. Heh. I get it.

      When I was in junior high I had a friend named Ed English. I had been playing guitar for a few years by then and Ed had just taken it up. I remember him saying that in this life he'd rather go blind than deaf. He couldn't imagine life without music. I can't either, but it might have been a tougher choice for me. I like to see too.

  2. I'm have such admiration for musicians, no talent, but love to listen. Mark plays everyday. I enjoy listening.
    It would be hard to give up either.