1 (edited by Seersha 2009-06-17 17:17:38)

Topic: My sob story

I am 22 years old and I haven't touched my guitar in 5 years.
Two years ago I moved to Mesquite, TX to be with my boyfriend, who is very musically talented and supportive.
Watching him for two years reminded me of how I just gave up on guitar without giving it a fair shot.
In order to tell you about what I want I first have to explain why I walked away from it.

For my 15th birthday I was given an old acoustic guitar, a silverstone if I remember correctly, the paint has rubbed off so I'm going on memory here.
I was so excited to begin guitar. I had never considered the fact that I had absolutely no musical background nor had any family members that were musically talented in any fashion. They were academics, not musicians.

I started lessons the same day I was given my guitar. My teacher was very nice, an old hippie if I had to guess, and I learned the basics from him and I still remember the majority of the chords. In true teenager fashion I slathered the body of the guitar with stickers even though I knew it would compromise the sound. I didn't see what harm it could really do. Listening to it now, I understand.

My first day of guitar also became my worst day of guitar. I used to attend an evangelist church that had a tendency for vengeance. I had questioned some things and in return they had decided to teach me a lesson. I was forced to perform in front of the church playing a song with the three chords I knew. I was mortified and humiliated and everyone laughed and teased me about it for the rest of the time I lived in that state. It remains the most humiliating moment of my life. I know I didn't learn the lesson they wanted me to learn (thankfully) but they did achieve the damage they wanted to afflict on me.

That was a crushing blow to my self confidence. I didn't know how to get over things like that until a few months ago when I had some magical epiphany and felt like an idiot for not realizing it sooner. Back in Hawaii, I'd practice weekly like I was told to, but instead of listening to what I was playing I relived that moment in church over and over and couldn't stand to hear myself play. 5 years passed and I realized on my 20th birthday that in 5 years I had not made a single improvement. I chocked it up to not having an ounce of musical talent. Feeling bitter shame in my heart for giving it up I put it away in a closet and moved on with life.

I don't like to give up on things. Ever. I don't have to be the best but I want to succeed and at the very least not suck at it. It would be one thing if I didn't enjoy playing it, but I did. I liked the feeling of the strings and just about everything about it. I felt like I was doing myself a great disservice by not going through with it, but lacked the abilities to go forward with it.

Right now I'm back in my home town and I looked at that silent guitar, covered in dust, felt it mocking me for giving up and took it out and set it on my lap.

My epiphany back in Texas was simply put -- those people were horrible people; Hypocrites; liars; cheaters people that had an obvious bias against me. If asking questions was my horrible sin than none of it was my fault. Anything I could have developed in the musical department was squashed by them and my lack of self confidence. So I want to start over. I know the basics. I know the chords. That's the money part of it.

Now what I need is help...where should I go next? I've always been horrible at strumming, never been taught to listen to rhythm or the changing of notes, I've been trying to teach myself. I do not have a developed ear. I am going to have to study harder and practice longer than the average person. I am going to have to unlearn bad habits.

Long story just to ask a short question, I know, but I figured my story wasn't very common so I wanted to explain myself.

Guitar: Jay Turser "Statue of Liberty" guitar
I've decided to name it (drum roll please) Liberty.
I'm a noob guitarist but I have the love of a pro.
I want to learn everything I can.

2 (edited by Zurf 2009-06-17 17:40:20)

Re: My sob story

First, those people did NOT treat you in a Christian manner.  To humiliate fellow Christians or people thought to have sinned is NOT in Scripture, and especially not in the New Testament where Christians must focus our attention (though we must understand the Old Testament to have any chance at understanding the New Testament).  Exactly the OPPOSITE instruction is in there, which is to speak the truth in love.  They did not speak the truth, and they did not act out of love.  So, the very most important thing of any of this is to recognize that those people should not reflect Jesus' love for you in your eyes.  Do not seek vengeance.  Do not seek equality.  Just forgive them, though they haven't asked for it, and move on.  For we humans, forgiveness is meant for the peace of mind of the forgiver far more than it is for the forgiven.  This is very, very important, and it does relate to your guitar playing. 

How does forgiving those people relate to your guitar playing?  Well, you have to get past the fact that what they did to you was out of their own error and none of your own.  There are other benefits too. 

Now, once you have reconciled yourself to the fact that you CAN play the guitar, that those people do NOT define your talent or interest, and have taken a deep breath and maybe had a little fresh Peppermint tea with honey, the first thing to do is clean your guitar and tune it.  Don't worry about the stickers.  Youthful indiscretion.  Forget about it.  Besides, stickering up a road guitar is tradition.  I think heading to Texas and home again with you qualifies it as a road guitar.  Clean the dust off it, maybe put on some fresh strings, and get it tuned up.  Approach it with dignity and respect both for yourself and for the guitar. 

Now you're ready.  Forget everything you learned before and start fresh.  The best place I know to do that is to go to www.justinguitar.com and learn about some basic skills you'll need.  Further, Chordie has a relationship with www.jamplay.com, which is well-regarded by those who have used it.  I can't give a personal recommendation, but it is another good place to consider going.  The price is certainly affordable and a low-risk option to try.  Finally, the chord charts and tabs available using the Chordie search engine are fantastic.  Pick some songs you know and like and try them.  Don't worry if you don't sound exactly like the original artist.  First, precise covers are over-rated.  It's far better to express yourself with your playing than to follow someone else's expression.  Secondly, those folks are professionals with many years and decades of practice and developed skills.  They are set apart with exceptional talent.  That isn't to say that you aren't talented, because I think you must be to be so driven to stick with it.  It is to say that many of the long-term pros are rare exceptions with the quantity of talent they have and the amount of time and training they have had to develop that talent.  You won't sound just like them right out of the chute.  Don't try. 

One final word.  Practice is practice, and playing is playing.  You have to do both to improve.  Justinguitar.com has some excellent practice routines to develop your skills and abilities.  These practice routines are not supposed to be music.  They might include some music, but they are intended to expand your possibilities and develop skill over time.  Note that I said OVER TIME.  Playing songs is making music.  It is intended to be fun and to bring pleasure to you and hopefully those who hear you (but mostly to you).  There is a wide gray line between these two things, but it's important to know when you are practicing (for instance running scales) and when you are playing (for instance, laying out a sweet blues lick based on the scales you learned in practice). 

Best of luck.

A long answer to a short question with a long intro.  big_smile

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: My sob story

First of all, I'd like to thank you for your kindness and support, I'm not used to getting that in the musical department.

I will definitely check out those sites you mentioned and work on picking up some new strings.

I realize that people like that give Christians a bad name and do not represent the faction as a whole and did not damage my faith, just how willing I am to give credit to organized religions that require people to seek council via man.

Guitar: Jay Turser "Statue of Liberty" guitar
I've decided to name it (drum roll please) Liberty.
I'm a noob guitarist but I have the love of a pro.
I want to learn everything I can.

Re: My sob story

I could give christains a bad name..as well as jews, muslims, hindus,sieks,bhudisits, mormons, jahova witnesses as well as myself lol lol

could resist that.

humiliating anyone no matter who or what they are is a bad thing.

Anyway, Zurf has just about covered anything I was going to say so his post is good for me.


ye get some that are cut out for the job and others just get by from pretending

Re: My sob story

Seersha, listen to Zurf The Wise. There is no other post that could add to what he said. I always advise having a look at www.justinguitar.com  the man is brilliant at what he does.

Whatever song you choose from chordie's index to have a go at, once you get the chords together and recognise even a small part of the song coming from your fingers you will be hooked. Or re-hooked. It still amazes me everytime I get my guitar to sound out my favourite songs.

All the very best,

Al V

Is anything really made up of zeros and ones??

Re: My sob story

Seersha wrote:

First of all, I'd like to thank you for your kindness and support, I'm not used to getting that in the musical department.

Stick around here.  You'll get as much kindness and support as you can handle. 

I couldn't care less what you think of other Christians, even though I'm one myself.  I care a great deal how their awful treatment of you reflects on your opinion of and relationship with Jesus.  (Sorry to get theological here Ken.) 

Hey speaking of kindness and support, has anyone heard from Lena lately?  Is the Old Doll alright? 

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: My sob story

Hi Seersha smile Welcome to Chordie.
I would like to add to Zurfs right on the mark comments that you should also think where you will be playing 5 or 10 years down the road. You may have lost the first five years but that is only the first five years. You have your whole adult life in front of you now to learn what you want, when you want and how you want. smile

Hang around Chordie and you can't go wrong, lots of good people and advise here.


Just Keepin on Keepin on
Martin DC15E
Cort MR710F
Squire Strat (Chinese)

Re: My sob story

Seersha, don't let what happened in the past affect your  future. Like the old saying goes - "Today is the 1st day of the rest of your life". Now that you have found CHORDIE you are amoung friends who will try to help you in any way they can. Don't think it's too late to learn - I started playing about 4 to 5 years ago, have a song list of over 70 songs I can play well, play with a group of musicians every weekend, (not sure if its my playing ability or my wife's singing voice that keep us being invited back but we are having a great time doing this) and I will be 58 years old the end of this month.

My advise would be to forget what you used to know and start all over fresh. Set some goals, go slow, establish a good practice schedule and practice, practice, practice. Go back and read some of the past posts that have been made concerning the "how too's", and "why too's" of playing guitar. Ask questions when you need too, do your homework, use the chordie resources and it will not be long before you will begin to see some results.



Re: My sob story

The 1st thing you gotta do is pick up the instrument again.  Show it some love.  Clean it up, re-string it, tune it, and have it set up, if you're into that kind of thing.

Play it.  Put it next to your couch, and touch it a lot.

Until you do that, it's just furniture.

Someday we'll win this thing...


Re: My sob story

I'll cast another vote here for justinguitar.com.  Also, if you're truly wanting to change some bad habits, you should take a look at guitarprinciples.com and the book "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar."  I'm not affiliated in any way, but I can tell you that it works.

Welcome to chordie, and good luck.

"There's such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
                              --David St. Hubbins

Re: My sob story

Well just let me welcome you to Chordie, so just jump in and hang on!


Keep a fire burning in your eyes
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down

Re: My sob story

check out"  folkjam.org " in you area

always pickin someting

Re: My sob story

Thank you again for all the support. I'll be sure to leave updates to my progress. Thank you for the first musical support ever!

Guitar: Jay Turser "Statue of Liberty" guitar
I've decided to name it (drum roll please) Liberty.
I'm a noob guitarist but I have the love of a pro.
I want to learn everything I can.

Re: My sob story

Hello Seersha,
     Desire, and never giving up, or giving in is the important part of learning. Everyone has to work hard at being proficient at the guitar. As the proverb says, " a trip of a thousand miles, begins with a single step." You've probably heard the story of Eric Clapton, locking himself in a room for a year, to better his guitar playing. This was AFTER he was already famous! George Harrison, played over and over until his hands bled. No one is suggesting you do the same. The point is, what is often taken for musical genius, is nothing more than much hard work, coupled with desire. You will learn much from Chordie, most importantly, that the people here care about each other. The only criticism I have ever read, is when someone uses self-depricating humor. Know that we are here for each other, and will help in whatever way we can. Come to think of it, that sounds like a Christian concept to me.

The only advice I would give you, is to start slowly, at your own pace, and be patient. Playing music is a skill, that requires repetition. Golfers swing clubs, batters swing bats, we swing guitars...oops I mean we practice scales and chords. No magic here, just the love of what we are doing. Sorry this is not technical advice, maybe in a later post.

Good luck and Godspeed,

But, here's the secret about the guitar: It's defiant. It will never let you conquer it. The more that you get involved with it, the more you realize how little you know.
                 Les Paul  March 2007

Re: My sob story

Hi, Seersha
greetings from England.  I can't add much to the generous posts above - other than to say music is not about learning a zillion fancy chords, just having fun with ones you do know can be enough.  Buy a Ramones CD, quickly !  And also, take some comfort from the fact that any future performance you do will not be as daunting as the one you told us about - you certainly had a baptism of fire. 

Stronger than the sun....harder than a gun

Re: My sob story

There's a story about Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend watching Jimi Hendrix. It's one of the first times he's played in England and Eric and Pete's jaws are on the floor. Pete Townsend starts to leave and Eric stops him and says something like 'where you going Jimi's not finished yet'. Pete replies 'after seeing that, I'm going home to practice'!

Sounds like you played before an audience before you were ready Seersha. People can be real nasty sometimes, christian or not. I can guarrantee you though that inside some of those people were really thinking 'Wow Seersha has real guts, I wish _I_ could play guitar'.

Taken me 5 years to be playing my local folk club and that's a very friendly place. There's lots to learn playing live and part of it is just steeling yourself for it. Is it silly for me to wear my lucky T-shirt? Maybe, but if it gives me just a tad more confidence...

I'm going to have another go at that club on Friday. One song I'm practicing is 'I Can Hear Music'. Maybe I'll fail to make that opening note and the song will flop. I keep practicing it every night, but eventually I'll just have to go out and shoot for it...

'The sound of the city seems to disappear'

Re: My sob story

Hey... I know all about the lack of confidence... I play guitar to accompany myself when I sing... I know I'm not fantastic... I have some good friends who are guitar legends... current and future... I stopped singing a couple of years ago when one of my vocal coaches told me I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket... 2 weeks ago I performed Road house blues with a band that included a very famous musician... I had no voice, a cold and was shaking like a leaf... after the song he said "nice work".  I have my new vocal coach Harmony to thank for that... the fact that I was there at all and the fact that I got through that song... she rebuilt my confidence... thats all you need... you can play the chords... so now feel the music and you wont look back...

Big Hugs...

Re: My sob story

We all will be judged wrongly and will have thoughts of quiting what we love if we let our peers get to us. We just have to remember why we love it to begin with and go with that. Everyone else have given you more wisdom than i could on playing. Just one question. What song was it that you played? Reason i ask is even a three chord song can be hard and it could be that the church didn't like the style of music that it was. Follow your heart inside of God's will and you can't go wrong. Good luck with your restart.

Re: My sob story

It was 'I will Celebrate' and the three chords were Em, C and D

Thank you again for your wonderful support!

Guitar: Jay Turser "Statue of Liberty" guitar
I've decided to name it (drum roll please) Liberty.
I'm a noob guitarist but I have the love of a pro.
I want to learn everything I can.

Re: My sob story

Well said Zurf!

Seersha...I've often found that if you just practice some basic scales and chord patterns that pretty soon things will smooth out and get much easier... get a metronome, set a tempo and just strum away...

Middleaged Redneck sorta guy who refuses to grow up...passion for music, especially Southern Rock but like bout everything cept Gangsta/Hip Hop. Collect guitars, mandolins, and love to ride Harleys.

Re: My sob story


    I am touched by your story and as a christian, appalled. Let me tell you something, the bible says to try the spirit by the spirit. Not everyone who calls themselves "Christian" are so. It sounds like that church you got hurt at were full of "AINTS"...not "SAINTS".

First and foremost, find yourself a true bible preaching church that only preaches the word and not anyone's interpretation of it. Also, put forth an effort to build a relationship with Jesus for yourself. Once you have a relationship with Him he will lead, guide and direct your path and put the people you need in your life...and also take those that don't need to be in your life out! (not kill em but just move em...hehe). I don't know what your denomination is but I'm COGIC (church of God in Christ) and it's the most pure holiness denomination I've encountered. I've tried baptist, catholic and athiesm and they all left me vacant.

Next, don't give up on your guitar! I also put down guitar after a series of bad people entered my life and took my focus off of my instrument. Thankfully, after getting saved and letting God lead the way, he put the people I needed back in my life that would encourage, uplift and help me get to where I need to be. As long as you keep leaning on Him, you won't be led astray.

Also, stick around here and learn as much from the positive people we have here on Chordie. It's part of how I got back into the guitar game and I'm doing great and learning more and more everyday!

God bless,

"Talent instantly recognizes genius,
but mediocrity knows nothing more than itself."

-Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle

Re: My sob story

Seersha (such a pretty name),
Welcome and congratulations for getting past a traumatic (for anyone) humiliation.
It's all about the music. You seem to be drawn back to it again.
You are fortunate to have a talented and supportive mate. I'm sure he will help you find your way back.
Music is rarely do or die. It has to be fun. As a player you can please others and yourself and really make a party.
So, take your time, ease into things at your own pace and never lose sight of the fact that it must be fun for all concerned.

We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

23 (edited by bimmam 2009-06-19 01:49:22)

Re: My sob story

Hi Seersha,

Firstly hold your head high, take a deep breath and let go of the bad experience and the anger.  To use a religious term music could be your calling.  From what ive read you want to learn the guitar and when you want something you put more effort into getting it.

Go find musical people around you, learn from them but most of all enjoy the guitar, enjoy the music.  Most presents received when you were 15 i assume are gone but isnt it a sign the guitar is still there.

When you get going and I believe you will, make it your mission to get on a stage some night some where and play your sound, this time the response will banish the pain of the past.

Music is a powerful healer.

Best of luck and if you want it make it happen.


Even a blind squirrel gets a nut now or then...

Re: My sob story

Lots of good messages above. I couldn't add anything much to them but just wanted to wish you the best. I think everyone goes through a spell where they feel lik THEY won't be able to learn the guitar....not like "real" guitarists....I certainly feel that way plenty. However, I think it helps to remember that everybody had to start somewhere.

Play as much as you can and you WILL improve. No question about it.

Just have fun with it all and you'll do grand. And good on you for not letting your old church friends beat the ambition to improve yourself out of you....

All I got, is a red guitar, three chords and the truth

Re: My sob story

Some advice from a wise old man?  Live your life the way you want to, within reason, of course.  Do not let any one person or group of people tell you how to live your life, but learn from each of them the good things.  Stay with the ones who bring you joy and good advice, stay away from those who tend to be controlling and want you to live by their standards.  No one has a right to steer your lifestyle to conform to their way of life.  No one.  Treat people with kindness and help them when you are able.  You will be rewarded in this lifetime many times over.

You can see all my video covers on [url]http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000[/url]
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.