Old red was the first instrument I ever owned. My music lessons as a kid to that point was through piano training. Fourth grade and I wanted to just grow my hair long and play loud music. A classmate introduced me to heavy metal music. The guitar players seemed to get all the girls. I foolishly thought playing guitar would increase my romantic chances. My Dad and I spent a bit of time in one of the old music stores in the hometown. This was the one guitar that would work. Price was right and it could do whatever I needed. It originally had a tremolo bar for me to perform horrendous sounding dive bomb riffs.
This old guitar was to be a Christmas gift. Not long after it was decided I was getting this guitar, I saw the music video for Rush’s “Marathon” on television. Hearing Geddy Lee play bass the way he did on that song completely floored me. My young musical mind had a basic grasp of what a bass player was supposed to do. Playing bass was just not something that I thought I would be doing. Immediately I wanted to go straight into it. Much to my relief, Dad was not disappointed in the slightest. He was able to improve my understanding of bass more and take me back to the store to try playing one. As much as I gravitated towards playing bass, he would teach me one of the greatest lessons ever by suggesting I work at trying to learn guitar first. Playing guitar, much like playing piano, might help me understand melodies and where the bass would normally fit in.
Eventually I did take up bass. The world did not need another rough guitar player. I kept the old red guitar more out of sentimental value. It rarely was used. Over time the disuse and dormancy caught up with the instrument. Only recently I started to feel it was not right that I was not playing it. The tuning pegs need adjusting, the wiring is a bit screwy and the bridge needs to be loosened. It’s in rough shape. It does not have the same value it once had. It can be fixed and used by someone who will be able to find value in it. Luckily for me I thought of some people who have a very busy musical household of multi-instrumentalists. They play guitar, drums, keyboards, cello and probably much more. When I approached them about giving them the guitar, they didn’t hesitate to say yes. There was a great feeling in letting go of old red. This guitar has a new life, adding value to a house of musicians who will use and enjoy it.
This post was previously published on www.dannalexander.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
Photo credit: Dann Alexander