Learning Sweet Child O’ Mine

19 May 2021 — Some notes on learning this piece by Guns N’ Roses.

At first, it was all scrambled fingers and sour notes. It was like chaos was the ruler of the day. Then I remembered the instructions my teacher continues saying: “Slow down.”

So I slowed down. Note by note by note. Then slowly, increasing the tempo. The tempo is still far too slow, but my fingers are finding the appropriate positions on the frets now.

This is only the intro. The rest of the piece remains to be tackled and learned. Memorized. It’s all about keeping my mind active and agile.

Musical Journey

Music and the word “journey” are perfect for each other. Music is a never ending source of joy for many people and something countless numbers attempt to create. Some are extremely successful as far as popularity goes, others are successful in a much quieter way.

My own journey is ongoing. The complexity of the journey is astounding to me, as it most likely is to others. Mine began as many others did with piano lessons at a young age. I recall sitting on a bench being instructed by a very old woman in the fine arts of learning to play hymns. And scales. A Dozen A Day. All of that lasted a total of 4 years. By the time I reached 7th grade, I started messing around with a trumpet and did a short stint in the school band.

By 8th grade, I was too cool for music. All musical endeavors were jettisoned like so much cumbersome luggage after a long and exhausting vacation.

Fast forward 60 years. Today I’m building guitars. And playing them. What happened? Why the sudden interest in music again? I can’t answer that with anything that makes sense. Something snapped in my brain? A friend mentioned a new guitar amplifier he’d purchased and I wanted to check it out?

The bottom line is that the pursuit of happiness is found in the pursuit. The joy is actually in the journey, regardless of how trite or overused that phrase might be. Besides, there is a reason for the existence of “tired phrases” and it’s because of the truth filled essence of the sometimes pithy statements.

I will continue to write about and share my journey with you. In the hopes that you’re interested in starting your own journey, I encourage you to go for it. It’s never too late to start. Guitar is a fantastic means of exploration. Keeping your mind engaged and focused has outstanding health benefits as well.

If you’re already on your journey, that’s awesome. Enjoy the experience and be passionate about the passion. The rewards come in the small steps of accomplishment I’m sure you know all about. Keep on creating.