Guitar is an exercise in trust. This is my second lesson as a new guitar player. My first was a reminder that guitars are wood and wood is alive. Thus, we need to remember to treat our guitars as living beings and friends. They hold the memories and the spirits of those who’ve played them before and need to be treated with love and respect. It made me thankful to know that my guitar had belonged to some kind and caring people before it came to me. Though it’s out of tune now from lack of use, it still draws me in. I am surprised at how I can sit down with it to practice some simple finger exercises and look up to find an hour or more has passed. My guitar clearly knows how to take good care of me.
Today I sat with her just gently moving my fingers up and down the strings, gently plucking one string at a time, trying to make a clear note. I noticed again how I was watching where my fingers landed and I thought of my teacher and other guitarists. I wondered to myself how guitarists look out at the crowds or just watch the world as they play. How do they know where their fingers are going?
I pulled my head up to look out the window and kept placing my fingers and plucking the strings. Sometimes I got it right. Sometimes I looked down and saw my finger at the wrong fret. Sometimes I was close, but not quite where I needed to be. I just kept playing. I could hear it. I could here it better when I wasn’t looking. I could feel the distance between the frets. Like I said my guitar is out of tune and I am just a beginner, but it was there just for that moment. It was as if my guitar was saying “You can trust me. You can trust you.”
There it is. That is it. My fingers and I are just learning, but the music will take them and they will know where to go. It is just an exercise in trust.