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Finally got to Play Guitar, by Jim Young

“Member Blog Series” guest post by StreetJelly viewer: Jim Young

Finally got to play guitar.

Jim YoungAs a young boy I wanted to play guitar. In school all they had was trumpets and flutes etc. and that did not interest me at all. I asked my parents for a guitar, but I was told you have to be born with a special talent to play music and you’re not smart enough. I got a little older and got a job doing odds and ends and saved up for a guitar. The guy that was going to teach me suddenly moved, then my nephews managed to get their hands on the guitar and destroyed it, so that put an end to learning guitar at that point.

I got married, worked and raised my family and I never really had time to learn. Also, that little voice in my head telling me I wasn’t smart enough, was always there. Fast forward…I am in my 60’s…I have a back injury and just retired, what am I going to do with the rest of my life? I came home from my water therapy and there is a strange box waiting for me. My wife says I think I know what you can do with your time. I just couldn’t believe out of the blue she thought to buy me a very cheap guitar to get me started. I wasn’t all that sure at first, in fact, my first thought was send it back. I’m too old and I don’t have what it takes to play. My wife informs me it’s a very cheap guitar and it would cost more to send it back. Just try it and if you don’t want it we’ll donate it to someone.

I took it down into my office and I strummed it. Not even tuned and I was in love. Honestly, I can’t describe the feeling that went over me. I sat there for hours just playing one fret after another up and down the neck. I got online and looked up some chords. Next day I went and got a tuner. I knew I needed some real instructions so I purchased a DVD set and it was helpful but I still was having issues with timing. I found someone near me and he really was a huge help. Turns out we moved to FL to be closer to our newly born granddaughter. When we got to FL I found a weekly jam. That was one of the best things I ever did. I was beginning to play OK, but I still needed help. Turns out a guy there teaches, so I have been with him maybe 5 months and he has taught me so much. The group is awesome and we play for nursing homes about once a month. By no means would I call myself a musician or that I am even good, but I will say I am much further then I ever dreamed. I have met so many wonderful folks though music. StreetJelly is one of the places I have seen some great musicians and become friends with several of them. I wish I would have started this as a kid. However I am started now and enjoying it to the hilt. One of my biggest hurdles is playing in front of people, no matter who it is, when I play I feel like I mess the song up. I tried breathing exercises but no help. I never wanted to be a superstar, I just love music. My goal is to be able to do an open mic.

So that’s my story. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. It’s never too late. Oh by the way, I own three guitars now and I’m having one built. My wife says she created a monster.

Jim Young

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  • Sharon Gay on October 12, 2016 at 12:18 am said:

    Wow Jim.
    That’s inspiring. I was very fortunate to have a family support group that was encouraging. So glad you found your dream and Kudoos for your wife.

  • Sharon Gay on October 12, 2016 at 12:20 am said:

    Wow Jim. How inspiring. It’s sad that adults discourage young people. So glad you discovered your dream and Kudoos to your wife.

  • Jim Young on October 13, 2016 at 11:34 pm said:

    Thanks Sharon it’s been a long time coming but at least I have it. If it wasn’t for my wife I would have never even tried it. She created a monster, LOL.

  • Glad you did Jim – I can empathise as it was something I kept on the long finger for a long time – and couldn’t sing or play in public till I jumped in off the deep end and went busking on my 47th Birthday.

    I haven’t looked back.