What it Means to be a Musician


I’ve played guitar, sang, wrote songs since I was 14 years old.  That’s a very long time.  I’ve always gotten refuge from the the world with music.  My guitar has been my best friend throughout my life-time.  I tend to be a solitary person, most comfortable with a guitar in my lap.  With or without an audience, though I do love an audience.

It is nothing new to me to be sitting with my guitar, a mic, a recorder and look up at the clock to see I’ve been at it for a good portion of the day.  Hours fly by when I’m working in my studio with audio or video productions.

Many people think I’m an idiot spending all my money on recording equipment and instruments.  When they learn the cost of my guitars there is always a long pause of silence followed by the eye rolling.

I bought my second guitar when I was 14 years old.  It was an Epiphone 12-string that I paid $300+ in 1972.  I worked after school at the local Winn Dixie Grocery store and saved for that guitar.  I proudly brought it home and was eager to share the news of my new 12-string with my family.  My step-mother, Nancy, insisted on evening meals with the whole family present and that evening at dinner time I announced that I had finally saved enough for my 12-string and had it in my room and if anyone wanted to hear me play it…  My stepmom asked me to tell my father how much I paid for it.  I told him and he asked me if I had a brain in my head??  He was very upset that I had spent that much on a guitar.  I learned from then on not to divulge the cost of my equipment to non-musicians.

Yes, I agree, I could have purchased several homes with the money I’ve spent on my instruments and equipment but, would I still be sane?  Music has been there for me like a blanket in the storm that is “life”.  Some would call me irresponsible and immature but, I call it self preservation.

I have a Guild 12-string I purchased in 1982.  Instead of paying for food and shelter I bought a long sought after 12-string guitar.  I am still the proud owner of that guitar today.  It has always been my most cherished possession.  You can probably imagine my joy at seeing this same model, Guild 12-string, F-512, written up in “Acoustic Guitar Magazine” as the best 12-strings ever made.  I proudly display a copy of the magazine, in the Guild guitar case along with the guitar.  I agree that yes, it is one of the finest 12-strings I’ve ever played.  I’ve written songs with that Guild when I couldn’t bear the tears, the pain, confusion.  That guitar has always brought great joy to me.  Just to hear it ring out as I play it is still a thrill that never grows old.

Owning so many instruments and equipment has left me quite broke but, I can honestly say that my experience with all things music is quite vast.

Discovering “EBAY” has been instrumental in being able to try out vast quantities of equipment that I normally couldn’t afford to try out.  If not for  buying and selling equipment on EBAY I wouldn’t have the means to try out new equipment every 4 years.  I have yet to purchase a guitar from “EBAY” but, I have gotten quite a bit of used equipment over the years.  Some good, some not so good.

Being a musician I will take work when and where I can find it, usually playing for free or little compensation.  I would not consider myself lazy as it takes great dedication, education, love of music, and great amounts of time learning intricate passages, scales, notes, chords and songs.  I’m constantly struggling to better my capabilities with my instruments, equipment.

There is so much to learn and so little time and this is especially true for musicians.