wasted 30+ years!


single & satin
Apr 27, 2012
i was just sitting here on my day off looking at several forums with the tv on when a tv commercial came on that REALLY, REALLY PISSED ME OFF. it was for ralph pauls (whoever in god's name he is, but he must of been a tv evangelist in another life)" learn how to play guitar" video. he talks about how "you can be playing like a pro, not in month's, but a matter of minutes", and how "you can back up a blues band with just just a couple of moments on the guitar", and my personal favorite,"be a great guitar player in 5 mins". he also stated how it traditionally "takes alot of time and money"(the instant gratification thing) to learn how to play, except with his system. this got me to thinking, "why have i wasted 30+ years of my life and unimagineable amounts of money on gear trying to learn how to play (and i'm still a mediocre, wanker of a player) when all i had to do was buy ol' ralphy's video, and after 5 minutes i could of been trying out for robert cray's backup band! words cant describe how pissed off and foolish i feel right now. i hope my ex-wife doesent see the commercial, she'll want all the money back from the family budget that i wasted on guitar stuff, plus give me a "denozzo" slap in the back of my head. just warning all my fellow guitar players to immediately turn this commercial off if it comes on when your signfiicant other, or close friends are around, or we'll all be attending "humiliation " therepy together. I must go and cry myself to sleep while contemplating eating a bottle of pills. oh ralphy, where were you 30 years ago when i needed you!!
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Every time I see some ad for the latest greatest "As seen on TV" products I think, "Why didn't I put that out?" Then I remember I always get stuck on the 'does it really work' part, and I figure everybody can see through the BS. I'm probably much poorer for over-estimating the masses.
Playing is a funny thing; some people learn really well from lessons, and some have a strange gift that no one can really explain. Case in point:

My son took piano lessons from about age 6 until he was 11 or 12. He was very good for his age, but really wasn't into it. He switched to bass. And he was more into it. He took lessons, and he could play well.

But when he was 13, he went off to summer camp, and came back a guitar player -- and I mean, a seriously good guitar player! This happened in the space of a month! He could shred, he knew all kinds of chords, he was a natural at the instrument. He couldn't explain it, really, except to say he just got into it, listened to a lot of records, picked up a few ideas from friends, etc. The kid never took a guitar lesson, it was simply a sudden...well...whatever talent he had just blew up.

By the time he was 14, one of my friends who teaches guitar hired him to teach guitar classes at the local middle school, and that was his part-time and summer job for a long while.

I have my own theories about age-specific development in kids, who really blossom at certain times, but this really amazed me. And still does. I honestly think that you can teach skills and information, and that most people can process the information and do pretty darn good things with it. But I'm not sure that anyone can teach talent.

I make a living composing music and playing, but my son is far and away a more original, creative, and advanced talent than I am, and he has been for a long time.