We're All Doomed

After I'd been playing guitar for many years, I decided the time was right to switch to classical.

So I bought one. A Yairi nylon string classical guitar. Not a great one: definitely a factory guitar, but with a pretty good sound – warm, nice tone, and so on. I began taking lessons, too. The hardest thing was getting used to holding it in the proper position.

But I've never looked back. Now it's years later and it is the only way I know how to play. I play almost every day. Presently I'm re-learning a tune I used to play but stopped, the Christopher Parkening arrangement of J.S. Bach's "Sleepers, Awake!" (It's written for two guitars, but what the heck.)

Anyway, after first transitioning from steel string acoustic, I began reading all about classical guitars, in addition to playing them. I wish I'd taken better notes, because I remember reading a very pithy observation, but have no idea where I read it.

That observation, in sum, is that we're all doomed to die believing we could be at least a little bit better on the guitar.

It's sure true for me. Even now, after years of playing, I tend to over-reach – to start work on a piece that is too complicated for my abilities. I should be able to play this, I think. I should still be getting better.

It's good to challenge yourself; it's a good way to learn, to stretch. On the other hand (my fretboard hand?), Chet Atkins said you should know your limitations.
johnkelin johnkelin
Mar 8, 2011