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LIVE SOFT...PLAY LOUD
Welcome to a new column!
WITH THIS COLUMN, we're introducing a new feature here at guitarreport.net: the writing of Brendan "Goofydawg" Delumpa.
Brendan has been an active, multi-instrumental musician for almost forty years. With guitar as his primary instrument and source of inspiration and passion, and being a self-proclaimed “gear slut,” Brendan founded GuitarGear.org in January, 2007.
Since then, Brendan has written more than 1200 articles covering a broad spectrum of topics from guitar gear reviews to guitarists, philosophy, performance and more, both on GuitarGear.org and as a contributing writer to various online publications. Though he’s close to sixty, Brendan still regularly gigs at least twice a week…and shows no signs of stopping.
We're excited to have Brendan as part of guitarreport.net. His first column follows.
Playing guitar: The Journey
AS WITH ANYTHING we learn over time, playing guitar is a journey replete with ups and downs, feast and famine, motivations and let-downs. It’s a never-ending, circuitous path that always guarantees that there’s something else around the next bend to discover and explore.
As guitarists, we’re seekers. We’re explorers. We’re trailblazers into a wilderness that is simultaneously both familiar and new; familiar in the sense that we can see the paths that others have taken and new in that while we may tread the same ground as others, the tracks we make are ours and ours alone.
There is no wrong journey. Some journeys have several stops along the way. Some go at a snail’s pace. Others, like my own, meander all over the landscape. Others take a straight path and reach higher and higher pinnacles of skill and technique quickly. But no way is better than the other.
Along the way, we may pick up things from other sojourners. But we make the choices in how to apply and use those things in our own journey.
The gear we use is also a reflection of the nature of our journey. Some travel light with only a single guitar. Others need a wagon or large transport to get them along. Others use the latest in high-tech gadgetry while others go unplugged. And still, it’s all good, no way is better.
And the nature of our journey will change over time. Sometimes, we may just need a guitar and an amp and perhaps one or two pedals if any. There will be times when we’ll be lugging a stack and two full-size pedalboards and three backup guitars. At other times, we may go digital or may go completely analog. And still, it’s all good, no way is better.
Along with our journey, we may experience doubt about our equipment. We can see what others have and wonder if our own equipment is good enough. Furthermore, we will encounter people on our journey who are passionate about the right way to travel. They’ll tell us to follow their path and to provision ourselves with the same things they’ve provisioned for themselves.
Sometimes it’ll make sense. Other times it won’t. Just remember that those who give out the free advice are speaking from what they see through the lens of their own experience. We have to live with our own choices and the choices others have made well, they have to own.
As a humorous aside, here’s a video clip from “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome:
As the dude said: Remember, no matter where you go, there you are… In other words, if we translate that to our own journey, wherever we’re at, we have what we have, we know what we know, we play what we play. And the cool thing with that is that what we have, know or play can be in flux depending on wherever we’re at. Chew on that for a bit!
You see, the journey of playing and learning guitar is intensely personal. Even if your primary motivation is to emulate a guitar hero or someone whom you idolize, you still have to make your own choices and YOU have to be the one who learns. It’s fine to seek advice and mentorship from others; in fact, I’d say that one of the beauties of being on a guitar journey is that there is a large, global community with which to interact and from which to learn.
So Sojourner, JOURNEY ON!
Just what is meant by the term "gain"? No...it's really not the same thing as distortion, though the two terms are often used interchangeably. Colin at CS Guitars explains. Click to watch.
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