Sweaty Spice, the other Spice Girl

In my heyday, I was playing guitar for two to four hours per day, and I had become fairly proficient. I had a repertoire of songs that I played really well, and I had a catalog of licks and riffs that I could whip out when improvising.

It was a joy to play, to play out, and to jam.

Alas, life intervenes, and I got busy, work, and other commitments pushed guitar to the side, and then the background.

Hours a day, became an hour a week (maybe), and then an hour a month, then not even that. I got rusty. I began forgetting a lot of what I knew, so that when I picked up the guitar, it became a chore to play. That led to fewer and fewer sessions, and more decay of my once cherished skills.

Enter the Pandemic

With the endless lock downs, restrictions, coupled with the mandatory work from home (that has been extended through the beginning of March officially) I have found that I have more time at home. The two and a half hours I spent commuting by train are now "free". And I start earlier in the morning, so I don't feel bad logging off of most of the work related tasks mid afternoon.

One of the things this has enabled is the ability to more consistently pull the guitar off the wall, and to play.

And play I have. While I am far from my peak capabilities, I find that many of the pieces that I just had on autopilot are coming back, and with a little work they sound ... good.

Not great, but not like I only practice once every other month. Additionally, I have gone back to the woodshed and begun doing some of the drudgery. You know, picking exercises, scales, arpeggios, and that boring work that behind the scenes improves your playing, your improvisation, and repertoire of chops.

Hell, I even did open amp surgery to replace the shattered input jack on my main amp to get back that punchy high-octane tone that made me fall in love with the Fender Super 60. (It is still too loud for my room. I'm eying a 15W Orange all tube amp, hoping Santa will deliver).

Each session with the guitar becomes easier, and more enjoyable. More knowledge that I once had is returning, and even the osteoarthritis in my left hand - that I used as my main excuse to play far less - is abating. Not gone, but not crippling either.

In all, this is a pleasant benefit from the pandemic.

You’ve successfully subscribed to Sweaty's Corner
Welcome back! You’ve successfully signed in.
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Your link has expired
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.