I can count the Thanksgivings since Guitar Noise became a serious thing. It was fifteen years ago that David first introduced himself to me by email and we started a friendship that has brought guitar lessons to millions of people worldwide. It’s probably safe to say that someone from every country on earth has at some point stumbled upon this website.
It would be easy to talk about all the things that have changed since then, but somehow it’s more comforting to think about all the things that are still the same. We don’t even use the words friend and like in the same way we used to. Yet if you’ve had the same friend for fifteen years, or been doing work that you like for that amount of time, you can consider yourself pretty lucky. I know I feel fortunate that this hobby of mine is still going strong after so many years. My work and my friends are still the same. Doing the same work, sometimes even the same tasks over and over, can be fulfilling. There’s nothing boring about music.
More often that not, when someone picks up a guitar they want to play something old, not new. Maybe a song they grew up with, or something they just heard for the first time that made them feel like they used to. Music is all about feeling. You can listen to it, you can play it, you can write about it or dissect it; but what makes you like a song, is if it makes you feel something. And if you’re someone who has made a decision to play music, you’re already on a road to feeling things in a more powerful way.
Sharing music has always been a big part of Guitar Noise’s reason for existence. Here’s something David wrote a long time ago that’s worth repeating:
Regardless of your level of playing ability, the fact that you do play is a gift. A precious gift. And this is a good time to think about how you can use your gift to enrich not only your life, but also the lives of those around you. If you don’t have the time or patience to teach, you can still be an inspiration. If you have an old instrument you’re really not playing, loan it to a friend who’s been keen to take it up. Go to see a local group – support the people trying to live their dream. Share your passion for music with the world. Especially with the children.
That’s from On Gifts and Giving, one of David’s earliest guitar columns. Philosophically, not much has changed since then. You can check out the whole article if you haven’t already. It’s very topical for Thanksgiving. If you like that one, may I suggest a couple other feel good pieces we have: The Joy of Music and Thanks (Giving and Getting).
In a quiet sort of way, we’ve been celebrating Guitar Noise all year. Those of you who pay attention to this sort of stuff, will have noticed our different doodles every month (there’s one at the top of this blog). They’re all created by a talented designer who goes by the online name Diggitigirl. There’s a gallery below of all the designs we’ve had so far this year. My favorites are the Man on the Moon and Halloween designs. I can’t wait to see what we get next month. If you like this kind of work, Diggitigirl has an entire universe of her own creation on her site, as well as on Twitter and Instagram.
As another holiday season ramps up, and life starts to feel busier than usual, we hope you still find some time to take stock of things in your life. We are, as ever, thankful that you’re here with us, sharing this journey into the world of guitars. Let’s keep the friendship alive for at least another 15 years or so.