“Better Late….”

Isn’t funny how life can sometimes divert your path? While in most cases this is not desirable, sometimes it may not be all that bad. In other words, it COULD be a good thing…….

I bought my first bass guitar at age 16, but my bass beginnings started five years prior. One day my mom came home from work, sat a box in my lap and said, “This is for you.” I had no idea what was in the oddly shaped box. It was nondescript, brown, L-shaped, light weight and almost as tall as me. My mom always surprised me with unsolicited gifts. Telescopes, microscopes, model rockets, remote controlled jets and cars. So I was anxious to check the contents. “Open it”, she said sternly with an ambiguous smirk, which gave me an odd sense of nervousness. But, cautiously, I obeyed her command.

The box was actually two boxes. To my total surprise and amazement the tall box contained a guitar. The shorter box held what turned out to be an amplifier, which at the time I had no idea what it was. Up to this point the only musical instruments in my household were my grandmother’s air organ and my plastic recorder purchased at school.

My palms watered. My heart raced. I could not move and literally did not know what to do! My mom smiled at me and then left the room. My grandmother laughed and facetiously asked if I knew how to play it. Of course I did not!

I plugged MY guitar into MY amp. Turned up and strummed the strings……….

Some days later I started playing along to the radio. One song stuck out to me but it wasn’t the melody. It was the single low notes. The song “Money” by the O’Jays. Before long I could play it note for note on the low strings. I had no idea I was playing “bass”….

Fast forward a few years. When I decided to pick an instrument to learn I chose the bass for two reasons: one, it is the soul of any ensemble and two, I could learn the fretboard and then apply my knowledge to the guitar. Guess what…….?

The bass called me. I always said I’d learn guitar. Never did. Well, finally, I am dedicating myself to really practice guitar. And to reinforce the process I’m gonna do something I never did with the bass: I’m taking guitar LESSONS! I cannot wait. The last couple of weekends I’ve learned three songs. All easy chord progressions, but beautiful songs nonetheless. “Great Is Your Mercy” by Donnie McClurkin, “Feel Like Making Love” by Roberta Flack and “Best Part” by H.E.R. and Daniel Caeser. Therapy for my spirit and nourishment for my soul. Better late than never……

It’s December. Got a couple of gift ideas for my 2021 “Twenty Five Days Of Christmas” list. Keep you posted.

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