Archive for November, 2009

Baby Blue

I’ve had about three guitars in my life. My first was a hand-me-down from my next door neighbor, Colleen. (Technically, my first instrument was a ukulele but I’m counting only guitars here). The second my dad found from an ad in the classifieds and I remember going to pick it up with him, off of Reams Road,  at the woman’s house. Finally, when I was thirteen I was ready for a guitar that was all mine and hadn’t been used by any one before. My dad took me to see a couple. We went to Guitar Works in Cary Towne and a pawn shop on Broad Street, among other places. The choice came down to a black Takamine at Guitar Works and a red Washburn at the pawn shop. I chose the red guitar.


I loved it. But, recently, after ten-plus years of love (and misuse), I realized it was time for a new instrument. That guitar had come to symbolize so many things to things and incidents to me. I remember when I convinced my parents to let me paint the walls in my room to watch my guitar (and if I can find a picture of that I’ll post it!). When I see that guitar, I think of sitting in my parents house in my room above the garage, toting the guitar from college apartment to college apartment in Charlottesville. I think of all the years that the red guitar sat in a dusty corner, underneath my bed, or in a closet. All the times I chose to do something else rather than pick up the guitar.


I’d finally come to the point where I realized I needed a new start with my music. About five weeks ago, I walked into Heinz and I started looking around. I found a guitar I liked, another Takamine. I asked Kimberly, who was working that night, to ask Thomas, my guitar teacher, to pick out a guitar for me. The next day I came in early for my lesson. Thomas was there already and was playing the guitar he’d determined to be the best in stock. I’d played the guitar when I was in the day before, and liked it, but I kind of brushed over it because it, even though the guitar itself was in beautiful shape, it had dirty, grimy strings on it and I wasn’t getting the clear, bright sound that attracted me to all the new guitars.

I had never seen Thomas so worked up. He could not stop raving about the Blueridge guitar he’d picked for me. He kept telling me it was heads-and-shoulders above the rest and he couldn’t see a comparison in the store. Thomas was even threatening that if I didn’t buy it then he would. Now, the first rule of buying guitars is to go with your gut, your instinct, the guitar that sounds and feels good to you. So, Thomas’ reaction kind of jarred me. I felt like, if this guitar was really heads and shoulders above the others, how could I not have realized it?


I started thinking of why my instincts had led me to the Takamine the day before. I played it, held it, and listened. I realized that the Takamine pretty similar to my red guitar. They had the same sound, were a similar size, and were, generally, of a similar caliber. I realized I had gone into the store without really understanding my own intentions. In actuality, I wanted a new guitar that would help me get to the next level of guitar playing. But, when I went in the store, I was simply searching for a replacement for my red guitar.


A day later, I went back to the store and made an offer on the Blueridge. And, three days later, I owned a new guitar. I’ve had the Blueridge for about a month now and it’s taken me a while to get acquainted with it. I finally named him last week– Baby Blue. When I look down at Baby Blue, I think of what I’m going to accomplish rather than what has kept me from accomplishing my dreams so far.


Look for me and Baby Blue out on the town someday.




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