Guitar Lessons

guitarWhen  I was about junior high age, I asked my parents if I could take guitar lessons.  My Mom found a music school in New Haven and off we went.  Now, at this particular school (they told us), they started all students out on the accordion to learn music basics.  Then, after six months, I would switch to my instrument of choice.  I worked hard to learn to read music.  Gradually, I worked my way from Mary Had a Little Lamb to Lady of Spain.  When the six months were over and I was ready for my guitar, the school tried to sell us an expensive accordion instead.  There were no guitar teachers.  I had not yet heard the maxim, Play an accordion, go to jail … it’s the law, but still, I said, No thank you.  Thus ended my music lessons until forty year later, when I’d take piano.

So, what brings this little tale to mind?  Last week, my old friend Russ sent me a video of a cabinet maker building a Green and Green coffee table.   Green and Green are two of the best known architects of the craftman style and wereexterior known for designing furniture for the homes they designed.  Recently, Russ, who lives in Connecticut, was here in California to visit his children, so we got to visit Gamble House, one of the best … and best restored … examples of Green and Green architecture.  Russ is an architectural engineer who specializes in restoration of old buildings and I just love old houses.  Hence the interest in Green and Green.  In his email, Russ said that if he had another life, he’d be a cabinet maker.

Me?  I’ve always thought if I were able to come around again, I’d be a musician.  More specifically, I’d be a guitarist.  Now, to be more specific than takes some consideration. Would I be a classical guitarist like John Williams?   Or maybe a Flamenco guitarist like Paco De Lucia?   A rock guitarist with touches of jazz like Carlos Santana?  Or maybe a straight jazz guitarist like Wes Montgomery or Earl Klugh.  But after due consideration, I’d choose to sound like Peter White, my favorite smooth jazz performer.

The question is: Did a small music school in New Haven that promised guitars but delivered accordions cost the world a great guitarist?  No, I don’t think so.  If I’d had the drive to be a great musician instead of an engineer … and the talent … I’d have done it anyway.  So, my second life, if it happens, had better include both.

So, if you could have another life, what would you be?

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One Comment on “Guitar Lessons”


  1. Sometimes I think I came from a previous life, though I’m not quite sure what or who I was then. If I follow the concept of karma, I might have run into a bit of trouble. 😉 I don’t know what I would be if I could have another life…. maybe an athlete. I tend to think of “other lives” as things that are completely opposite what I am now. This probably comes from my mother, who has, through the years, counted off the things she’ll be/have “in her next life.” “In my next life I’ll have a long neck.” (She’s unfortunately got one that resembles a linebacker’s.) “In my next life I’ll have normal earlobes.” (They’re rather fleshy and dangly, making small earrings get lost in them.) “In my next life I’ll be 5’10” and a supermodel.” (She’s 5’3″ if she’s standing up straight and wearing shoes.)


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