I have been asking myself that question over and over. So some disclosure at the risk of being ridiculed, my analysis of why I play.
All my other hobbies and interests have fallen by the wayside with the odd lukewarm visit. However since school days the guitar has intrigued me with its false promises to fame.
Sadly to this day fame has been an illusive dream and the absence there of, a reality.
So it raises the question why does an assembly of wood and steel have such a fascination and such a firm grip on my life?
To be honest, i don't know. I feel like I am in a love hate relationship with myself and the guitar manages to expose and extract those emotive feelings which I cannot express in words.
It raises me up, yet humiliates me with its challenges and at the same time, provides solace and refreshment to a weary soul with its comforting tones.
It exposes my feelings to the bone and allows me the freedom to express loss, anxiety, joy and musical ideas within my limited capabilities.
It has taught me patience; to go slow and its gift will present itself at the right time. It demands effort and concentration in a noisy silence. It provides a shield against the onslaught of everyday life battles and realities.
So, i guess its my magic door to the other world where I can hide and feel the guitar's soundscapes stitch together snippets of disjointed dreams and phrases, eventually ending in something I can call a song.
A wise guitarist once shared this truth: "Play like you breathe" I never fully understood what he meant till I managed to play a cover with my heart and not my head. In doing so, my fingers relaxed, found those notes on the fret board without haste or tension and cast form to the wind. Interpreting the song and feeding its soul with my breath and rhythm. The result was exciting, satisfying and inspirational. Like a drug, it fuels the desire to achieve that state of total immersed relaxation, like meditation to achieve a state of self actualization and perfection.
Yet I still dream of that hit, I still aspire to be a respected and unique guitarist. So in noisy silence in a hopefully quiet studio, I still pluck the strings and strum the beats like it belongs in my soul.