Let me start with a quick story about an ill fated guitar student of mine.
A few years ago I had a friend approach me to take guitar lessons. He wanted to play chords and pop songs, acoustic guitar type love songs and he gave me a CD with examples. So I agreed and we did a trade of services.
We met a few times a month for a few months and over that time he became less and less interested in the guitar lessons. I thought this was strange since he was making some progress, but eventually he stopped taking guitar lessons and we stopped working together. He didn't tell me why, and I thought maybe he just wasn't digging my teaching style.
Playing Guitar for the Wrong Reasons?
It was about a year later I bumped into him again and we talked a little bit. I asked if he was still playing guitar and that sort thing and that's when he told me why he had actually quit playing guitar.
He had decided to play guitar in first place because he had broken up with his logntime girlfriend and he still loved her even though she really wasn't interested in him. Well, he thought he could win her back by playing some guitar songs that he knew she liked.
He still had his guitar, but really he had only taken it up for her and so never played it.
The Guitar Owner
The questions that came to my mind about this story is was this the right reason learn to play guitar, and what are the different reasons that people are into playing guitar. Clearly he's a guitar owner, and nothing much more.
Playing Guitar, But Not Lovin' It
More recently I found out a buddy of mine had a nice quality acoustic guitar and he had singed up for an account with one of those giant online lesson sites. So I assumed, you know, maybe he was as at least as passionate about music as I was. Even though I knew he really only picked up the guitar once in a while, and really hated to sing.
In any case, I decided to start creating a CD for him with cool guitar music that I had discovered over the years and thought he'd probably love--I was hoping to inspire him. Unfortunately, when I told him about how I was working on the CD he seemed about as excited as I am about collecting rocks. In fact he didn't even reply.
So I gave up making the CD because he probably wouldn't appreciate it. (Maybe I should have done it anyways...)
The Guitar Player
I thought about that too. You know he has a guitar and even seems somewhat willing to try to learn it, but he really only has a passing interest, and his passion is obviously with other things. Still nice to know he at least appreciates the guitar and will pick it up from time to time on the right occasions to strum a few tunes.
Guitar Passion 24-7!
You might own 5 guitars. You like to talk about it and you want to learn new things and always continue to advance your playing. You experiment with new genres and you're into the equipment and different guitar makes and models. For you it's more of a lifestyle and an important part of your life.
Maybe most importantly it's a key way you express yourself, and a creative outlet.
When you make it something that you just love to do, well, then I think we can call you a guitarists. Maybe you're one of those...
Whether you're an owner, player, or a guitarist I hope that my stories help illustrate the difference.
Question for You, Which Are You?
I believe to truly get the most rewarding experience with your guitar you should be a guitarist. But some people just enjoy being a guitar player and that's alright too.
If you're just a guitar owner then consider why you ever wanted to play the instrument in the first place. Do you own a guitar because your friend decided to pick one up and you just had to compete? Or, you wanted to win over a girl? Maybe you just thinks it looks good and you want one in your house or apartment. Certainly I can understand that. But, if you never plan to play it again then give that guitar to somebody else and let them have a chance at developing a passion for the instrument. Give the guitar a new life and a new chance
Which are you? And which do you want to be? Do you think guitar owners should give their guitar to someone else who would truly appreciate it?