First Real Guitar

I can remember the summer when I turned nine years old, it was 1989 and I had just bought my first very own guitar. It was a Yamaha LS-21. I can remember telling my family that all I wanted for Christmas and my birthday was money. Just money, no gifts. I didn’t want anyone to buy it for me, I wanted to use my own money and go to the music store and buy my own guitar. Of course, my family had a difficult time not buying me gifts, no one could just give me money. Looking back now I can see how hard it would be to just give some kid money for their birthday or Christmas. I was so bummed but I did receive a total of fifty bucks for Christmas and twenty five dollars for my birthday, which is in April. Everyone that had given me a gift had also given me a five dollar bill towards my guitar.

My dad about once every couple weeks would take me to the guitar store so I could look around, do some research and put questions to the experts that worked at the store so I would be able to pick out a guitar that I liked and that I could afford. It made me nervous to see how expenses they all were. I coveted my seventy five dollars because I my dad had mentioned that I needed to at least double that amount to get even basic guitar. I spent no money on anything. I bought no candy or gum, had to settle for what ever my mom gave me or what ever scrapes my siblings threw my way. I starting helping around the house more, hoping to earn more chore money. I went around the neighborhood asking my neighbors if they needed work done in their yard for a modest price. I can remember telling them my story of how I was saving for my own guitar. Some took pity on me and let me clean up their yards, no one let me mow their lawns. I guess it’s hard to trust a nine year old girl with a lawnmower, that sucked because that’s were the big bucks were. But I worked and saved and by late June I had two hundred dollars saved to get my guitar.

I will never forget the car ride to the guitar store. My whole family went. It was a big day. I can remember my parents being so proud of me for working so hard towards this. I spent a hour in that store looking, talking with the employees and deciding on which guitar I wanted to bring home. I wasn’t very good with numbers so it confused me to figure out if I had enough or not. Then I found the Yamaha LS-21 and that was it. It cost me $169.99 plus tax, $180.19 out the door with money to spare. I was the happiest girl alive that day.

I’ll tell you all about what first time playing and tuning it next time!

Jess

Weddings

I’m going to stray a little off topic here today to talk about weddings. It’s really not that far off because music is always a part of weddings but at this wedding I did not participate in the band. A fellow co-worker of mine was married over the weekend. It was a typical wedding, they were married in a church in Ann Arbor and the reception was at Lake Forest Golf Course not to far away. It was truly beautiful. Her colors were pink and gray, the dresses were pink with a gray sash and the men wore gray suit with pink ties and vests. It looked quite nice. The only reason I bring this wedding up was because they used a DJ as opposed to a live band. I’m partial to the live music myself but to each their own.

The only down fall was the temperature, it had to be close to ninety, no matter how much time it would take a girl to get ready, just being outside for five minutes and all your efforts are wasted. That is why I choose to do my hair in a low bun and be done with it. With the hair up and the light weight summer dress I was good to go. I felt real bad for some of these other girls and especially for the bride and her bridesmaids, they looked fabulous but it had to be tough to stay that way. We were just thankful they chose to get married inside a church and not outside at the golf club, they debated on it for months. I could remember hearing Amber, that’s the bride, talking about it last winter. Thank you Amber for opted for the inside!

They had so many cool things at this wedding, like a photo booth, this thing was awesome. It came with so many props likes all different types of hats, masks, glasses, wigs and things to hold in your hand like a club or noise makers, it was pretty cool. Each person who went into the photo booth got to have a picture of it, the bride and groom actually get a copy of every picture that is taken, I’m not to sure if that is a good thing or bad thing. 🙂 They even had a customized graphic with Amber and Sean’s name with their wedding date at the bottom of each photo, pretty cool. I couldn’t believe that the girl who was running it didn’t run out of film. The line for it was always long, I’ll bet that at least over two hundred pictures were taken, the only down fall was that it got really stinky in there with everyone being all hot from dancing and sweating and then getting real close up together in the booth. I felt bad for that girl who ran the photo booth, she was pretty cute and she got hit on a lot but she took it all in stride and just told the guys to make her laugh while they were in the photo booth, Ann Arbor has some pretty cool people!

Like I said earlier, I wished they were have gone with a live band and not a DJ. For me, being a musician, I always prefer live music as opposed to music from a computer. Not that I wanted to do it, I wanted to attend and enjoy the party, I have never done a wedding before and I’m not sure that I really want to. That would have been way to much pressure, not that she would have asked anyways. She had a certain mind set for her wedding and it didn’t involve a wedding singer! I feel that a band get people up and dancing more than a DJ but that is just my opinion. Anyways, the wedding was awesome and so was the party, I wish Amber and Sean many many years of happy married life.

Thanks guys, catch ya next time!

 

Bonfires

One of the most fun things that I do with my friends is have a bonfire. Whether we are camping at the local state park or if we are just hanging out at one of our houses we have a bonfire (when the weather permits). There are many times that I wish that I lived in a state that was warmer for most of the year that way we could have a bonfire more often but yet other times I feel that if we had them more often that we wouldn’t appreciate it as much. Mostly though I wished we lived in weather that permitted bonfires every day of the year.

I bring my guitar with me every time we have one. Some of my friends also played the guitar among other instruments. We have a jam session whenever we get around a bonfire. I am not sure why the fire brings this out in us but it does, we seem to need to play around the fire. It must be something ancient that we carry in our souls that makes us do that. We never get too crazy, we are always respectful of those around us but it seems that the people who can here never really get upset to here music play. Most times they are requesting songs for us to play. I have one friend that has a really good voice so I leave it up to her to sing and if we need another voice, my other friend usually will pick that up. I am in the clear ,when I am with them. I hate subjecting my voice to others.

As soon as spring hits, my friends and I struggle to find time with our busy schedules to get a bonfire going. We our families and jobs it proves to be a difficult task but we seem to have a reason every weekend to get together. There is always a reason to celebrate, sometimes we just use the weekend as an excuse to party. We will have a BBQ, beer, good food and of course good music. My one friend has a house on a lake and that is always our preferred spot. Being near water seems ideal for some reason. He takes us on his, takes the kiddies tubing and we have a great time. Then night falls, the bonfire is started and the instruments come out. Then the real fun begins for those who have stuck it out all day. Some of my friends have small children that need to be put to bed at an early hour for some reason, so they leave but the rest of us make s’mores, drink beer, and play some tunes.  Last time we got together one of my friends decided to get a photo booth rental set up just for fun and honestly I thought it was a pretty stupid idea but it ended up capturing a lot of fun moments from the night.  It was an open air photo booth so we could actually turn it around and snap some of everyone around the fire.   I know it sounds weird but they turned out really cool.

Fall is a really sad time because that means our bonfire season is coming to a close, this is when I most crave living in a state with warmer weather year round. Nothing beats a good bonfire with good friends.

Thanks everyone!

Jess

Guitars

I received my first guitar for my fifth birthday, I remember that day so well. It was purple, I had a purple guitar. It was a gift from my uncle who had an ulterior motive to annoy my parents with the “music” that I play with it. Little did my uncle know how that small, simple, purple guitar would have changed my life.

Of course, at first, the music that I created what hard on the ears, my dad actually learned enough about guitars to be able to tune it for me so that at least the notes were in tune even though the they didn’t make sense when put together. None of that matter to me, from the first notes that I played I was in love. I thought that I could rule the world, just me and my purple guitar. Every song that I played I had created myself, I have realized now that as the years went on, the songs I created became less and less and I started singing and learning songs that other artist had written first. Usually from my favorite band at the time. Now I only write a song when I am especially moved to. Which is not that often. I probably have enough of my own songs to have one album, which for as long as I have been playing is not very much. My talent lies in my playing not writing, I am a terrible writer, the notes are easier for me than the words so it’s difficult to get things to come together.

I don’t let that stop me from enjoying playing, I can a lot of songs, my voice needs a little work but I don’t let that stop me either. Most songs I will just hum, I hate to subject my friends to the horrors that is my voice, event though they say it’s not as bad as I think it is. I like to think that my voice is not so bad but still I hum and  don’t sing when it’s possible or I let my audience sing a long as I play.

Well, that all for starters, I’ll be back soon

Jess