Twelve and a half years ago, I bought her father his first guitar. Now it’s his turn to see a face light up over the smooth, glossy surface of a Stratocaster. Scott gave Rose her birthday present a month early—because, I think, he himself couldn’t wait.
She’s been wanting to learn to play guitar for a while, but just lately her interest stepped up several notches. She loves to watch Scott play, and stands there asking a bazillion questions. Now she’s figuring out the answers with her own fingertips.
Daddy’s Strat is black, like Eric Clapton’s. Rose went for the red one, of course. It’s a three-quarter size, a better fit for her small frame. She holds it like a pro, her head tilted, shoulder curled, exactly like her father. Her hair hangs in her face, hiding her serious, focused expression. Scott taught her a few chords last night. Just like him, she likes the minor chords best, strums them over and over.
Watching history repeat itself, I got goosebumps.
You’re wondering if we’re crazy, giving a kid an electric guitar instead of an acoustic. Ah, but you see: the truth is, an electric—when it isn’t plugged into an amp—is quieter. Much, much quieter than an acoustic.
There’s an amp in the back closet, but Scott hardly ever plugs in. It’s just there, available in case anyone should have an overwhelming need for that extra push over the cliff to 11.
When he plays the acoustic guitar I gave him for Father’s Day a few years ago (you’ll detect a theme to our gift-giving), I’m astonished by how LOUD it is.
So Rose gets a nice, quiet electric guitar. And actually, it’s easier to learn to play on an electric because you don’t have to press the strings as hard as you do on an acoustic.
Plus, of course, you look devastatingly cool. Not that Rose has any idea what a rockin’ girl she is. Her primary concern at the moment is learning to play the chords to the Fairy Dance song in her beginning recorder songbook. She and Beanie are planning a duet.
Paula in MN says:
WONDERFUL! I received my first acoustic guitar on my 10th birthday, followed by my first electric (with amp) on my 13th, and my first 12-string on my 16th. The electric is by far the easiest one to learn on, and I agree that without the amp it is the quietest. And in the infamous words of Marty DiBergi: “Why don’t you just make ten louder?”(one of my all-time favorite movies!) Congratulations Rose!
On July 14, 2007 at 1:54 pm
You’re whole family rocks, Lissa – and now, more musically!
Enjoyed this post!
On July 14, 2007 at 4:18 pm
Hey…she needs the song…”Girls with Guitars” by Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Way cool. I have an acoustic guitar in my garage gathering dust. One day, one day.
On July 14, 2007 at 6:37 pm
I understand your thrill. My eldest picked up ukulele when we moved to the island. A year or so later, he is playing some amazing stuff (yes, on ukulele! If you’ve any doubt that ukulele can rock, do a search for Jake Shimabukuro on you tube!). He’s since picked up an electric guitar and added that to his repertoire. And now, he’s teaching his mom to play! 😉
On July 14, 2007 at 6:44 pm
Star is with Rose … she got a 3/4 size electric guitar for Christmas, after plugging away on a very, very small acoustic for a while. She has an amp, but I don’t think it makes it much beyond three ;).
On July 15, 2007 at 8:28 am
Mary Ellen Barrett says:
Awwright Rose! Ryan received his first electric for Christmas. He’s been loving it, although the acoustic still gets a lot of use.
Use it with joy sweetie, as St. Augustine said “when you sing you pray twice.” I’m sure if he had a Stratocaster he would have included that as well. He was a rockin’ kind of saint.
On July 15, 2007 at 3:28 pm
Way to go, Rose! Most of my kids play guitar….
On July 15, 2007 at 4:34 pm
Alice Gunther says:
Now that is truly cool!
On July 15, 2007 at 5:02 pm
Much of my life is in storage right now. However, I happen to know that there is an acoustic guitar somewhere (that I bought my ex) just calling my son’s name. Littleman is just 5, but he keeps asking for it. One of these days, he’ll get it!
Also, I was wondering if I could pick your brain, if you had a minute to email.
On July 16, 2007 at 10:17 pm