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National Guitar Day

National Guitar Day

Who comes to mind when you think of the guitar? Hendrix? Segovia? Clapton? No doubt those (mostly) modern titans belong on any list of the greatest six-slingers to ever tune up and jam. And we’ll give them their due. But there’s more to guitar than just the players; there’s a fascinating history of an instrument that’s as versatile as any in music — not just in its various forms and amplifications, but in its seamless integration into the canons of song composers the world over. It’s such a good story, and National Today is here to tell the colorful tale on February 11.

1.Take some lessons
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, there’s no better time than now — and no better day than National Guitar Day. Quality six strings can be surprisingly inexpensive, so look for local sales and promotions.

2.Share what you know
Graduated from lessons to actual, real playing? Then dedicate some time to teaching a novice the basics. It’s a good way to introduce someone to the magic of creating guitar music.

3.Support your local artists
Right now, at this moment, the next great generation’s guitar talent is out there somewhere, most likely practicing their chops. Find out where local musicians gather to play in your town, and go see a show! You never know who you might see on their way to the top.

A. Music soothes the savage beast
That’s as true today as it was when British playwright William Congreve wrote those lines in the late 17th century. (Congreve actually wrote, “Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,” which has a slightly different connotation to modern ears.) In any case, guitar music is especially evocative and wonderful — and, yes, soothing.

B. Love of guitar music is pretty much universal
Every culture has its own style of guitar music. So while it may not be precisely accurate to say anything is “universal” (who knows what other members of the universe enjoy, eh?), guitar music certainly has its fans that span the globe. It’s great to have a day set aside to celebrate the guitar and to remind ourselves of something that we may take for granted.

C. Guitar music can inspire and encourage
It’s just six strings (typically) and a box of wood (also typically), but the variety of sounds and styles that can emanate from a guitar are virtually limitless. That kind of artistic inspiration — and the fact that it’s created by our fellow humans from all over the world — can possibly inspire others to dream bigger and to live better (or at least to learn all the guitar parts to “Reelin’ In the Years”).


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