I still remember the first time I strummed a guitar, the first time I blew a harmonica. I still remember the bizarreness, strangeness and amusement that I felt at that moment when they made a sound though I didn’t know any chord or note by then. I still vividly see in my mind the looks of the instruments that I touched; how rusty or dusty they were. I still remember the place, the weather, even how the sun kissed my skin and how the moon shined brightly in that clear sky. It’s amazing how I can still remember those first times I met a guitar and a harmonica despite of my very young age, still unaware of the choices that I will make. But what surprised me more is that after more than two decades, I now have my own guitar and harmonica that I use to express my own music and passion.
It is just now that I realized I sought my way back to those first instruments that amazed me, my first love. But how did I get to that? To meet and discover again my fascination for them? I guess fate is the one to blame.
I had my first guitar when I was at 6th grade. My grandmother came back from her home-town with a guitar and gave it to me. The place she went to is located at the southern part of our country, where it is known for its cheap but sweet sounding guitars. I learned a few songs with the help of a song book. A very cheap literature where trending songs with lyrics and chords are published. At the middle of the book, you’ll find a tab chart (a tutorial chart for guitar player beginners). That page has instructions of how and where you’ll place your fingers to know the right chord. I spent most of my vacation as a 12-year old with that beautiful guitar and some song books. But after 2 years, my guitar snapped. I didn’t even get the chance to give him a name. However, luckily, on my 14th birthday, my dad bought me a more durable one. I used it for 8 long years until it gave up. It didn’t really gave up but it was so old, flimsy, almost fully wrecked so I just gave it to my cousin. I never saw it again since then. After that, I never had a guitar again that I’d spend most of my free time with.
After few years, my interest switched to harmonica. I forgot how I came up with this kind of interest, I guess because I’m getting old and I started to have urges to try different things (I don’t know why that sounded funny and kinda kinky lol). This instrument is a combination of simple, amusing, easy and complicated. The sound of it never fails to soothe my ears. I tried to learn it by myself through the internet (Of course! Thank you, interwebz!). My first harmonica was a Suzuki plastic type that comes with a tutorial book given by a friend as a birthday gift. The book already includes some nursery rhymes and the most basic songs like row row row your boat and twinkle twinkle little star kind of songs (they are not simple, so don’t laugh!). The book also teaches the basic draw and blow techniques, how to read harmonica tabs, different notes of harmonica, and other useful stuff for beginners. Harmonicas are available in different notes: C, E, G, A, B, D, etc. You can choose what type you want based on their note and pitch. Mine are keys C and G because those are the often used keys for my song writing and playing. Up to now I am still trying to learn more about it. I am trying to learn blues this time because that genre is much harder to play (ugh).
So there, maybe fate really did its way. I found my way back to my first love instruments. Isn’t it surprising that other people gave them back to me?
I guess no matter how many things we’ve known, we’ve liked or learned to love, it’s always and will be that we’ll find our way back, whether by ourselves or by what we call fate, to the ones we first fell in love with.