Weather Forecast


I got them guitar playin' blues

Growing up, my dad has always done the best to make sure I had the opportunity to try multiple things that interested me.

Through elementary school alone I was a three-time state (tournament) participant, I played a season of football, soccer, wrestling (which were experiments) as well as baseball, and hockey.

The list of things I got to try only began at sports, but also included Twins games, Wild and Vikings games, and (since age 8) playing the guitar.

The desire to be able to play guitar started when I was about 6 years old. My sister, Aimee, could (kind of) play, but she was 16 and I was 6 (you know how that goes), so I was doomed from the beginning.

Christmas of that same year, my parents gave me a little toy guitar, which I pranced around the house obnoxiously strumming all day for a year, until it finally broke.

Now after it broke, I was devastated, until Walmart decided to move into town.

The store can't have been open for more than a month before I found the instruments (I was close to 8 years old by this time) and the first time I saw a real guitar for sale I reacted hysterically. But after a few days of whining and begging, I finally got my parents to buy me a First Act acoustic guitar for $70, and (because I couldn't play) they got me into guitar lessons.

My dream at that time was to be able to play in the school talent show, and at the beginning of third grade I started taking lessons from a blind gentlemen by the name of Jim Fry.

Jim was a real old school kind of teacher (real into teaching the basics such as chords and notes instead of riffs, which I would have enjoyed much more) out of a music book, but those basics stuck with me even after quitting for over three years.

I was in fifth grade when I gave guitar up (mainly because I was frustrated I couldn't get anywhere with it) but I could still do things like tune a guitar, which my friends found surprisingly entertaining, and in seventh grade my friend Dallas got real serious about playing guitar.

He started taking lessons, and it wasn't long until he was playing much better than I was (which I didn't take very well). I decided I needed to start playing again, but this time I was determined to get decent.

The basics of playing guitar had stuck with me the whole time I hadn't been playing, and when I started looking tabs up on the Internet it wasn't long until I was impressing my peers with some (very basic) songs.

Dallas had always wanted to start a band, and my very mediocre guitar playing gave him the motivation to get committed to the idea. By the end of eighth grade the whole grade knew us as "Handful of Hope," which was the name of our group.

We had our own Myspace page (which amazingly is probably still out there somewhere) where we would post our recordings.

Dallas actually had a pretty legit place to record (at his instructor's personal studio) so we didn't sound half bad (for eighth graders).

After about six months of writing and recording cheesy songs, me and Dallas started to get into disputes over our music.

I lost the motivation to play every day, and his motivation only got stronger, which means we didn't coexist together well.

Eventually Dallas "kicked me out," and I stopped playing music (seriously) basically forever, but those basics Jim taught me at age 8 are still fresh in my brain, which means maybe its time to start playing again.