Friday, January 17, 2020

Steve Barteau loves to play

THE FIRST QUESTION new guitar students ask is, "When will I be good enough to play?" The answer is always "It's up to you."

I point to my student Steve Barteau as a shining example of somebody who took up guitar later in life and is now strumming and humming. Steve came to me a few years ago and said he was going on a mission trip to Honduras, and he had three months to learn a few chords so he could play a song on the trip.

And by gosh, Steve did it. Now he fronts a band called the Non Perishables, which started at one of the local food pantries. This morning Steve and his band were on the Mary Griffith show on WTAD, and I look forward to listening to the interview later.

Steve is excited about playing, to put it mildly. Actually, Steve is excited about everything, and he wears it on his sleeve. Our lessons are adventures and you never know what he is going to ask about or what he wants to get better at. "Why can't we start every song with a G chord? Wait. We do. Never mind," he says.
Take the Leap.

I have another student with a similar story. He came to me a few years ago because he heads the praise band at his church and his guitar player would only show up sporadically. A few months later he was strumming and playing in church, a remarkable accomplishment for an older student with no experience.

Maybe it's a student who is playing at the school talent show. Maybe it's a student who wants to play a love song for his wife at their anniversary party. Maybe it's a student who can play but has no earthly idea why things work the way they work (math and patterns, man).

It's true many students give up after a month or so. Learning a new instrument is hard. It takes patience, the right instrument and lots of practice. But it's doable. We see it all the time.

I have a lot of students right now with bucket list dreams. Will they succeed? It's up to them. But we'll have fun and we'll make learning a lot easier at Fifth and Maine.

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