Playing Guitar - Unintentional Effects!

If You Are Going To Play In A Key Every Day, Shouldn't You Learn That Way?Uncle Tim's Building Blocks

Yes, you should!

Music is key based. You are always in one key or another. Always!

Yet playing a guitar is not taught that way! Why?

Once you understand keys and the chords and scales that come from keys, the whole world of music opens up before your eyes!

Suddenly everything is MUCH easier. And it totally makes sense when you get into it.

For $15, you can put this all to rest right now. Pick up a copy today.

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by Tim Gillespie

In past columns I have written about different things that have happened in my life. In one column I wrote about a bike trip I took and how I became a guitar ambassador without even knowing that was happening. I also mentioned how alive I felt after nearly being drilled by lightning while climbing a mountain.

Quite often actions I have taken in my life have had an unintentional effect on other lives. Hopefully it is a positive impact on others, but you can never be quite sure how you are affecting others.

Guitars can have an unknown affect on other people. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. I used to play outside my apartment while in college and most of the time when I would play something complex and pleasant, people would turn their heads. I admit it is a nice feeling when other people notice what I am doing and stop to pay attention. A few times I have even secured a date or two by playing my guitar. Once I made a older guy really mad because he did not like the sounds emanating from outside his window. Oh well!

In modern times the guitar can be quite a powerful thing to behold. If you go outside and play your French horn, you might not get the same effect as if you play an emotional piece on a guitar. Although some people are moved by the French Horn, it is not an instrument that captures attention like a guitar can. When I was in school, I studied and received my first degree in Landscape Architecture. I would often times take breaks from late night studio work and play my guitar in the hallway away from everyone else. More times than not, I was interrupted by other students that also wanted to take a break. My abilities were considered good and soon I began to provide background music for presentations. That was okay until I started to play for groups other than the one I was in. Then my groupmates accused me of unfairly helping others to achieve a higher grade. Purdue University is extremely competitive and that kind of help made some people mad. I really never thought of it as unfair. After all, the other groups had the vision to harness my abilities as an external force they could use to leverage their position. I just liked playing my guitar and this was another avenue. It helped me connect with other people that held me in higher esteem after they realized I had this skill. People like guitars and people that play guitars.

When I began to put together the higher levels of music theory, I never thought I would assemble books and share my knowledge with the world but that is what happened. I thought I would put down on paper, the concepts that kept running through my head. Those first concepts turned into "Uncle Tim's Building Blocks" and that book has traveled with the others to all corners of the world. Seldom do a few days go by without someone writing or calling me to tell me how these books have changed their lives. Of course I am flattered but when I wrote it, I had no idea that would happen. When it first started to happen I thought it was a fluke, but then the calls and letters continued. It makes me feel good to know I have helped others to engage the instrument in a more meaningful way.

The same thing can happen to you. When you develop your talents you open doors that would otherwise remain closed. Your developing skill can change your life as well as other lives. It can be hard to envision while your talents are just budding out, but make no mistake about it. The guitar is a very powerful instrument and anyone who takes the time to polish their skills, may have the opportunity for their contributions to go far beyond their wildest dreams. You may not make a million dollars but you can impact lives.

I also find that the guitar magnifies a person's personality. If you think beautiful thoughts, no doubt you will play beautiful music. The guitar will provide an amplifier for your thoughts and personality. Conversely if you think negatively, you will no doubt transfer these thoughts to your music and you will attract people that gather around these same ideas.

From humble beginnings like practicing scales and chords in your bedroom, you may find you have extended your reach to others that gravitate towards this wonderful instrument and the incredible range of emotional responses that emanate from it. The point I am trying to make is we are really not able to predict what will happen, but hopefully we can steer the direction of the effect.

Let me give you an example of an unintended effect only in an entirely different direction than anticipated. By now everyone has heard about the terrorist attacks in Washington D. C. and New York City. The terrorists hoped it would disrupt the lives of those who they label non-muslems. In fact something else extraordinary happened. They provided an opportunity for good people of all faiths to come together and denounce these acts as those of extremists.

For the first time ever I have seen Muslims, Christians and people of the Jewish faith (as well as others) take advantage of the chance to come together in an effort to stamp out terrorism. This is clearly not the effect the terrorists wanted. They hoped to unite all Muslims against the West and start a much bigger war. Instead they put new pressure on Palestinians and Israelis to solve their problems. They also gave Muslims and other diverse groups the chance to share ideas and realize we all want the same thing. A chance to eat our lunch in peace. For the first time in my life, I realize we are not all that different than these nations and good people that are struggling. Good came out of evil.

Who know if this will stick, I can't be sure right now. The conflict is not over and the final chapter is not written so there is surely more to come. But I cannot help but have hope for the future after seeing this.

So to get back to the point, when you are practicing in an effort to get better, realize that what you do has the potential to affect other lives. You can work your way into the lives of others that may share your ideas and feelings with music. You may ignite the interest of a little kid that wants to be like you when they grow up. Or you may help to show someone else the beauty that is in every good person. You might even write a song that inspires us all to think differently about something important. The sky is the limit, I just thought you might find it pleasant to know what you are doing may impact much more than you know. Keep practicing!