Twisted

Inspired by Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge. The prompt: Twisted

 

All it takes is a simple twist. Or two. Or three. Of wire, silk and nylon.

Six strings stretched tight. But not too tight. The ends threaded into post holes. Then twisted…little by little…with the turn of a peg. Carefully. Adjusting the tension.

Until each one – when plucked – sounds…just right.

On a simple guitar made of wood.

twisted strings

 

My first – and only – no-name guitar shows its age. As do I.

Bought with saved up allowance for $28 on September 29, 1967.

I headed to guitar lessons taught by a local folk singer. For weekly group lessons with other aspiring young guitarists…struggling together to strum chords…

G  and D7…to play through Ain’t Gonna Study War No More.

C, F, Am and G7…for Blowin’ in the Wind.

Added Em and B7…and we managed to make it through Cruel War.

By that point the fingertips on my left hand were sore and complaining. From pressing down on those strings…especially strings 4, 5 & 6…the thickest ones.

three strings

Those twisted strings were replaced many times. As I sang and played through a thick looseleaf binder of mimeographed folk songs assigned by my teacher. To which I added my carefully typed copies of Homeward Bound, Hey Jude, It Was a Very Good Year, Leaving on a Jet Plane…among many others. Guitar chords written or typed in red above the words.

I did not sing or strum with much finesse, but it was the 60’s after all – and it was fun.
It never occurred to me to take it more seriously. I never saw any female guitarists on Ed Sullivan or American Bandstand, heard any on AM radio or in my stack of 45s.

This guitar went to camps and college with me. It was then retired to a closet…until my son tried it out after his college days. It traveled up and down the east coast with him for a few years…until he had a guitar of his own. Like his dad…and his sister.

And now it is back here with me.

my guitar

Ready for its next chapter.

 

 

Harmony

This post inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #44

The prompt: Harmony

Color harmony is achieved when a piece of art includes complimentary colors, typically two or three colors side-by-side on the wheel, two colors directly opposite each other on the wheel, or any color combination found in nature. It can also be used to incite different emotions in our art. Monochromatic or analogous colors (side-by-side on the wheel) create a more soothing feeling, while complementary colors (directly opposite each other on the wheel) can create drama. Allowing a single color to dominate, especially a primary color, can create a very powerful image….This is (also) your opportunity to share your favorite harmonies. Give us your best yoga pose, or your favorite musician at work, or perhaps a happy couple arm in arm – whatever floats your boat (especially if it’s on a warm yellow/orange sunset or a cool blue sunrise 😊)

 

~~~

harmony ties

 

When I married a musician – a guitar player – I knew I was also marrying his guitars. It wasn’t in the vows, but I knew it all the same. I was okay with that. Even though, now, after 40 years I still wonder at the need for 8. But never mind.

They are first loves…especially his very first guitar…from the Harmony Company. The guitar he wrote his first songs on. Teenage angst, love and heartbreak. The guitar he has kept to this very day.

What does a guitar player/guitar teacher often receive as a gift? In his case…ties. Bright colorful music themed ties. Guitar ties. Beatles ties. To name a few. Some piquing the curiosity of his teenage students.

Creative color collages from all around the color wheel. As harmonious as the music he has created and shared with us. All these years.

 

tie

 

 

 

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Cute Factor

This post inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge. The topic: Cute Factor

Cute Factor! How could I resist this challenge? Absolutely impossible.

 
As soon as my daughter became mobile, she’d crawl…and eventually run…to the front door when she heard her daddy come home from work.
Carrying his guitar. After a long day teaching teenagers how to play notes and chords and…eventually…What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor.

She was ever curious about this guitar which was so often in her daddy’s lap. Capturing his attention. As he practiced and made music. While he sang. To himself. To her.

At times – apparently deciding that enough was enough – she’d toddle over to wherever he was strumming. Press her fingers on the strings…silence the music…and demand, as only a tiny child can…No tar daddy!
Daddy would take a short break.

When he left the guitar case propped open next to the living room wall…
our little girl often made use of this just-the-right-size-for-a-toddler seat.

guitarcase call

 

Play

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Play

Playing music was always front and center in our home.
Whether it be playing a record, a tape or, as years went by, a CD.

But the best playing happened in person.

At the end of one oppressively hot September day in 1988, we huddled around our only air conditioner for an impromptu concert. After a long day of yard work.

The 6 year old playing my old guitar from childhood.
The 10 month old plucking strings on his daddy’s guitar.
And the daddy playing, singing and offering advice on note fingering.

Keeping cool…

guitar trio 1988012
This trio played together many times over the years.
Guitar. Flute. Recorder. Clarinet.
Such fun.

 

Flash Fiction Challenge – Bottleneck

Flash Fiction Challenge: August 30, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a bottleneck. You can be literal or use the term to describe congestion. Go where the prompt leads.

https://carrotranch.com/2018/08/31/august-30-flash-fiction-challenge/

My contribution:

The Slide

She sees it. Poking out from under the sofa. She reaches down, closing her hand around the smooth green glass.

Just like Gramma’s! When she played the big guitar. Special for her.

“Honey, this is a bottleneck slide. It goes on my finger. Look!”

Then Gramma would smile, wink and whisper…

“This song is just for you.”

Pressing on the strings, she’d slide the glass. And sing. And fill them both up…

”If not for you…I’d be sad and blue if not for you…”

 

The little girl finds her there.

Holding the green slide. Tight.

“You found it!”

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Row

Here is my entry for this week’s challenge hosted by “Dutch goes the Photo.”

https://dutchgoesthephoto.net/2018/08/07/tuesday-photo-challenge-row/

The theme this week is “Row”

In 2006 we visited and toured the Martin Guitar Factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. My husband entered a state of nirvana trying out all the sample guitars. I enjoyed photographing the various stages of guitar making. One of my favorites…rows of body parts!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Rows of Guitar Bodies 

 

*(trivia question: this location – Nazareth, PA – was an inspiration for the first line of…what song?…which was also played on a Martin guitar)