But in spite of all that I still love summer. Sitting out on my front porch in the evening and playing is a wonderful way to usher in the end of the day. Most of my summer gigs are played outside too but I always make sure I’m under some sort of cover. There was an interesting thread on one of the guitar forums recently in which one person said that his band specifies in their contracts that cover must be provided outdoors, which may be a bit of an unreasonable expectation but I get where they’re coming from. I played a wedding ceremony a couple weeks ago on at a farm where I was set up under a big oak tree. Plenty of shade, yes, but in that location in Connecticut they are suffering from a huge gypsy moth caterpillar invasion and the tiny beads of gypsy moth poop were almost like rain coming down. Eeew!! I would have liked a cover for that one!
Some guitarists have what they call a “beach guitar” – a much less expensive instrument compared to their primary one that they can take camping or anywhere outside without worries. I’ve owned a few that would fit that description over the years but I guess it’s kind of like trying to drink a cheap wine when you know how a good one tastes. You put up with it but you must ignore the difference. In any case, it really makes you appreciate your good guitar when you pick it up again.
On a much more serious note, I am very concerned about the world situation on many levels. I won’t get into politics in this space (although I’m sorely tempted….) but something that has been on my mind is how the present world-wide economic situation and the upcoming election – and its economic implications – will affect guitar prices and even availability. Worst case scenario might be big increases in costs of both the materials used in the manufacture of guitars and labor costs to make them. Call me paranoid, but I’m beginning to think the time may be now to buy that new guitar because it is possible that a year from now imports may be severely restricted and/or premium instruments will see big price increases. I hope I’m wrong.
To close with something more up-tempo, I highly recommend a song I’ve been using with students lately by singer-songwriter John Gorka. It’s called “The Morningside.” You can find it on ITunes and other places. Not too difficult to play (no barre chords!), Travis-picked, nice simple melody. But the best part is the lyrics. They convey a sincere message of hope and acceptance of aging and all that implies. I urge you to check it out. Lord knows, it’s a message we can all use in these times. I’ll even send you a PDF of the lyrics and chord changes if you’d like.
Peace & good music,