I was 9 years old when I got my first guitar.
A cheap, mass-produced piece of wood with strings attached.
Every note struggled to be heard and the ugly buzzing echoed and covered the next one.
My teacher told me that guitars get better with time.
The wood matures.
“As you play more, the wood gets warm, it absorbs your sweat, and the quality of sound improves”.
And I continued practicing and improvising.
Day in and day out spending hours handling my crappy guitar.
After about 100s of hours, it transformed.
It produced the elegant sound I always craved.
Years later, when I considered going for a degree, I decided to make an upgrade; buy a handmade guitar from one of the best luthiers in Greece.
But it was expensive. Close to US$ 4000 (Rs.2,80,000). I couldn’t afford it.
I was still a college kid. The cost of the guitar was much more than the fee for the whole year.
My parents would love to help out but they had barely made it through the last crisis in the family business.
“Why don’t you sell your old guitar?”, my mother said.
I shouted back ,”Because it worths less than the US $ 100 (Rs 7000)”
“Well, your father paid $2000 (Rs. 1,40,000 ), ten years ago…”
My teacher tricked me. It turns out my guitar wasn’t cheap, nor mass-produced.My father had spent US$ 2000 around 12-13 years back, that would be equal to US$ 5000 in today’s value.
And the wood doesn’t “mature with age”. He did tell the truth though…
Time and sweat improve the quality of the results. It’s just doesn’t improve the quality of the guitar.
Constant improvisation and deliberate practice on whatever we happen to do make us better – although the world remains the same.14 claps