A Good Home, Daughters, Family, Family Moments, Flowers, Following your dreams, Garden, Guitar Playing, Home, Joyful Moments, Learning to play the guitar, Life in canada, Mothers, Pets, play music, Verandahs

A Sweet Sound

Twang, pling. Pling twang.

Pling, twang. Pling, twang.

Pl–ung???

My daughter is learning to play the guitar.

Blog Photo - Playing guitar 1

I knew she was committed when she bought her own guitar less than a week ago.

Next she cut her beautiful fingernails. One by one.

Then she watched a YouTube tutorial and downloaded a guitar chords app.

Pling pling. Twang twang…

Blog Photo - Guitar Playing CU reverse shot

She sings softly, willing her fingers to follow her tune.

Pling, pling, twang twang, twung…. Shi….!

She senses my presence and doesn’t finish that word.

She utters a loud sigh instead, rolls her eyes, shakes her head.

Blog Photo - Guitar playing with sky reflected

I’ve joined her on our farmhouse verandah. The day is crisp, cool, but beautiful. (Can you see the blue sky and evergreen spruce trees reflected on the front of her guitar?)

Birds are singing, her father’s gardening and our daughter’s little dog Mr. J.  stops and listens for a moment to the guitar playing, before running off to bark at yet another squirrel.

Blog Photo - Guitarist plays, Mr J watches

But Daughter is entirely focused on the guitar strings.

Head down, dark hair falling forward and almost covering her face, she returns to a wordless, intense concentration.

Pling, pling… 

She keeps going, singing and strumming, no mistakes this time. Even the flowers in the garden bed nearby seem to be bopping along to the tune.

Blog Photo - Tulips in garden near verandah

I applaud when she finishes.

Blog Photo - Fernleaf Peonies

In her twenties, she’s learning to play a new instrument.

How to hold it.

How to position her left hand, her right hand.

What to do when her fingertips get tender, even sore.

Soak them in cider vinegar,she says.

“Oh!” I’m surprised to learn there’s yet another use for cider vinegar. “The thing’s got as many lives as duct tape.”

“It really works!” she says, smiling. “It helps me to keep going till my fingertips toughen up. Smells awful, but it’s soothing.”

It was the same routine the day before.

Her father, who has his own guitar but hasn’t played it in almost a year, stuck his head out the door, saw her strumming and disappeared inside.

He came back a minute later with his guitar. Soon they were strumming together.

Pling pling, twang twang. Twang twang, pling pling.

Another stray twung (or maybe it was a plung) sneaked in and they started all over again.

Finally, they were playing in tune.

“We’ve got a jam-session happening right here on our verandah,” I thought.

One of life’s sweet moments.

Today, Daughter is practicing again, and — hooray, she plays the song perfectly, again!

Blog Photo - Daughter plays guitar long shot

She’s conquered the tune to this good, simple, 3-chord song for beginners.

Amazing Grace.

And I listen and think, without saying:

How sweet the sound.

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23 thoughts on “A Sweet Sound”

  1. Playing an instrument brings so much joy to those who listen as well as to those who play. My brother plays guitar, piano and organ; I play (badly) piano and flute. Thanks to our mother’s musical genes, we continue a family tradition.

    1. I wish I could say the same, Lee. It skipped a generation. And now my daughters are doing so well at these things. I SO much enjoy listening to others play an instrument, or singing, that maybe I’m meant to just listen quietly.

  2. When I read your first sentence, I thought, “Mine TOO!” My teenaged daughter has been learning guitar this year as well. Such a lovely, personal pastime which she has, nonetheless, been brave enough to share in public a couple of times now as well. Lucky parents!

  3. My husband bought me a guitar for my birthday 4 years ago then a disease struck impacting my neck, spine and arms. This meant I couldn’t play. My daughter takes lessons now so she can play for me.

    1. Oh, how bittersweet.
      Sad about the disease affecting you.
      But nice that your daughter is taking guitar lessons. the joy of listening to someone you love play music is big.

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