07 Feb A Day in the Life of a Guitarist
Six o’clock, and with it comes a beautiful fall morning and a pretty nasty hangover. While the homecoming party last night was memorable, I have no time to reminisce. This figures to be a pretty busy day. I take an aspirin, drink an orange juice, and take my trusty old Yamaha acoustic guitar from my closet. I bought it online from Amazon two months ago, and because I used coupon codes it came with an aluminum pick and was shipped for free.
Eight-thirty: I have been practicing the tabs of this Rufus Wainwright song – as well as some original compositions – for over two hours now. My band mates haven’t yet called; we are all supposed to meet after lunch to rehearse for the gig tonight at a local bistro called The House of Blues. They’re probably all still asleep, with the exception of Andrew, who is the most diligent harmonica player I’ve ever known.
Ten-twenty: After my Communications Theory class, I pull out my cell phone to read the text message I’ve been waiting for. “Let’s meet at Tony’s house 1 pm. See you later.” Tony is our lead vocalist, he has a really powerful rock star voice, but I don’t think he realizes how good he is. Oh – he also has a neat house and a makeshift recording studio in his basement with a lot of awesome audio equipment and hi-tech effects pedals.
Twelve noon: I have just had lunch (a four-inch BLT sandwich), and before I drive all the way to Tony’s house, I first check in at the library to look up something on the Internet. Andrew had E-mailed me something he saw at the Guitar Center website; it was a combo amp that might work well with my guitar. I find out that if I use coupon codes I can slash down the price from $150 to $100 – a good deal, considering that it’s one of the most popular brands for musicians and audiophiles, Crate. Anyway, I also chat online briefly with my girlfriend Jenny, who I hope will show up to watch us tonight.
One-thirty: We’re feeling it. Tony is in his element, Andrew is showing off some new musical stylings, Richard at the keyboards is striking complicated but breathtakingly pretty chords, and I am plucking and twanging away like Johnny Lang who has drunk too much caffeine. I love making music, and it makes it even all the more worthwhile with a group of friends who are so dedicated to the craft – and who don’t worry too much about talent fees.
Five in the afternoon, and we are all headed to The House of Blues. I like the place not only because they serve some tasty barbecue, but also because they have an addictive pinball machine right by the cocktail bar and the owner lets performers like us play for free. But Jenny’s not yet here, I’m afraid. “Still in Starbucks, having coffee with girlfriends,” her text message reads. Well, that or she’s compulsively scouring the Internet again for Victoria’s Secret coupon codes.
Nine-thirty: Our one-hour set is almost over. For the first time we perform “Teasingly Hazel Eyes” – a song I wrote as a tribute to Jenny. Yes, she did show up, and she clapped louder than the rest of them. As I get off the stage with Tony, Richard, Andrew, and my beloved guitar, I immediately walk up towards my girl and give her a kiss.
By David Stack