Friday, July 01, 2005

Pressure: The Best Motivation

I have wanted to play the guitar for years. When I started rabbinical school, I was amazed to find that many of my classmates had been playing for years. And since I am a singer, I thought it was a skill that I should develop. For my 23rd birthday, which I celebrated during my Israel year, my grandparents "bought" me a guitar. I love how my grandparents work. They lovingly write a check, helping us to fund the desired gift. Easy. They don't have to run around crazy, looking for the right gift -- nor do they have to worry that we won't like what they selected. They know that they are in fact presenting us with the opportunity to get exactly what we want.

In any event, I went to the music store in Jerusalem and despite the salesguy's poor English and my awful Hebrew, I walked out with a beautiful guitar. My classmate Ellie Miller drew out the most important guitar chords for songleading, and I went to work.

If this was the movie version...well, let's just say that it didn't exactly take!!

No matter how much I practiced -- and boy did I practice a lot that year -- my fingers were killing me! Not the tips. I had that under control once I developed the all-important calluses. It's just that my fingers didn't seem long enough to play some of the necessary chords (like C and F!). I did stretching exercises -- to no avail.

Over the years, I would pick up my beautiful guitar and try again. But I just couldn't do it.

And then I discovered the problem -- it was the guitar!

I'm not trying to put blame where it doesn't belong. It really was the guitar. It seems that small hands require a smaller neck on the guitar and the guitar I had purchased was not the right guitar for my hands.

So for my 34th birthday this year, I purchased a Baby Taylor (lovingly funded by my grandparents and other family members).

And if this was the movie version...well, let's just say that I was a little busy this year!

Camp started at the J this week, and I am the Camp Rabbi. We don't have a songleader and on Monday, I decided that camp just wouldn't be camp without a songleading Rabbi.

On Monday, I learned "Shalom Chaverim."
On Tuesday, I learned "HaMotzi."
On Wednesday, I learned "The Whole World is Waiting..."
On Thursday, I learned "Bim Bam/Shabbat Shalom."
Today, I am working on "HaTikvah," "Ma Yafeh HaYom," and "Hinei Ma Tov."

Pressure can be a wonderful thing ;)

Gut Shabbos to all!!!

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