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Picking Up The Guitar At Age 24

One of the gifts I would give my younger self, had I the ability to be my own father1, would be music lessons for a decent instrument. My childhood music career consisted of meeting once a week in school to play the recorder. The recorder sounds awful, and I had horrible instruction. So for my whole life I considered playing an instrument an activity I was not good at and did not enjoy.

But when I was living in Costa Rica, I had the good fortune to have a neighbor who had a guitar lying around. After borrowing his for a few months, I got my own, and I've been playing ever since. I oscillate between whether or not I consider the guitar a waste of time. Playing an instrument gives an enjoyable way to measure progress in your ability to be self disciplined. The meta learning skill that comes with practicing an instrument can be carried into other aspects of life. The drawback is that it is easy to sink _lots_ of time into the guitar. Today I skipped my daily Spanish lesson in order to jam on the guitar for an extra hour and a half.

  1. I have a lot of resentment towards my father for not making smarter decisions on my behalf while I was too young to make them myself. This is the tragedy that befalls ~every child in America. To be fair, I had it better than most. I was put in a decent private school and had a somewhat stable home life. Yet the curse of my decent education is that I am now wise enough to know how much I've missed out on. Or rather wise enough to know I am not wise enough to know how much I missed out on. But I have a lower bound, and that lower bound is higher than I'd like it to be.) []

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