I write about musical gear, and I write about everyday stuff from the viewpoint of a leader of songs of worship who loves musical gear. I am also the owner of A LOT of musical gear but much less than I used to own. When it comes to gear I have found, but not always, that older gear possesses a certain mojo and nuance that’s nearly impossible to replicate or create with something newer.
In an ongoing pursuit to return to the simplicity of leading, on Sunday morning, I picked up an old friend in the form of a Taylor 310CE-LTD (an all solid instrument with maple back and sides that was purchased by me fourteen years ago) to lead songs with for a Methodist multi-site campus in Kentucky. This instrument has been played more than any other instrument I own, it has been around the world in multiple countries and churches, and it shows the wear and tear (or love, if you will) of a bulk of playing over the years. I know everything about this guitar. I know how many of this specific guitar were made, and I know every nick, scratch, intricate blemish, and dinged detail of this instrument. I even know the tone and could confirm it blindfolded. When I pick it up my hands and fingers fall comfortably upon the strings, notes, and places that only muscle memory over a long period of time will provide. Like most solid wood instruments do this one has even developed a more beautiful, complex, and warm (at least to my ears, and this is very subjective to the hearer) tone over the years.
As I played and led Sunday I was focused and kept thinking to myself “sigh, this feels so right.” Playing this guitar feels like home – the feeling you get when you return home after a long vacation or extended time away. But why? I have newer instruments and surely there are finer instruments out there one could play. Maybe it’s because the more time you experience with something and the longevity and seasons experienced bring about a closeness and development of relationship that only time itself can bestow. Of course there have been moments it has frustrated me and seasons it has spent in its case unplayed, and there are sure to be more, but when I pick it up it still feels right and I KNOW it’s home to these calloused fingers.
That could be a metaphor for life I guess 🙂