Friday, January 10, 2014

Music - The Gift That Keeps on Giving

My Dad taught me how to play guitar.  He played the fiddle and I played the guitar for him.  Every night, we would play music together.  Sometimes we would sing, and Daddy would always sing the harmony part in the beginning.  I learned to sing harmony because we sang together and I heard it.  Daddy never really told me how to do it. 

When we got better, we would go to churches and play.  Sometimes we played for the neighbors or in jams together.  We even played in a band together when I was still in high school.  I loved surprising Daddy with the new things I would learn.  When he would show me something, I would practice it diligently, but wouldn't tell him I was practicing.  I always did my practicing when he wasn't home.  When we would get back together again, I wouldn't say anything, but I'd just do whatever new thing it was that he had been teaching me.  I would look up at him, and he never missed a lick!  We would share a smile and it always made me feel so good!

As I got older, we didn't have the opportunity to play together every night.  I moved away, got married, and had my own life.  Still, Daddy and I always played together whenever we saw each other.  We recorded what we did from time to time on cassettes and later on CDs.  He played on my first CD. 

Playing music with my dad taught me lots of things.  It taught me that playing with others is much more fun than playing by yourself.  It taught me patience.  It taught me that hard work pays off.  It gave me lots of things, too.  It gave me a reason to laugh, to learn, and to share with others.  The best thing that it did was give me a gift that I could give back to my dad.

You see, my dad died about three months ago.  He was sick a long time.  Sometimes he tried to play his fiddle, but he was so weak it was very hard for him.  But Daddy could still sing.  Even when he couldn't walk or get out of bed or was short of breath, he would sing with me.  I would play the guitar, and Daddy and I would sing.  The music that he gave me was a gift that I could give back to him.  It is still the gift that keeps on giving.

Now I teach others, and hopefully they will use that gift to benefit others.  To play for someone else is to lift their spirit, to take them to places they forgot about or have never been, to inspire them, to make them feel better, to touch their very heart and soul.  If there is one thing I could inspire you to do this new year, it would be to use your music to touch others.  Don't be afraid to share it!


Bob Daniel said...

Chris, please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your dad.

Thank you for your online mandolin lessons. I think you're great!

Best regards,

Bob Daniel
Hurst, TX

Anonymous said...

You still are one of my favorite people. I would of gave up on Guitar if it had not been for you. Still learning and enjoying at 70 years old'
Jim Gammons
Lake ST. Louis, MO.