Growing Pains

Why Amish Guitar? I don't know really. It just seemed right when I began this blog. The Amish, of course, would have nothing to do with musical instruments let alone the guitar. I do know some who played guitar before being baptized and becoming a member of their community. But the Amish side of my title speaks to me of a certain plainness or simpleness of the music I hope to make with my guitar.

My heritage does stem from the Amish, however. My grandfather grew up in an Amish family, but he chose to be baptized as a Mennonite. One thing led to another and then I was born. The Mennonites do have a reputation for being as plain and as strict as the Amish. And, in part, this is true. There are sects within the Mennonite label that are virtually indistinguishable from the Amish unless you're raised in the tradition and can see the differences. But, on the other end of the spectrum is my brand of Mennonites--contemporary and modern, virtually indistinguishable from the society at large.

Still, there is a love of music among the Mennos with a great affection for 4 part a Capella singing in church. And I must admit I prefer this to contemporary worship with the praise team. The rich harmonies balanced between the four voices can carry so much emotion that at times I find it overcoming. My favorite hymn is Be Thou My Vision which is just amazing when you sing with 1500 people in a congregation. There are times when singing this hymn I am transported past my spiritual doubt and approach a certain peace with whatever God might be.

And so it is with my guitar. Only an acoustic would do. I live for the plain sounding harmonies and overtones, without processing them through the bells and whistles of electronic gadgets. I need to feel the vibrations resounding in my chest. I need that physical as well as spiritual connection to the music I make. I need my sound to be raw.

Amish Guitar has thus far been a journey of my growth as an adult teaching himself how to play guitar. I enjoy sharing my musing of myself on these pages and I hope there is something my readers have gained from my writings. But, Amish Guitar needs to expand. I need to explore the Amish side of the Guitar, the Amish side of the music I make.

I don't know where this will lead me. Perhaps I will explore all things musical in my life. Perhaps this blog will become more general as I reveal more of my everyday life. Perhaps not. I just know that my narrow focus of writing about my guitar is beginning to burst at the seams.


  1. Alkelda the Gleeful said...
    I look forward to seeing how AG develops!
    K. Jay said...
    Thanks Al, I do to... :^)

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