Friday, 20 April 2018

Why do I keep playing the guitar?

I've been playing the guitar for a long time. Here at April 2018 means I'm celebrating 40 years since being given a 3/4 size Yamaha classical guitar for my 7th birthday. Been playing guitar since then; still playing guitar now.  There have been hardly any time periods in my life that I stopped playing guitar.  Ask my wife, she's known me for 29 years of those 40 years...

I've spoken to a lot of people who played musical instruments, at a high level when they were kids, and stopped a long time ago. So why have I kept playing guitar for so long, and why do I keep playing?

I think one of the clues is that, as an engineer, I am on the spectrum of OCD. Other engineers are nodding with me right now. So that's probably a driver, the obsession and the compulsion. But if I was to sit a test with a psych I doubt I would be diagnosed with "official" OCD, I'm more "high functioning OCD", so it's not just about OCD.

I suspect that playing the guitar is a coping mechanism. Let me put it this way - when I'm playing guitar I'm using up a lot of CPU power, and thus my brain isn't able to spend any time ruminating about the woes and stresses of life. While I'm playing, it's all good, and that makes me feel good. So I play.

...which leads into addiction, I guess. My brain knows that when I play, I get feel good feelings. So to keep getting that hit I want to play guitar. Like any other psychological dependence I guess.

Interesting. There's also my personality traits of stubbornness ("No way will I stop playing guitar!"), competitiveness ("I *will* conquer this song, the next song, and the next!"), pride ("Look at meee! Wheee!"), and there are probably more.

So is it a bunch of "bad" things the reason why I have played guitar for so long, and why I continue to play?

JAW