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Date: 11 Apr 2012

(Originally from 'A Fretful Venture' blogspot.)

It’s official: I have hit my mid-life crisis at 40. And what form did it take? Acquiring a stupidly expensive sports car? Having an affair with a nubile college student? Daubing myself with tattoos and inguinal piercings?

No. I bought a classical guitar.

It’s as if I’ve returned to my mid-teens with the excitement of learning a new instrument, although without the trappings of potential rock stardom. Over the years, I have played the bass and electric guitars and I’m not too bad on the acoustic version too. However, the skill of combining chord arpeggios with melodic progressions is something that has pretty much eluded me.

I did have a classical guitar for a few years in the mid-1990s, which is where this first piece comes from. Misty was written as a tribute to my pet dog that died in 1991. It’s a fairly simple chord progression with little or no melodic hook, but it does seem to work as a piece in its own right on the classical guitar.

The plan now is to record a new song every month, starting with a number of simpler, personal songs from the mid-1990s. I’m then looking to progress to more complex pieces, some of my own composition and some by others. A few may involve my voice as accompaniment – for which I apologise in advance. My goal is to play Elgar’s Nimrod within the next two years. I hope you can join me on this journey – this fretful venture – as I improve my playing technique and repertoire.

In the first instance, I hope that you enjoy this offering, filmed just after my children had settled in bed – hence, the grainy twilight quality. The light should improve with future contributions, as we head slowly towards the summer months.