I haven’t picked up a classical guitar for at least a year, and it’s been two or three since I was practicing regularly. But, in the move, I found mine under the bed, pulled it out, dusted it off, and promptly broke two of the five strings.
While my parents were in town, my father kindly popped in to Rayburn to secure the cheapest classical strings they had. (As he explained to the clerk who tried to push a far nicer set, I’m an experienced trumpet player, but a terrible guitarist, and my father was rightly sure I couldn’t tell the difference between one set of strings and another.)
This morning, at a mind-numbingly slow pace, I restrung and wound and wound and wound the new set. And then, I pulled out Mills’ Student Repertoire, and slowly worked my way through a handful of songs: Fernando Sor’s “Study in C (Opus 31, No. 1)”, a Ferdinando Carulli Andantino, and a Dionisio Aguado Lesson.
The sharp strings were cutting into the uncalloused fingers of my left hand, and it took me a slew of passes on each piece to make my way through error-free. But I was also reminded of how much I love the sound of classical guitar (and have since, as a small child, I used to fall asleep every night to a record of Julian Bream lute suites, The Woods So Wild). And, even more so, how satisfying it is to make that sound myself.