Thursday, October 12, 2017

God’s Plan in My Gift of Singing: Part 1 - The Early Years

Written by  Garth Horn

Phase One

For as long as I remember I have been a singer. Mom would tell me that at 4 years old I would stand in front of the television and sing and pretend to play guitar when watching Tommy Hunter singing and playing his guitar on the Country Hoedown Show. Apparently, Mom called me “A little Performer”. Mom and Dad both played guitar and one day I remember holding my Mom’s acoustic guitar on my lap to just strum the strings. I would hold my ear close to the sound hole for a louder sound. One time I picked out the first couple bars of the Bonanza Theme song. Bonanza was a popular western television show. Wow…I thought…I just played a tune.

For my 5th birthday Mom bought me a little guitar that you could wind-up and a tune would play. Apparently, I made up words as I sang about anything.

My first public performance singing a song was in front of my class when I was in grade one. The teacher asked me to stand on a chair so I would be well heard and seen. The song was “How Far is Heaven” by Kitty Wells. Mom taught me the song and said to stand straight and tall with my arms by my side. So I did, singing as loud as I could. At that time I did not realize it was a sad song about a father dying, going to heaven and his son wanting to be with him. I was just proud to be singing a song I learned. “A little Performer”.

Phase Two

At the age of 12, I began listening to Rock and Roll music. My older brother had 45 records and 33 albums with a mono speaker record player. I remember listening to them hour after hour. When my brother was in high school, he purchased a set of drums and met with two other high school friends to play instrumental music from the Ventures guitar band. I sat in and listened and was impressed with guys getting together to play music.

At age 13, I bought a guitar chord book and sat down to play my Mom’s acoustic guitar. She noticed I was holding it left handed – “backwards” compared to how she played. I told her holding it left handed was comfortable for me, so she said I could change the guitar strings around to be left handed. That was good for me. After all, Paul McCartney from the Beatles played left handed guitar and so could I.

My next musical step was learning to play guitar chords and developing calluses on my fingers to ease the pain of pressing the guitar strings…

Stay Tuned for Phase 3!

 

 

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