A few years ago, my father came to town to attend my sister’s wedding. After a few minutes of small talk, I gave him a tour of my house. When we walked into my music room, he noticed my guitars.
“You play?” He asked.
“A little,” I said.
He picked up my acoustic guitar and strummed a few notes.
“I used to play,” he said looking at my Strat in the corner. “I had a guitar just like that one.”
“I wish you still had it,” I said. “It’d be pretty valuable by now.”
“Yeah, me too,” he said. He played a few more notes, handed me the guitar and spoke the words that strike fear in novice guitar players’ hearts.
I took the guitar and sat on my stool.
“I don’t really know a lot of songs,” I said. “But I’ll play a basic blues shuffle.” I started playing and his face instantly lit up.
“Hey,” he said. “I used to play that all the time.” He reached for my other guitar and played along. Although neither of us was very good, it was a great bonding moment for us. Years of separation seemed to melt away.
If things were different, maybe my father and I would have been a great guitar duo. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I bought my son a guitar hoping he’d take an interest in the instrument, and he did for a few months. Soon Pokemon, sports, and video games became distractions that he couldn’t resist.
Now I live vicariously through other father and son guitar duos such as Nick Bayard and Ukweli. Watch this video. You’ll appreciate not only the musicianship, but also the loving bond between father and son.