As I look back on my experience of learning to play the guitar, I can recognize the stages that my guitar playing ability has moved through, though I was unaware of my progression at the time. My guitar playing skill developed with very little conscious effort and as I progressed from one level of playing to another, I was just as surprised as my friends and family were. From the very first time I picked up my mom's guitar, I had a very big desire to play it. But as big as that desire was, I never actually thought I would ever be able to play it. .
I was in sixth grade when I first pulled my mom's guitar out of the closet. I would sit with my fingers on the strings at random positions, listening to the sounds it made. I didn't even know that there were such things as chords or harmonics, and the concept of tuning a guitar was completely over my head at the time. For a couple of weeks, I had the guitar out and would experiment with it. The curiosity soon died out due to lack of improvement so I put the guitar back into it's case and again it sat untouched for years. It wasn't until I first went to a summer camp that I became re-interested in learning to play it. Shortly after I moved into a room with eight or so other guys that I became interested again. A guy named Norbert (who later became a good friend) pulled out his guitar and started playing it. I watched him intently because I had never really seen someone up close playing a guitar. On TV, they just show quick half second clips of close up guitar playing on MTV, which is hardly adequate for learning to play. I watched how his fingers moved from one strange position to another and then back to the original position. The placement of his fingers seemed really quite simple yet the sounds they produced were wonderful. I then watched Norbert as he started playing a song I really liked, "yesterday." He only had to hold down the strings with two fingers and he plucked the bottom three in sequence.