One time I sold my guitars. It was a relationship gone bad, and I needed money to pay my rent. At the time I didn’t figure much on playing music anyway. Music was something I enjoyed after work, just to sit and unwind. Being a professional musician had never crossed my mind, I needed money, and the guitars were the only things of any value that I had, so… away they went.
The next week there was an unexpected knock on my door and when I went to answer it, there was a friend of mine standing there. This guy is a biker, and not one of these pretend bikers either. He’s the real thing. So I open the door to greet him, and he said “Come on and get dressed, we are going to Macon to get you a guitar.”
I honestly had no idea at the time how much music meant to me, and I had no clue that I would spend a majority of my life making a living playing music. Don’t get me wrong, as I was sad about losing the guitars, but hey, “this is just part of growing up” I had told myself.
His tone was not a question and so I said, “Okay”. I got dressed, we got some coffee, and headed to Macon. My friend took me to a big music store, and I financed a 1980 Gibson Les Paul Custom.
That Les Paul was the guitar I played at my first open mic.
Several years later, while living in Atlanta, I found a guitar in a shed. This old guitar is the guitar that I play “Till The Well Runs Dry”(aka Chop That Wood) and “The Ocean Below” on now. These happen to easily be the most popular songs I’ve ever written.
One day a guy called me out of the blue and said, “I’ll give you a cigar box guitar if you’ll come and do an hour concert and demonstrate the instrument.” So I said “okay”. The concert was promoted very heavily and I was on the cover of the Savannah Connect, and also the Thursday “Do” section in the Savannah paper. That cigar box guitar did a lot for my popularity.
Also you should know that I have quit a million times at least. Several years ago now I decided that it wasn’t worth all the stress and anxiety of calling and e-mailing and shoving and clawing to get gigs, so I stopped. I didn’t call anyone. Turns out I have had the same number of gigs every year since. ?
The tie-in to all these little stories is that “You cannot stop what is natural.” You don’t have to try so hard. You don’t have to worry. If you know that something just is, then… it just is! And it shall be. So let go and relax a little. I know that you have to experiment with this some at first. When I decided to stop making gig calls, I figured that this was the end. When I sold all my guitars, I figured I’d be one of the many who would say, “I used to play guitar when I was younger.”
So let me tell you a couple of things that I know; 1) I really don’t know all that much, and 2) I really don’t have to kill myself trying to make what is naturally happening on its own, happen.
Kyle Shiver is a husband and father, an inspirational speaker, meditation guide, and you guessed it… a musician. Get his new cd of guided meditations for yourself or for your friends as Christmas gifts! “Vibrations of the Heart” is available HERE.