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Little Fingers’ Progression

I have small hands.  I just do.  My arms aren’t all that long, either, but my gut is a little larger than is proportional.  I’ve come to terms with this, so it doesn’t bother me.  However, I have always wanted to be able to play instruments.  In high school I started playing the trombone (not the best choice for a guy with short arms).  Then in college I took a lot of piano lessons, but couldn’t get my fingers to do the cordination the piano required.  When I got half way through college I sold my trombone and quit taking piano lessons, changed my major from music to humanities (so my music credits wouldn’t go to waste) and headed toward seminary.

Small, uncoordinated hands help set the course for my vocational ministry.  But…I love music.  Like to sing with others, like leading worship, like it when I see my kids beginning to develop their own gifts in that area.  And recently decided I wasn’t going to fight my small hands anymore, but embrace them.  Last summer I bought a mandolin (small everything about the mando).

I knew my bride was grimacing inside because I have a knack for starting a hobby and then not following through.  I know this about myself, too.  So, I bought the bottom of the line “A” style mandolin: $90.  Quickly realized I wanted to pursue it further and traded it in for a bottom of the line “A” style mando with a pickup (so I could play it through the sound system at church).  The bottom of the line mando sounded like crud, so I traded it in and added an undisclosed amount to it to get a pretty nice one.  My wife was sweating, I could tell.

With the purchase I decided to up the ante by purchasing lessons from a fella named Lance.  I became good enough to play along in church and pick out some fun songs at home.  I then purchased an “F” style mandolin from an estate sale.  Sold the more expensive of the two and now I am taking on a guitar.  Holy moly.

Two things made me make the jump from one mandolin to a mandolin and a guitar: 1. On Christmas morning we had zero musicians in church.  We sang Christmas songs a cappella, which was nice, but I realized I would like to be able to fill in that spot in a pinch.  The mandolin, as pretty as it sounds, is not a lead-the-congregation-in-singing instrument.  It’s not the cake, it’s the icing.  So, a guitar made sense.

The other thing that helped me make the jump was my bride – who didn’t balk at the idea and gave me the “OK”.  Thanks, babe.

S0, I bought an Epiphone PR5E which is just a little smaller than the ordinary “dreadnaught” body style of a guitar.  My fingers are starting to stretch a little, and after 24 hours of owning it I have three chords and am starting to learn a little fingerpicking.

Next Christmas, if we find ourselves in a pinch, I want to be able to fill in and fill out the sound.

Music lessons has been added to the classes they don’t give you in seminary that should be compulsory – especially if you ever want to plant a church.  The other class on that list: church budgets/economics.

So, here’s to little fingers making big moves!  If you have your excuse why you haven’t done that one thing that you always wanted to do, take some advice from my freshly minting calluses and go for it.  Today’s your day!

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