Sunday, June 14, 2020

Playing the guitar

Yesterday a couple of friends invited us to their garden for tea. He is also a retired Baptist minister. It was their first time during the lock-out that anyone had spent time with them. It so happened that in that morning while I was moving stuff around in my shed/study I came across a slim yellow volume by a Baptist minister called Bryan Gilbert. (I know - it's a lot of Baptists!)  It is titled: Bryan Gilbert introduces you to Playing the Guitar for the Lord's Work (1970).

I remember these friends had mentioned Bryan Gilbert in conversation many months ago.  So I took this book to show them and he lit up immediately as he took it into his hands.  He told me how he had learned to play the guitar with this very book.  As he saw the basic (many dated) songs in the book with suggested finger style etc. he reminisced about much this book had set him on his way.  Further, they said that Bryan had been a member of their church in Whetstone and were still in touch with him every Christmas.

I had to confess that I had similarly tried to learn to play the guitar with this book but had failed lamentably.  I blamed my stubby fingers!  But the tenor of the conversation remained strongly positive as we marvelled at the thousands of people he did teach and the impact he had through his series on playing the guitar.  Bryan's influence was much wider than this but what a reminder of that time in recent church history when playing the guitar became part of the scene in so many of our churches. 

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