Heather Doré’s First Guitar

Posted by Heather
In career, events, life, music
3Aug 10

     As some of you may recall, in the Spring of 2009, I started talking about wanting an Acoustic Guitar.  My Birthday is in June, so when people started asking what I wanted, I mentioned that contributions towards a Guitar would be much appreciated. It really was the only thing I wanted.

     I had played Guitar once before in Highschool, in Ontario – my friend Sandra had spent an afternoon teaching me a song I really liked. I wasn’t interested in learning chords or anything – I just wanted to learn that song, that day, and that’s what we did. She played a few notes, I copied then, we strung it together, and that was that.

     Since I moved up here to the Sunshine Coast of B.C. 2 years ago, I figured that I needed to find a fairly portable instrument to accompany myself when singing.  ( my piano isn’t portable ) When I was in Vancouver, I had some Musicians I played with from time to time, but up here, I don’t know very many yet.  I figured it was up to me to find a way to be able to sing, without having to rely on anyone else. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play Guitar, so figured this was the perfect solution.

     Not knowing anything about Guitars, I asked a friend from Highschool, Tal Bachman, for some advice on buying my 1st Guitar, since he has a lot of experience with them.  He was very kind and patient as I asked a ton of questions, and even broke down what kind of strings, picks etc. would be best for me.   I started out only knowing I wanted a black acoustic, but by the time we had many discussions about it, I knew a lot more.

     It was decided that I would get a Yamaha FG 720S ( all black) , Jim Dunlop ( nylon ) .60 mm picks, and .10 or .11 gauge ( but no heavier ) strings.  Tal felt the body size of that particular model would be good for a woman. 

     We had been talking about it online for a couple of months, so when June rolled around, and my husband and I were finally able to get into the city, and to Tom Lee, I was very excited.  My husband wanted me to actually see the Guitar, and hold it, to make sure it was what I really wanted, before we got it.  Of course, I was distracted when I saw a gold glitter-covered electric guitar hanging from the ceiling – and swore it would be my next guitar, after I mastered the Acoustic.

     I looked at the guitar I wanted, saw that it was shiny and black, picked it up,  and liked the way it felt.  I pulled out Tal’s checklist, found my strings, picks, and a strap, and the guy threw in a book for good measure.  We got a soft case for carrying, and walking down Granville St. for the very first time with my new guitar in hand, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

     Fast forward just over a year, and my Guitar has had a long sleep.  It still has the paper on the strings. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, wishing I had time to learn to play it … and now I am determined to just do it.  It’s so easy to let the fact that you work full time, have errands to run, a house to clean, want to spend time with friends and family make you forget that sometimes, you have to make time to do things just for you. This is important to me, it’s something I really want to do, and I’m going to find the time, somewhere, somehow.

My First Guitar

My First Guitar

So, tonight was the first step – I pulled her out of her case, and looked at all the accessories I have to go along with her, flipped through the books again, and held her, imagining how cool it will be to one day, know how to play her.
Books, Strings, Picks, Strap

Books, Strings, Picks, Strap

I can’t wait to get started playing my new Guitar.  I’ll have to shoot some video when I finally get around to removing the paper from the strings – it’ll seem like a momentous occasion, after waiting over a year …
I’ll keep you posted with my progress, but first things first, I have to find a name for her.
Thanks again, Tal, for all your help and advice – it is very much appreciated.


  1. Jennifer (Hood) Lochhead, August 13, 2010:

    YAY for you! I play classical, and I love to sit with my guitar and my music and simply play til dawn. Congrats, hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Let me know how the process goes, and a teacher, even if for the very beginning basics, like how to properly hold it, and not wrap you fingers around, ect… will be the best thing you can do.
    Ciao Bella.!!!

  2. James MacWilliam, August 16, 2010:

    Great account of your first foray in to Guitardom! And what a great looking guitar! Very inspiring -makes me want to go guitar shopping again. I remember spending two years twiddling around the strings not being able to play anything. Then a small guitar shop on Lonsdale gave me a free chord book – and all was revealed – I could play half a dozen songs within a month. That guitar is going to sound GRRREAT!

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