Free guitar lessons – no strings attachedPublished 1:12am Saturday, January 23, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
When Roy Robb is teaching somebody how to play the guitar, he doesn’t accept excuses.
For the majority of the 55 years the longtime Niles resident has played the instrument, he has done so without the use of the ring finger in his left hand, which he lost in a saw mill accident.
“I’ve learned to do different things with the guitar and have it still come out the same, make it sing,” he said.
For the second straight year, Robb and Pastor Greg Rensbury of Mapleview Free Methodist Church in Niles will be offering a free six-week guitar class for the community, starting Feb. 3.
Rensbury said Robb is a great instructor and motivator.
“Last year, we pointed out Roy’s accident,” Rensbury said. “Don’t tell us that your fingers are too long or too short, too fat or too skinny. He’s just a walking inspiration.”
Robb picked up some basic chords when he was 15 years old but did not take lessons until after his accident.
“I went (to the lessons) and said, ‘Can you do something with this?’” Rob said, pointing to his missing finger. “And I had a 12-string too. They said, ‘No problem. You’re a challenge.’”
Robb has kept at it all these years.
“I had enough determination that I wasn’t going to let that hold me back,” he said. “I said, ‘I’m going to play this guitar if I got to make two fingers work 20 times harder. I’m going to do it.’”
The free classes, which take place each Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Mapleview Free Methodist Church, are open to the community. There is a 15-student limit.
“The question was: how could we as a church be a blessing to our community with no strings attached?” Rensbury said. “(Guitar lessons) are something real, real practical.”
Those interested should call Pastor Rensbury at the church office, (269) 684-5135.