Can you play something?

I play guitars. Not professionally. And though I played in a band many years ago and we had a demo album and a small concert once, I was much worse of a player back then.

I write and play on guitars for pleasure. For me, it is both a form of meditation, a creative outlet and something that I can always challenge myself with and see improvement. It is a constant reminder that desire and practice make you better at that thing. And while other people often compliment me on my playing, I often feel like an impostor.

In my combined work & music room in the basement, I have three guitars, two electric and a classical. And some people who come to our house and see them (and the other audio equipment) friendly ask me “Can you play something?”

This question usually puts me in an uncomfortable position. I honestly don’t know what to play. Despite starting playing the guitar over 20 years ago, I don’t have a performing repertoire, and nothing comes to mind at these moments as to what I should play.

Should I try to impress with my half-baked jazz-rock fusion composition (which for me are one the heights of my achievements but most people won’t appreciate) or just play some chords to a song everyone knows. Or maybe I should play “Smoke on the Water” riff or, god forbid, “Stairway to Heaven”?

Should I have an “always-ready-to-please-anyone” repertoire?

Do you ever find yourself in a situation? If yes, how do you handle it?