Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Playin' the blues - Pain and the musicial expression

Life just hurts sometimes.

Thank goodness for the guitar.

Here's what I've found....

We all are faced with a certain amount of pain. Some, we make up, and some we certainly don't.

Just as our problems are unique, and at the same time, universal, so to are our ways of dealing with them.

We can try to bury 'em, numb 'em, ignore 'em, or deal with those feelings.

I've found that the latter is the way that works best for me. Enter music, and in case you were looking for it, the point to this post.

Playing your blues not only will make you feel better, but it will give your music meaning. We strive so hard for artistic validity, trying hip chord substitutions, exotic scales, blazing technique, and endless gear combinations...Only to discover that the very thing that will make our musical voice unique is to be 100% genuine us. Something we've had all along!

Sitting down, and chillin' out for a second, we can begin to feel just how sad, happy, angry, or apathetic we are right now. Then, if we pick up our guitar, and start to play "with feeling," as Jimi Hendrix would say, something cool might just happen.

When I do this, (and when it works), my playing gets a voice of it's own. When I concentrate on meaning what I say, or in this case, what I play, the notes become meaningful.

And to me, when notes ain't meaningful, they're just babble, drivel, stupid small talk.

And by meaningful, they don't have to be sad! No sir...They can be different emotions, just as long as they're expressing something.

This concept takes care of a lot of questions.

- It provides us with a way to be artistically unique.

- In turn, it provides us with a great way to express some of that bottled-up pain inside.
And I've never seen someone who can bury their feelings forever - without it tearin' 'em up.
So why not rip your guitar up instead?

- It answers questions regarding soloing. While this exercise is not limited to improvising,
we can use it to great effect in this field. And lot of folks ask me "what scale should I use?"
While there's a wonderful world of scale application, at the end of the day we want to use the
scale to express our feeling, not the other way 'round!

- If you play what you feel, you'll never overplay! If the critics say you're using too many notes,
tell 'em you'd be glad to stop, but those voices in your head are hard to convince. ;)

Best of luck playing your blues. I'm sure you'll be surprised at how authentic you sound.

No comments: