Wednesday, September 5, 2007

You'll never be as good as Hendrix

Hey you. You'll never be as awesome as Hendrix, funny as Robin Williams, or even as good as me.

If you're not too insulted, read on.

Am I suggesting that you quit? Heck no!

Here's your thought for the week.

You'll never be as me,
but I'll never be as good as you.


This thought was first brought to my attention by my guitar teacher, Joe. He hit me up with the first part, and I was about to hit him...or cry...

But then, it made sense! We all are born with a different look, style, voice, and taste in sandwiches. (I personally like Panera Bread's mushroom and cheese offering.)
And just as we can't be another person, another person can't be us.

This applies to music, and of course, our lives.

We can play Hendrix licks all day, maybe even better than the man himself. But given the choice, who would people rather see? You, or 'Fro Man himself?

Look at it this way. Have you ever been in the company of a friend who incessantly quotes
movies, books, or tv shows? What do you want to do? I always feel bad. I feel bad, that is,
that it's not the good ol' days, and I can't smack the person, or at least serve 'em a knuckle sandwich.

(Of course, I've been guilty lately of this annoying behavior of not being able to say anything for myself.)

Why is this so dang annoying? And what the heck does it have to do with the electric guitar?

I can't be anyone else but me. I could do the best impression of Eddie Murphy, complete with really good make up, but I'll still be a crazy white guy pretending to be a movie star.

And the same goes if I play SRV songs all day note for note. It will still sound like someone imitating Stevie, not the Real Deal.

The flip side of the guitar pick is - Stevie wouldn't be able to play just like me!

It's important to realize that we all have a unique voice, and to develop that.
Some folks work on it consciously by expounding on their idiosyncrasies (practicing their quirks), others just let it come. The choice is yours.

But your voice is there, just as your speaking voice is different from everyone Else's.
A point you might want to remember: Simply speak. You probably don't exaggerate your conversation, and yet you still sound like yourself. Keep this in mind during your quest for style.

Now, with my advanced psychic ability, I can sense a question from my audience. "Should I learn the licks of the greats, or will that muffle my own voice?"

My thoughts would be...Should an English Major ever read Shakespeare, or the "I have a Dream" speech?

Just promise me you won't greet me with "How art thou?"

Or else...

Rock on, unique voices!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful article, wonderful blog. Nice to read a different perspective from someone whos unafraid to be kinda freaky, ignore the rules and by soing so, hopefully come up with something that will turn heads, not try and imitate what is most sought after by the masses.


Kathryn Rollins said...

Really inspiring as that is what I've thought all along as I struggled to really learn the great rock songs and ended up making up my own stuff.

Anyway, great!