Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You'll never be hungry

Good morning, everyone!

Wow, it's getting cold outside. I should be running, but I'm gonna write this first, where it's nice and warm inside.

There is so much to learn. It's great. I often tell this to my students, when their eyes start glazing over during a theory lesson. It doesn't seem to help them.

But seriously, folks, I like to think of music, or any other discipline, as an "endless buffet table."
So much to learn (eat), that you'll never go "hungry."

There's the arena of technique. That's a table on it's own. Once you feel that you've got picking down to a John Petrucci level, and your legato chops up to "holdsworthian" standards, how about learning slap guitar a la Regi Wooten? And what about different ethic styles? One of the biggest regrets of my life was, when playing street music, two beautiful girls walked up, and asked if I played any flamenco music. My answer? "no....not really..."


Then, there's theory! Several lifetimes to immerse yourself in with this school of thought. Perhaps you're intrigued John Coltrane's harmonic innovations with "Giant Steps." Or maybe Bach's ideas are more your interest.

Throw away your wallet once you get into gear. You won't be needing it any more. High gain rigs. Vintage tweed amps. Pawnshop tubescreamers, the latest effects processors, and of course, cables that cost as much as a good set of tires. And once you get all that stuff, it's a blast to configure it to give you the sound that's uniquely you. (And it doesn't have to cost a fortune, mind you.)

Then, we arrive at musicianship. Reading music. Understanding rhythms. Listening to other musicians. And of course, each genre is slightly different. If you've hit writer's block with punk, try listening to...Latin!

So here's a radical new idea for you. The next time you're bored when practicing, try learning about something in a different area of the "endless buffet table." No need to keep eating one thing if it makes us sick.

There is so much to learn about, and by George, it's darn cool! So get excited, and if you don't want to practice scales today, try to find out why John Coltrane made such a splash with "Giant Steps." (Or something that excites you.)

Have fun!

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