Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Alex says


Wow, things have been crazy! I was very close to being an Elvis impersonator. I just got a palm tree plant thingamajig. I am planting a forsythia hedge in the yard. And I got some great advice from a student named Alex.

So, the lady I rent my studio space from is pretty cool. She got me into a fashion show with 400 women and 8 guys. Great odds, right? Unfortunately, I found out that it was a fashion show for older women. And - it was a fashion show. I will never date a model, because I can't even pretend to be supportive and sit through her show.

So I'm sitting at the table watching this thing, and the commentators are going on and ON and ON about clothes. I felt like Ted Fergeson, Bud Light Daredevil. Except I don't drink, and I didn't have a cool helmet.

So, when there's nothing else to do, learn.

To me, these ladies were walking around in very expensive average looking clothes. I wouldn't have looked twice at these duds in Target. Of course, I don't shop for ladies clothes. But you know what I mean!

Did you know there's a sort of music theory with clothes? Some lines are supposed to make the wearer look thinner (it's placebo), "while the embroidered cuffs add a hint of Aussie sensibility to the outfit." "Riiiiiiiiiiiight." as the guy below would say...

And then it hit me: If this is theory for women, and they just look like some random person walking around in a slightly funny getup, well...

Maybe that's what us musicians sound like with our hip chord voicings or blazing scales, to an average listener. Maybe we're wayyyyyyyy over thinking it.

Of course, this is not to say that you shouldn't learn theory, rip through scales, and really know your stuff. You need to know it! But don't assume that everyone will be in awe of your embroidered cuffs...err, inversion of a Bb7(b9) chord. Use your knowledge to rock, not to express scales.

And all of this is summed up by my client, Alex. He wrote something cool on the dry erase board in my teaching studio. Substitute "Rock" for "cook", and you'll get the idea.

It says: "Instructions for Cooking: Cook."

Rock on!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crunchless Abs? Gimme a break!

Some fool posted some story about how you can get as strong as Bruce Lee without the gym.


Rockers! I am on a rant! I've been sick and dehydrated lately, but now I'm back with a vengeance...! I've had too much Gatorade. I've had too much rest. So watch out!

OK - so I've had a series of short cuts drift across my desk that have got that bee, who has tenure in my Yankee's cap, a-buzzzin' again.

First - America's obsession with great abs, but the unwillingness to do crunches. Automatic frustration! Crunches are not that bad, either. Have you tried one lately? Let's apply the crunch logic to the guitar. I think crunches are like scales - not exactly fun, but they get you ripped (or on the guitar, ripping.)

I keep seeing ads and books that claim a shortcut around scales. This literally made me angry. I started ranting to myself. You can picture it! Arrrrgh! Josh with steam coming out of his ears! Whew...Maybe that's why I got dehydrated. Anyways, after I cooled down, an interesting visual popped into my head:

We've become so obsessed with finding a short cut, it's like we'll drive fifty miles out of the way to find a Micky D's so we can get fast food instead of waiting. We'll buy some ABominator hammock thingy that will sculpt us while we eat snickers. And we won't, we won't, we won't go to the gym. And we doubly won't practice our scales.

DUH - this isn't good!

It's easier to sit down and learn your scales instead of learning shortcuts. So don't be a girly man!

Do some crunches, and do some scales!

It's good to be back yelling at y'all!

Rock on! And pass the exclamation points!


PS. Regarding scales - they are. Sort of like the Sun. Not really because anyone said, but because it's so. It's always good to learn about a phenomenon, not how to cheat it. Now practice, soldier!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Classes are IN!

Heyyy Rockers!

Wow, everyone tore it UP at the ZakkFest! More on that soon. But for now, I want to let everyone know that I will be in Waldorf today, Monday, March 2nd, conducting lessons as usual. If for some reason the weather gets too bad for me to say, you will receive a call or a text from me. But for now, I'll be there and I'll be square!

You do not have to come to lessons if you feel uncomfortable driving.

If you need to reach me, please call me at: 240-682-2801

Rock on!