Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank you, Thank you all!

Happy Thanksgiving, rockers!

As either a.) a true musician, b.) an egomaniac, or c.) both, I believe all the world's a stage.

And since it's this time of year, it's the perfect opportunity to say....

Thank you! Thank you all!

Internet random people...Thanks for reading the blog, and listening to the music – I appreciate it. Every comment and email is greatly appreciated (well, the good ones), and I'm proud to be part of your rock n' roll voyage.

Students – thanks for learning, laughing, and asking so many great questions! My goodness - I have a house built on great music and laughter. That's something to be very thankful for, and I am.

I've met some great musicians and songwriters this year, and I'm thankful for and to them.

And December 2nd will mark the year anniversary of my commitment (a house, folks.) Psycho ex-wives have nothing on threat of a foreclosure, so I've got that under control!

So, here's a neat little thing that I'd like to offer as a quasi-lesson today:

I started keeping a gratitude journal about a year ago, and it's a really neat thing to do. Each day, you write down what you're grateful for, and most importantly, you try to be consistent with your records. I'm not, but I'm working on it. It's a nice way to remember how much we've got, and to focus on that.

Try it! It's neat. You could document your progress on the guitar with it, too. As an instructor, I'm fortunate in the fact I get to see people achieve their own personal victories over musical obstacles. For some, it's understanding advanced theory, and others, simply sounding a string to join the Club Guitar Player. Each victory is worthy of gratitude and excitement! Write it down, sucka!

Happy Thanksgiving!

- Josh

Friday, November 20, 2009

Made of Scars

Two years.

Two years ago.

They found her.

Two years seems like a long time ago. It was a bright and sunny day like this. It's funny how the sun can burn your eyes sometimes.

I still can't wrap my head around it. Such a meek little girl - seems like she wouldn't have it in her. I guess nobody really ever saw her, and that's what did her in. I never knew her that well - but now I think of her often. A violin usually reminds me - 'cause she was such a fine violinist. I picked up a book of etudes the other day, and sighed. She would practice those for hours.

Oh, what have I learned since that day two years ago? Not much, sadly. It's strange how easy it is to forget in the hustle and bustle. At the same time, I've got another scar there, and those don't really heal - but they can teach. I'm listening to that Stone Sour song right now Made of Scars, and it seems like we all are.

And this one lets me see.

Holy smokes, we're all carrying around so much...Even the kids who come through the door to my studio - especially the kids, actually. I like to ask 'em if they're OK. I guess it's the least I can do.

And on this sunny fall day, when the wind blows emptily through the trees...I remember.
I feel that scar. And I get ready to ask people how they're really doing. Shouldn't we all?

And if you're not doing OK right now, pick up the phone:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

It seems like the mind is like the sky - full of fleeting clouds and thoughts. Overcast and leaden skies are never forever, no matter how lasting they seem.

Enjoy the breeze today. Be glad you can feel it.

- Josh

PS. I wrote a song for her. It's called "Forgetful Land"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pause for effect


Cool newsflash - wanna make your lighting fast lines seem more lightning? Try puttin' a pause in 'em.

I had the privilege to address a room full of people last night, regarding a local environmental issue. I discovered something cool - when I stopped talking, the people responded. It was the pauses that let the "yeahs!" and agreement through.

Us guitarists are blessed and cursed by the fact that we never have to come up for air - that is, we can play all day, and the only thing limiting us is hand strength. We could learn a thing or two from saxophone players, vocalists, and anyone else limited by lung capacity.

Coming up for air is a great thing. It gives pause. It lets the applause through. And it makes the lightning seem all the more crackly.


- Josh