Thursday, December 3, 2009

Write your own darn "Smoke on the Water!"

Save for the time she cussed out a bully on the CCD bus in 1974, my mom is notoriously clean spoken. I grew up wondering who Hector was, and what I could do to be hotter than him.

This will all make sense in a minute.

I came across a lesson in a guitar magazine recently that got me thinking, and really crystallized an idea that had been floating around for some time.

Some cat had re-harmonized Smoke on the Water to sound all jazzy. Sure, it was slick, but if ya ask me, it was taking pizza and freezing it into ice cream.

There's a skill that I've been chasing lately - the ability to write the epic rock riff. Or the catchy chord progression. Or anything really cool. All the stuff I've learned previously has given me the ability to express feelings through music, but the art of songwriting isn't popular with most rock guitarists. Look through a guitar magazine, and you'll be astounded at how we box ourselves in as sidemen at best, and wannabe emulators at worst. "Sound like Stevie!" "Reharmonize Giant Steps better than John Coltrane!" "Learn Eddie's tricks for blazing riffs!" But very rarely "Be the next guitar hero by sounding like yourself!"

So, instead of reinventing Smoke on the Water, I'd like to paraphrase my mother by saying....

Write your own darn Smoke on the Water!

Of course, this applies to anyone, not just musicians. We all can be epic, copied, and fantastic. We just gotta believe, and most importantly, we just gotta start.

Rock on!

- Josh

1 comment:

Merry ME said...

Just dropped by to say Happy Birthday!