Monday, June 21, 2010

The point, bro


I hope everyone has been stayin' cool in this muggy warm weather we're havin' near DC. I've been doing the lizard thing - wearing lizardy sunglasses and staying in the cool of my studio. And my CD is benefiting from it, let me tell you! I finally got some decent solo tracks down.

But the other day, I was just lunchin'. It was horrendous. I had every local guitar player sitting on my shoulder, metaphorically speaking, and my artistic vision was obscured, to say the least. "Josh, we're gonna pick on your chops if it's not fast enough, your tone if it is, and your hair if everything's perfect."

I was trying wayyy too hard to play a particular arpeggio in at a particular time stamp, and have a certain note value at a certain place, and it was just a mess. I stopped by Mom's for lunch, and she gave me a great bit of advice.

"Josh, you're a good guitar player. You're just having a bad day. Put it up, and try it again tomorrow."

So I did, and it worked. You'll most likely hear the tracks I'm referring to, as I think they're keepers. The jury's still out, but they should make the cut.

The thing that really, really struck me after recording the bad tracks was a mental picture a photographer. This shutterbug has obtained a spiffy new camera, and he's gonna show his buddies what it can do. He sees a picture that is worth a million bucks - but instead of capturing the very soul of the view, he starts fiddling with settings, changing lenses, adding filters, and trying to be technically perfect. In the process, he so misses the essence of the shot, and the light fades away from the day, and leaves him standing in the dark, fit for a National Geographic safari, his camera a crutch instead of a jar to capture the fireflies of inspiration.

An old point and shoot camera would have been way better. Sorta like how old clunky blues riffs can somehow express the depth of the pain we feel every day, as well as the joy.

So shred, rockers. Shred well. Practice, get that ideal tone...But don't let technique get in your way. Transcend it, forget about it, ignore it, I don't care. Just don't let it get in your way! Of course, this applies to any artist, or person for that matter.

Sometimes ya gotta ask yourself: What's the point, bro?


Rock on!

- Josh

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