Monday, May 7, 2012
I travelled to guitar center this weekend and have added yet another book to my list of texts, How to Write Songs on Guitar by Rikky Rooksby. But, this is not the focus of this post. While there I met a couple of song writers who were willing to give me advice and share some of the work with me. The first was an elderly gentleman who focused on folk and country music; he had some interesting things to say about the whole songwriting process. He described it as coming up with the basic chord structure and then re-teaching the song to yourself, so that it almost becomes effortless. The other was a pop vocalist who had a lot to say on how I could improve my guitar playing; her son who I also met was a very skilled guitar player. She first suggested that I tighten up my chord playing because I sometimes hit unintended notes while playing chords, which I have noticed but never cared to correct, she also explained that it can sometimes throw singers off. She then later suggested that I learn as many different chords in as many different places as I could, which I have been intending to do for some time now, and she also suggested that I try to play as many different types of genres as I can because it really help to improve my ability to harmonize with other instruments. She also showed me a link to one of her songs. All in all it was a very interesting and rewarding experience.
I have been struggling with the fact that despite a year’s worth of work and effort, I have nothing to show, no results to display. But a few days ago I came an interesting realization, I was playing my guitar in my dorm when one of my dorm mates, a beginning level guitarist, walked in and asked me a question about something or other, and literally before I knew it what started out as a simple explanation became a two hour lesson on basic music theory and musical concepts. Yes, I may not have concrete results, I may not have libraries worth of my own recorded material, but I have knowledge of music that far surpasses what it was at the beginning of the year, things that used to puzzle and bewilder me I now consider simple. I still continue to struggle to write my own music, but I do so now with a sense of relief because I know that all my efforts haven’t been wasted. I am also very proud of the fact that I still haven’t given up on this project, one of the reasons that I undertook this project was because I have had a habit of simply quieting once I hit a road bump, but I’ve hit a lot of road bumps throughout this project and I still continue on.