Saturday, September 30, 2006

Nature & Nurture

I have music in my blood. Dad plays guitar and bass. Mom was able to pick up and play any instrument in the band when my dad's pot-smoking hippy friends didn't make it to practice. My oldest brother can seriously shred on the guitar. My older brother plays bass and keyboards. My younger sister played clarinet in school. My younger brother played trumpet. I'm sure my older sister did something musical but I don't remember seeing her carry instrument cases through the house. I remember she went to LOTS of concerts.

I was always a singer but I can't read music for crap. I started learning guitar at age four but my parents got in a fight and my dad broke the guitar. I finally forgave him for it four years ago. (As a side note, my parents are happily divorced from each other and one married someone else.)

Not only did I get the music genes, I listened to a lot of music growing up. I could select albums and pass them to an adult to put on the turntable. My dad and I listened to a lot of albums together. I went to my first concert when I was four. When I remember things from my childhood, I usually spout out the song that was playing at the time. Music was encouraged as a hobby or career more than acting.

I love music. In fact, the first thing I ever wanted to grow up to be was Stevie Nicks. I've rehabilitated my desire to learn guitar, but I don't always make the time to practice because I've got so many irons in the fire. I usually forgive myself if I don't practice.

At the show Wednesday night, I felt something strange in my left hand -- my guitar fingering hand. It was like there was a bunch of energy built up in the fingers and it was buzzing. They weren't numb, mind you. I had a lot of potential energy built up. My fingers were begging to be used on a guitar. So I practiced Thursday night and Friday night. I'll practice again today, and I'm going to try to get in at least 20 minutes a day with one of my guitars. It's in my blood and it's in my soul to play.

You can't fake it on guitar. I mean, there are fake books but you can't fake skill. John Mayer posted this recently on his blog.

Meet Jeff Beck.
He's one of the greatest guitar players in history.
I guess now's a good time to
link to him.
Running into him again reminded me of why you're reading these words right now;
Because I'm a guitar player.
And you can't cheat at guitar playing.
Jeff Beck wins fair and square.
You can ask a computer to help you with singing
But computers are afraid of guitars.
Guitar playing rewards only the pure.
I'm half pure. (Working on it.)
Guitar playing helps you meet girls
and makes sure you never see your family.
Guitar playing never failed a lie detector test.
I've said it before, but it deserves another go round...
Say what you will about my words, my voice, my behavior
but end it up with "But I gotta hand it to the guy, he can play"
and I'm cool.
Not that I've given up on trying on the rest...
JM


Even though I don't need to meet girls, I want to be a better guitar player.

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