I thought I’d follow up on my guitar and music comment to Jackie B who lives in Northumberland across the pond. Is that a dated expression?
In any case I mentioned how I used to give guitar lessons for free to friends in exchange for coffee so I guess the lessons really weren’t free.
I figured people have been kind and open and sharing of their musical knowledge, hints, tips and tricks over the years so it’s only right that I continue the payback.
I told these friends/students that one day their guitar might be the only friend they had. Some days it really does feel like that.
Before we began lessons I told my friends who were new to the instrument to hold the guitar in their laps while watching tv or reading a book.
Get to know the contours I said, become familiar with it I said and when you play it don’t hug it too tight. Let it breathe, feel the wood and sounds resonate through your ribs.
There are days when I shouldn’t play. I’m tense, in a bad mood and generally unhappy. My guitar can tell how I’m feeling and the sounds we produce aren’t smooth and pleasing.
They are are awkward and angry and out of sorts. Your guitar knows you better than you know yourself sometimes.
And then there are days when I’ll be playing and so lost in the pocket that I find myself thinking – Gee this music sounds great, where is it coming from and then I’ll realized it’s me. In the Pocket.
They call that being in the zone or as the old jazz guys called it ” In the Pocket.” Freddie Green who played guitar for Count Basie wrote a tune called “In The Pocket.” It’s also called “Till I Met You.” I play in an 18 piece big band and when we have the chart.
Being in the Pocket means the rhythm section, piano, guitar, bass and drums are so in sync that they are beating as with one heart. There is no daylight between the notes that shouldn’t be there.
The old songs tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. They are welcoming. They don’t get all puffed up and say ” Listen to me, ain’t I great?”
Nope. They invite you in – case in point the Kern/Hammerstein composition ” All The Things You Are.”
Where was I?
When the mood and the time is right I play my guitar from my heels to the top of my head along with all that interior real estate along for the ride.
There are guitars cooped up all winter just yearning to sit on a back porch on a warm July afternoon.
Summer guitars absorb heat and humidity and produce sounds softer than an angel’s sigh. That sounds like a line from somewhere but I can’t recall the origin. Help me Rhonda!
And if you really love your guitar you give it a name. BB King had Lucille and I have my Louise.
I think I feel a number of guitar and music posts percolating. Stay tuned.