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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DekeDog, Oct 13, 2021.
Of course you've heard the old thing that goes "Nobody chooses music. Music chooses you."
You just became an idol to lots of people on this forum, I'd bet.
I was 9 vacationing in Guadalajara Mexico - on a whim and because we were vacationing my parents bought me a 3/4 size steel string acoustic.
They handed it to me never having touched a guitar before, and I kid you not. I bent the high e string and that was that hooked for life.
Then my father died when I was twelve and my mom became a single parent, never remarried, and she sacrificed a lot to get me my first electric and subsequent guitars and gear.
Even let me turn my sister’s old room, after she married, into a rehearsal space and put up with the noise and my friends/band mates for many years!
I’ve left it and comeback many times.
(“Life is what happens while making other plans” J.L.)
Hopefully, this will be the last time I come back to it after all the sacrifices my mom made.
I used to bang on the piano at my house as a toddler. I just loved making a sound. I started taking lessons at 5 years old. I saw my first electric guitar up close at age 8 and thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. I finally got one at 14 and immediately started a band with friends. We even got paid, and girls paid attention to me.
I can't not play. I play for myself but love it when I play for others and they enjoy it. More recently I play places where moms and dads can bring their kids. I really get a kick out of it when a kid is really into it and pays close attention. I guess that reminds me of myself at a young age. It gives me a lot of joy. I don't think I've ever gone without playing the guitar for more than a week in the last 58 years. It's part of who I am. I open the case, and there's my friend.
I've played in bands for decades (still do), in many different formats, but it was never about any sort of recognition - it was always about the joy of making music. I also play, write, and/or record at home several times a week, and that is just as satisfying, if not more. I'll play until I physically can't, and I hope that day never comes. Like many others in this thread, I HAVE to play, that's obvious enough to me after all this time. I used to think that one day I discovered music and that's where my journey began, but now I'm pretty sure that music discovered me. Music is a universal force that is always there, looking for a place to land and thrive - that's what musicians are: vessels for music to live, breathe, and morph into new forms.
Oddly enough, my playing is actually a bit of a science experiment!
I get bored easily when playing, and am repulsed by my own cliches, but have learned in the lab that humans are attracted to comforting familiarity while at the same time being bored by it.
I've also learned that 99% of my playing IS my own repulsive cliches!
So, in the lab, playing a note perfect rendition of a Pink Floyd tune may make the drunks comfortably numb, but it generally won't make them get up and come over to see what the hell the guitar player is up to.
BUT, what kinds of stimulus attracts drunks and what kinds of stimulus repels them?
Inquiring minds want to know!
Dammit, humans are a moving target!
Unlike the atom, splitting the drinkers butt from the bar stool takes a different bombardment in a recent decade vs some long ago decade.
My research is not complete though and I'm not the only player in my lab, because of course one needs a broad range of test subjects to make science scientific.
Record companies attempt to categorize humans like the periodic table.
They think some humans are Country humans, others are Rock humans and a few are Jazz humans etc.
Meaning the scientist needs to bombard each human with different elements to smash them off their stools.
(further complicated by the fact that humans attract other humans of the opposite sex and are likely to get stuck to one of those attractive bodies on the way to see the experimentally yet familiar smashing guitar.)
My lab has a very low budget because I've failed to attract drug company or military investors.
Kind of like alternative energy in the '70s, the science is dirty and the test subjects are a bunch of crooks.
Anyhow, that's my science and I'm sticking to it!
Until I get bored...
I play because I can't not play. It's just a part of me.
I agree. I'm installing a Bigsby on my cerebellum as we speak ...
Science has proven that it's the BASS LINE that motivates the drunk human butt ... hence this t-shirt:
I think you nailed it here. It's the JOY. That's why we do anything, really, whether it's cooking, painting, fishing ... it's all about the pleasure the activity provides to our selves and others, and the joy of accomplishment. "I've got joy, joy, joy down in my heart ..." Yepper, works for me!
And as a bassist, you need this:
I posted a tongue-in-cheek comment earlier in this thread. This post is serious. I’m retired now form a long career in bioengineering. I can write; manuals, scientific papers, promotional literature, but not lyrics. So everything I do with the exception of the occasional jazz number is a cover.
But playing covers still gives me a chance to express myself creatively. I never try to copy the original. I may quote from it, but I create my own intro, solo, and outro. Sometimes I put the solo in a different mode so it stands out. I’ve changed the time signature of a solo to give it a different feel.
I struggle with technique like most of us but I manage sixteenth note triplets where I need them. I developed a very personal finger style. I use off scale passing notes to move between chords. I even land on them occasionally to create dissonance. I love the interplay between dissonance and resolution.
Most importantly, music keeps my brain healthy. Learning and creating forms new synapses. Ah. The wonder of the brain and it’s incredible plasticity.
I just love the sound of music.
Strictly a play at home player. Been trying since 1961, still not worth a darn in my opinion, but won't quit trying.
There was always some music in me, but at the age of 12 I had a dreadful time while learning the clarinet at school. I loved the lessons and practice at home, but being put into the school orchestra after very few weeks of playing and being totally out of my depth and humiliated by an a****le of a music teacher/ conductor gave me a phobia of playing in front of or even with other people for very many years.
Around the same time I saw a BBC documentary about Julian Bream and the concept of a self contained instrument was totally appealing. No chance of getting a guitar at that time, but the idea stayed with me until I left school and earned some money in my gap year. I've played all sorts of guitars in the 50+ years since then, all sorts of styles (except jazz and flamenco- I wish!), the majority of the time alone and it's been increasingly the most important thing in my life. Music gives me an emotional and intellectual focus like nothing else ever has and the guitar has been a totally absorbing companion on the journey.
Well it's true that the bass line creates fusion, driving butts together on the dance floor, but less so creates fission that drags butts toward the band to check out the guitar player.
Both can happen at the same time though, especially if the butt in the crowd wants the butt of the guitar player...
One way or the other though, moving butts R us!
This whole SONGWRITING thing is kind of a bear.
I'm distinctly sideman material, I love working with a singer songwriter.
As far as writing songs, I'd say I CAN and you CAN too.
I went to the grocery store
I went to the grocery store
Wanted burger but they had no more.
Blues at the grocery store.
Lowest common denominator, anybody can "write a song". Good or great songs? Harder and some have that gift.
Similarly I come up with a little ditty music part a few times a week and wonder what old tune I copied, plagiarized or barely changed.
And also similarly I "play" some songs I know but differently.
Music is a collaborative artform!
Can be solo too but the wonders grow in collaboration.
The problem is those damn fickle flaky musicians!
Because I love music and always have been around musicians and musically inspired people. It's just life for me. In a typical day the sounds system plays eight to ten hours a day, I play for around two hours a day after all the chores are done, it's just my life.
@Jakedog was my idol way before this thread.
I play because I need something safe to explore and fail at. Something that I'm humbled by. Something to sink my teeth into that is creative and fun while also being challenging and elevating.
When I play (and listen to players who know what they're doing), I'm a kid again with a whole new world laid out before me.
like a bunch of guys here I can't imagine not playing guitar. Not sure why I do any more. It is kinda like breathing. For me it has always been a friend that is there regardless of what is happening through life - broken family, adolescence, marriage, divorce, changing jobs, kid being born, depression, pandemics, etc... I can't imagine where I would be without it.
Saw a video on Eww-tube where an interviewer asked SRV why he plays. SRV replied, deadly serious: "Because I have to!". Your post made me think of this just now.
If someone in my house doesn't play all these guitars laying around the place, one night they're going to rise up out of their cases together and come looking for revenge.
Apart from that, seriously, it just needs to be done.
I don't know why.