I am traveling once again on the good ol’ German rail system – and figured it is as good a time as any to give you a tour update.
Today I got to immerse myself in the joy of practicing. This tour has been hard work and lots of travel – but I have really gotten in some good practice in hotels and can feel new musical areas opening up, and it is very exciting for me.
It’s something I can’t quite explain…it feels just so darn good to work on my acoustic guitar playing! I worked long today and yesterday on re-arranging my own tune “Shelter Island”.
The tune is not yet recorded, as I knew it “wasn’t quite there yet” – but the solutions I had been seeking popped up over the last 48 hours! It will be “unveiled” on youtube soon. It is a pretty, sprightly little travis picking ditty with a nice melody that just feels great and sounds great. When the right hand fingers are firing just right….well I don’t want to stop playing it!
At some point, a voice in my head said “hey, try this slighlty different hand position” – and next thing you know, the strings were poppin’ effortlessly under my right hand.
As well, on the Bennie Wallace tour I started investigating new phrasing techniques by using “the feeling” of hammer ons and pull offs in the right places to get melodies to “lay” more the way Charlie Parker and Dizzy would phrase. Not many guitarists use the left hand fingerings in this way. I felt a new level of steadiness in the time and “locking” with the drums.
It’s awesome…there is always new stuff to work on, and I will never get it done.
There must be some kind of similarity to practice and meditation in terms of brain waves, or “states”. If I am not mistaken, the “alpha” state is our regular waking mind – and as one slips into meditation one achieves a “beta” state.
It never fails – it takes 30 minutes or so of practice for the guitar to “open up” – which is really my state slipping into another mode. Musical solutions reveal themselves, new tunes appear and music plays itself.
And all I can say at that point is “thank you” to whomever is giving me the gems, the ideas and the music lessons from some other realm.
Until next time, be well and keep swingin’