Here’s a peek into my mind as to how I craft something musically for solo guitar.
I recently arranged the Beatles “Michelle” for solo fingerstyle guitar and while I feel it could be way better ‘technically’….it looks like people are digging it, from the comments. (thanks Youtubers!)
It is very far from perfect – but it feels good! There’s a different “perfection” in the good feeling I am talking about.
I am not tooting my own horn, please understand! I am talking about the overall sound and feeling of the piece, and I wouldn’t have posted online it unless it had that “little piece of magic.”
Of course, guitarists will ask me for sheet music, because they want to learn the arrangement, and that’s all fine and good….it’s very good!!!
But there’s a secret as to where the answer lies. To get the sound of the song….well, it ain’t on paper!
It’s not in the chords, or where I put my fingers.
First, I listened closely to the original Beatles version for the songs “essence”…the life, the personality and gut feeling for this musical “entity” called “Michelle.”
Inside, I am singing the song…and every note, bump scrape, slap and mistake I make – has to aligned with the “Michelle” essence. I had to “become” the song…and wait patiently until the fingers tell the story.
(Further proof that life is an “projecting” outwards of our inner vision! )
Actually I don’t even see what I am doing as an “arrangement” …I’m just trying to sing you the song – with my fingers.
It’s the same thing as when a painter steps back from the canvas and takes the whole thing in. It’s almost like you have to look with fuzzy blurry vision, rather than obsess on the “perfect shadow cast by the cherubs little finger.”
In regards to “essence vs technique”….
- Essence wins – with the “people” – They can hear the SONG!
- Technique wins in school. You get a good grade, and then reality strikes!
Gut, intuition and exploration are the tools needed!
Wow…it only took me 37 years to figure this out – that something imperfect can have a deeper perfection ….when we see (or hear) it in terms of the big picture.