Friday, May 8, 2009

A - G - D - E : learning to play in a band

Well, joining a band didn't prove to be quite as impossible as I'd imagined. Helps that it's the Lonely Planet Band, and that they must be the most welcoming bunch of talented musicians on the planet.

The set-list, with the objective of a charity gig at the Espy on June 18th is a yet-to-be finalised range of rock to blues-rock to some more poppy-jazzy numbers to ensure the Ministry of Fenders gets a break at some stage in the evening.

What have I learned in 3 weeks of Band Pressure Cooker?
  • Led Zeppelin were geniuses of the simple arrangement that makes 1+1=4, and that it is fun to play loud.
  • You can easily turn down your guitar when you just can't quickly locate C#m (and your fingers just won't stretch to it yet). God help learner drummers.
  • That learning = failing, then repeating. Which is why the natural thing to do is to give up learning in life as soon as you can, because failure sucks. I'd forgotten that.
  • That the 'failing' part of learning is more than balanced out by the joy of mastering something - even as simple as strumming the A G D E combination.
  • That you don't have to play all the notes in a complex chord to get a result (bit of Eoin philosophy there) - wonder how that can be applied in life?
  • That listening makes contributing a helluva lot more logical (where is that beat again - listen for Tad!).
  • That a lesson or 2 from someone who has the mojo and the patience goes a long way to accelerating learning (thanks Rich). There was no 'how' or 'why' when I learned classical guitar as a boy - yet I've relied on those curiosities to get me through life (especially work).
  • That I wish I could sing.
  • And finally that maybe you can have too many guitars playing at once.
Then again, that last point isn't proven beyond all doubt just yet.


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