Monday, March 25, 2013

Guitar Note: Last Night Something Happened

I've been playing guitar for 32 years. From early on I decided (or was forced to grudgingly give in to, whatever) that I was a strummer and simple picker kind of guitar player, the kind that plays to accompany lyrics. I love writing lyrics, I’ve loved writing the fairly simple guitar songs I’ve written, but I always wanted to play lead guitar. Or just much more dynamic and colorful guitar. And I just could not do it. I tried. A lot. I just couldn't do it. Nothing but anything simple, anyway. (I can SHRED a Neil Young one-note lead until the neighbors throw flaming cats through the windows.)

I don't play out anymore. My last gig was way more than a year ago, and there weren’t that many in a few years preceding. But I've picked up the guitar at home more in recent months, and I just play. I pick, I strum a bit, but more often I play - or try to play - lead-like stuff. And I just play.

Last night something happened. My brain, all of a sudden - and I mean I noticed it the way you notice you’ve almost fallen asleep and your car has left the road - my brain was all of a sudden doing something that I had never felt it do with me and my guitar. My brain was communicating with my fingers and my ears - most importantly with my ears - in a way that was, honestly, completely gobsmacking. And I was playing dynamic, colorful, lead guitar. And it didn’t suck! (Or at least I thought so. Maybe I was having a flashback?)

I know it's just me and my guitar, and I know there's a lot of hurt out there in the world, but hot damn. This is music. I am very happy and very thankful about this, and, well, there you go.

I hope I can play you a song some day that makes you feel a little better about everything.

Thanks for listening.

P.S. I'm very thankful Christine puts up with - and even seems to like - my noodling, too. Thank you, baby.


  1. Very cool Thom! You've already played me songs that made me feel more than a little better about everything. I'm still the kind of guitar player that you talk about in the first part of your post, but maybe I'll start jamming with myself and see what happens. ;~) Rock on dude! GB

    1. I was waiting for your reply, Gene! I knew you'd be here. Thank you, my friend, I hope I have. And at least you have world class strumming. In fact, your strumming is so smooth you should have a Ben n' Jerry's named after it.

  2. I anxiously await ANY opportunity to hear you strum, hum, pick or play lead again!