Music, Sweet Music

My band recently broke up, and sad as that is, my significant other and I put an ad on Craigslist for another.

We’ve had all kinds of inquires, which is encouraging, but most are for heavy metal players (even though we stated classic rock, some country, and some modern tunes in our ad), and others too far away for our wants.

It’s hard to keep a band going, we’ve found. Even when the players all know each other, and like the same music, life intervenes in a myriad of ways.

Drug and alcohol abuse probably break up more bands than anything else, but even that doesn’t break up every band.

Being able to show up and make it through a gig is paramount for me.  Making practice is another biggie. Some folks can practice on their own and just show up and play through fine, but I like the rapport with band mates, and getting to know each other.

We become a family of sorts, and the camaraderie and fun adds to the audience’s enjoyment. If we’re having fun, they’re having fun. If we screw up and laugh it off, it gives our audience permission to laugh it off.

It’s hard to laugh off a band member messing up song after song or being too drunk or high to play.

We’re hoping to avoid that this time. Wish us luck!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

The Blue Guitar

Once there was a girl who sang.  She sang her heart out to all her favorite songs on the radio, to songs others made up and sang around her, and to her own songs that she kept in her heart and mind, but didn’t know how to strike the chords to bring out what she played inside her.

She bought a guitar and tried to play it – so many times – but it wasn’t like singing.  She had trouble with her fingers on the strings to make chords, and didn’t understand things like thirds and fifths and sevenths – it all sounded like calculus to her, and she was terrible at math.  So, she gave up.  She didn’t get rid of the guitar, and did learn to play one song on it.  It was a folk song her best friend had sung when they were twelve, and she never wanted to forget it, and if she could only ever play one song, that was the one she wanted to play.

Time passed.

She had a son, and he sang all the time once he figured out language, and she sang too, but the guitar sat in its case.  At least it wasn’t gathering dust.

She brought out the guitar and played her one song now and then, but even that song was hard to switch chords, and she never got the hang of it and thought she must be that stupid.  She could sing but she wasn’t smart enough to know music.  Her guitar became art.  It reminded her of all the beautiful songs she had ever heard, and all the vibrant, robust, sad, powerful , joyful, ecstatic sounds that came out of that one instrument.

It was a savior and a nemesis.  How could that be?

She finally closed the guitar in its case and thought about selling it.  She brought it to the music store and the man behind the counter came around and took her guitar and started strumming.  He told her that it was a beautiful guitar and he could not give her the amount it was worth, and if she thought she wanted to play, she needed to keep it.

The guitar sat while she looked longingly at it for another year.  One day, she saw an advertisement for another guitar – shhhhh – is it even okay to get another guitar when you aren’t playing the one you have? – please don’t tell!

This one is blue, and smaller, and it’s blue!

photo by Jerri Higgins
photo by Jerri Higgins

She loved it so much she got out her old ‘Standard Guitar Method’ book one, and began.  It’s been two weeks and she hasn’t stopped practicing.  Her fingers hurt, and she’s frustrated, and feels stupid, but every time she picks up her Blue, she feels like she’s home.  It’s OK to be stuck at level 1 forever, if that’s all she can do, because she has never felt so happy to be so terrible at something.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current