Friday, July 4, 2014

Electric Guitar Hiatus

I've traded some guitar gear lately, saved some money and invested a bit and now I've got a really satisfying sound. So what to do now? Give up playing electric guitar for an extended period, obviously.

OK, so this doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, I know. The electric guitar has been like a second voice for me. But I have no band at the moment, no context to blast out the chords and the clusters, the fuzz and the feedback that I love producing. And the thing is, I'm a writer, not a jammer. I'm a writer, not a musician. I mean, I'll always make music, but I'm not a consumate musician like a lot of people I know. For me, the art is in the composition and a physical, full body, full mind, full soul kind of performance. It's not about what my fingers can do, or trying to impress anybody with my long hours of practice. It's about communicating thoughts, themes, and feelings with everything I have - my writing skill and intensity, my intelligence and soul. When I play, sometimes it's tight, sometimes it's uplifting. Sometimes it's sloppy to an extreme, sometimes it's a bummer. But it is always genuine. It is always real. It is always authentic.

I'm putting the electric guitars, amps, and effects pedals away for an indefinite period because I want to focus on writing better material. I want my stories and songs to be well-crafted on a literary level. When I was younger I trained so hard in musical composition that it's a piece of cake to come up with whatever sort of music I need to illustrate the words. I've written some stories and some poems and essays and about 400 songs. But I haven't yet fully found my true voice as a writer of prose, a writer of verse. I'm focusing on that and I don't want to be distracted by having anything else on my creative plate. Soon I'll head back to school and that'll demand a lot of my intellectual energy, so shelving the electric guitar makes sense. I'm writing every day, focusing my thoughts into short bits of prose that can be expanded to vignettes, stories, poems, or songs.

Who knows when I'll come back to the electric guitar? Last time I took a break from it, I hardly touched one for about 5 years. One thing's for sure: when I do pick it up again, I'll have lots of new ideas for what I want to do with it.