Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Song Hits Home
I HAVE A guitar student, let's call her Alaina. She just graduated from high school and has been taking lessons for six or seven months. Like most of my students, she's decided to get better and her hard work and determination has made her soar.
I love giving lessons to students like Alaina. She is a quick learner. She laughs at herself a lot. And she's just generally a very sweet and happy girl. And every week she discovers something new, something to help her grow as guitar player. The more she plays, the better she gets.
At a recent lesson we were talking about strum patterns. One of the songs I like better students to learn is Green Day's "Time Of Your Life" because it has a distinct bass-string pick pattern to it, and it has open chords. It is not an easy song to play and has some really cool stuff going on, chord changes and subtle walk-downs.
But when I played the first few notes for Alaina, tears filled her eyes, and we stopped. Turns out her best friend is leaving town soon and "Time Of Your Life" is her favorite song.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I don't know why I did that. I guess it just hit me."
Apology completely and utterly unnecessary, Alaina.
Music is a powerful thing. It can evoke memories and emotions the second you hear a note or part of a song. It does far more than just back-drop our lives, it becomes a very part of our lives.
When I hear a song from the greatest rock album ever made, Who's Next, I'm instantly transported back to being a clueless and dorky high school kid, laying on his bedroom floor with the cheap boom box cranked all the way up. Anything from The Cars first album and I'm suddenly in my first apartment with my crazy roommates and all the chaos those first freedoms brought.
Songs remind you of what-ifs, and the good times. If I hear the Moody Blues' Knights In White Satin, I'm going to the back room of Vegas Music with the late Pat Cornwell belting it out during Funions practice.
Alaina is discovering the power of music. We can learn all about barre chords and scales and hammer-ons and strum patterns, but that stuff is minor.
When music becomes a part of you, then you get it.