Thursday, May 4, 2017

Teacher, teach thyself

WAY too much fun with these guys .... except during the Folsom solo!
I AM LIVING the dream being a guitar teacher. I have amazing students and we have a blast in lessons. I end up learning just as much as they do, sometimes even more. I consider myself an average guitar player but I love the teaching part, and often it's more about listening and technique than reading notes and figuring out theory.

I just got a very nice note from one of my former students, Brian Pahlman, who moved to Scotland with his wife, Pat, last year. He is now listening to songs and watching people play them, and he's figuring them out on his own. I call it the antenna - you listen, and it filters down from there.

Last Saturday, I played with my Pepper Spray buddies Adam Yates and Justin Sievert at State Street Bar & Grill. We had a blast - the place was packed and people were really into it. It was nice to see so many friends and good people hooting and hollering along with us. I thought we played pretty well too, and it's all about the energy from both the crowd and the band.

We played the Johnny Cash song Folsom Prison Blues, with Adam singing. All of the sudden he says, "Rodney, play the solo!" I am an average strummer and lousy lead guitar player, but the solo is pretty simple in this song, so I went to give it a go.

And .... I froze. Clunk. Geshing. Scbhalshed. That's what it sounded like. I got a hair frustrated and gave up. I apologized to Adam and he said, "Why are you sorry? It's just so ... Pepper Spray!" So I felt a little better about it.

So guess who is working on transitioning from strum patterns to picking out a lead lick this week? Yup. And I'm making my students do it too, and they are really getting into it, so we are both winning. So. Much Fun.

Playing music requires practice and patience. I play a lot, but I don't always have a lot of patience, so I work on it all the time.

Who knows? Maybe I'll nail the solo next time when we play Folsom.

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