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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 82. ‘Stay off the black keys’
As the serenity of night falls, I slip into the snug hug of my couch. A great few weeks away, so I feel justified in being still. My phone’s newly programmed ring tone, the theme from red dwarf, summons me from across the room. The bouncy nature of the music motivates me to haul my carcass from its glorious slump state to answer the call. I am greeted with enthusiasm and buoyancy. “Hey Stevie, how are ya!” “I’m good thanks, ‘Harry.’ ” (Let’s call him Harry because I’m nice). We exchange the usual chit chat and pleasantries which I’m happy to do. On cue and like clockwork, the rinse repeat dialogue I have on a regular basis with musicians begins. With knowledge astute and experience galore he theorises thus. “Do ya know what I reckon?” I pause for effect to indicate my surprise. “Not at all, what do you reckon?” “Well, ya know I love your music, I absolutely love you and what you do. ” Keeping my acknowledgment brief so not to interrupt his flow, I grunt, “ah hu, thanks.” ” But, in my opinion”……… I brace for impact at the most loathsome expression known to mankind! (Okay slightly dramatic, but remember I’m way overtired) “I reckon you should try leaving some of those chords out. Maybe just leave in the 1, 4 and 5, and do away with the rest. Downsize, simplify. Strip the band back to something basic. Also, you could think about changing your keys from those awkward flats to just ‘normal’ positions. I reckon make it simpler for the band to play your stuff, and wow girl, you’d be unstoppable.” He allows a moment for me to ponder his wisdom. My eyes begin to glaze over and I am thankful for the non-visual medium. I have long since abandoned explaining myself, and these days I just reply with a mastered tone. “Thanks, yes, great idea, I will think about that.” It’s just easier and puts me out of their misery faster. Alas, I was a heartbeat too slow. Already in the safety of my own home, there was no place to retreat. Pacing the well-worn grooves in my hallway, my guru for the evening continues, “I really reckon what you need to do is play 12 bar blues.” Granted I understand the slight conundrum for people, the blues industry is where I’ve been for some time now. But blues is a big wide world of beautiful diversity and the traditional 12 bar form suits me about as much as strapping on a tutu and dancing the lead in a Tchaikovsky ballet. ( There’s a thought to burn out your mind’s eye 🙂 ) I know enough about people to realise this isn’t about me or my music. It’s entirely about what might be best for the musician at hand. But I was weary from my trip away and found myself getting a tad impatient. Cutting my friend off at the socks, I gave him an emphatic and resounding no! I am a happy little vegemite in my little corner of the music world. I will continue to make music that I enjoy and hopefully makes the listener happy too. Not to be misconstrued, I am not at all upset or even annoyed at the four different conversations I have had like this in the last nine days, but it’s definitely the trigger for today’s blog. I don’t have a lot of musician friends, (I know what you’re thinking…..”well fancy that??” ) and probably even less now. But I know in my heart when I’m ready, there will be some good matches out there somewhere. 🙂
Have yourself a wonderful Friday and as always,
Thanks for listening!