Back to normal, that is?

Yeah, 2020 certainly gave everyone a beating. While we are all hoping for 2021 to be a tremendous improvement, it will take its sweet time to return to form. It may not be the life we once had, but it will be something.

True to my Scorpio nature, I’ve been obsessing over my songs, working on melodies, trying to capture the right vibe for each tune. I tend to work on my ideas the best in the basement as my son is on his desktop playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends. Sometimes I prefer to be alone but once in a while, I like an audience of one. He doesn’t seem to mind (and if he does, he’s keeping it quiet!) And yes, the cat will make a cameo and demand ear rubs while I am concocting strange note choices.

I have noticed a huge leap in my own playing in the past year. Between teaching and writing (and jamming over songs on the radio like I’m 14 again), my guitar style has progressed. I’ve seen my picking style shift too. Not sure how this is happening but I am getting out of the way. No sense fighting upstream. If the way I pick is supposed to change, then so be it. I think that lends itself to why the melodies seem more angular. But as I always say, a song without a good melody is meaningless. Granted, I love playing super-fast lines but that’s icing on the already-sugary cake. Not everyone can hum 64th notes (maybe Shawn Lane could?) but if someone can sing back a melody I created, then I did my job. Believe me, the lines I’m writing are definitely quirky. I am even adding effects to give them a bit more texture and character.

And if the planets line up, my trio will get to look at each other in rehearsals soon. We were hoping to start recording in February but that won’t happen. If we get cranking in April and have the cd out by June/July, fine with me. Aside from the music, I am scheming the new album cover and liner notes too. You’d think at my age, I would be blase about recording and whatnot but that’s the farthest from the truth. The hair on my arms stand at attention when I listen back to what I’ve written, especially with such a rhythm section in Scott (bass) and Vincent (drums). I still get ebullient doing the album cover and typing up the song list, complete with how long each song is. (Strange obsession, I know!) Getting my hands dirty with all of this still fires me up. My passion for performing is gone (unless Living Colour asks me to be direct support for a show), but the heart for being creative is still beating.

BTW: Enjoy the pics I took today from a pond near my house. We had a light dusting of snow and it looked really cool on the trees and the water.

I can’t always be a guitar god, right?

Published by steviehimself

Guitarist/guitar teacher/cat lover in New Jersey.

One thought on “ARE WE BACK YET?

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