Tag Archives: guitar

Friday Morning

I’m struggling. My remote interlocutor in life of the mind is keeping me afloat insofar as having a rational dialog with someone. But that dialog is private. Of the muchness on my mind, I’m conflicted as to which of it … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Play Like You Don’t Know How”

“… Play like you don’t know how to play guitar.” That’s the instruction that John McLaughlin recalls Miles Davis giving him. It was on the occasion of his being pressed precipitately into service to collaborate in Davis’s milestone album “Bitches … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

But Here We Are: Me and…

I feel foolish at bobbing and weaving through the tall grass of music theory, unled and untaught, not glimpsing even sky, much less horizon. All I would have to have done — note the pluperfect infinitive — is to have … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Robert Johnson

It was in… popular juke joints — segregated stores or private houses that doubled, after hours, as recreational places — that his now legendary music career began… The young musician had trained on a diddley bow — one or more … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Guide by the Perplexed — Triad Tirade

“A triad is a simultaneous combination of three notes.” (Ralph Denyer, “The Guitar Handbook,” Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006) The introductory sentence to the “Triads” section of this useful guide distracts me from triads. I’m drawn off the mark … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Guide by the Perplexed — More Inconvenience

“It seems I am choosing words that will stand, and you are in them, but if I blunder, it doesn’t matter — I must persist in my errors. (Boris Pasternak, “For Anna Akmatova,” translated by Robert Lowell in “Imitations”) The … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Guide by the Perplexed — No Money Shot

An old advertising tag-line for an investment firm was voiced by the British-American actor John Houseman: “We make music the old fashioned way; we earn it.” Houseman, of course, said “money,” not “music.” In my effort to show with strong, … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Guide by the Perplexed — Mind Over Method

Pinterest thinks I’m interested in quick-and-dirty guitar: “This article will show you the best method ever of how to efficiently learn and memorize the notes on a guitar neck in the shortest amount of time.” I’ve seen the exact number … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guide by the Perplexed: NODS & Buck-Effing

I’m not a rocker or blues man on a Gibson. I can make a long-fingered foray into the twelfth-fret region, but it’s not fruitful. When I mention “buck-effing” around the fretboard, therefore, only one B-C and E-F pair obtains per … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Guide by the Perplexed — Crossed Eyes, Dotted Tees

Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the cloud of unknowing, I shall fear no malaise, for thy clef and thy stave, they comfort me. I pause from the demented abstraction of this serialized soliloquy, this goofy guide, to … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment