Is That How It Goes?

I’m sitting at my desk.  My wife is sitting at her desk right next to me.  She started laughing a little and then put on some music.  The first song was one that my band plays. It was odd… I learned it by listening to a recording of the band with their previous guitar player.  I don’t think I had ever listened to the original recording.  It was weird… I don’t even come remotely close to what was on the record.

That song ends and another comes one.  Same thing.  A song my band covers.  This time what caught my ear was more tone based as I played the same part just much, much heavier.  Then the chorus kicked in and my backing vocal was off by a whole octave.

The third song she played… also one my band covers.  I asked her, did you make a Lizardfish playlist?  She just laughed.  I love her so much.  Again, what I play and what I hear on that record… not the same thing at all.

Damn it, Robert.  Do you play anything right?  Why haven’t you been kicked out yet?

Then someone on Facebook posted this image:


First off, Chick Corea is a genius.  Okay, now that I’ve said that, I have no idea if this was really written by him.  It feels like things that a jazz legend would consider, especially the parts about knowing when to just shut the hell up.  I wish I could do that, but I just can’t wrap my brain around it.  Even when I’m supposed to be silent I am still throwing noise into the mess.  Bad, Robert.  Bad.  Anyway, the one that sticks out to me also validates all the screwing around I do within the confines of my little cover band.

9. Guide your choice of what to play by what you like – not what someone else will think.

I’ve never met Chick Corea.  Return to Forever’s Romantic Warrior album is godlike.  Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew is beyond what humanity should ever have been able to accomplish.  More than any of that though, #9 on that list is, in my mind, the most important lesson a musician can learn.  Be a human being.  Don’t be a jukebox.  Do what speaks to you.  Don’t worry about what others will think.  I told you the guy was a genius.