Apparently, I’m now one of those old guys who like to putter around in the garage on Saturdays, not really doing much, just enjoying the day and following my fancy where it leads. Except in my case, I don’t tinker around with tools in the garage. Instead, I head to my little home studio I call The Lab, where I lose often spend my Saturdays getting lost in my various pet projects of a creative nature; music, writing, artwork, etc.
This past Saturday I downloaded some new patches for my POD HD500 pedalboard, one of which was a beautiful, clean Jimi Hendrix kind of tone. After plugging in a few different guitars I settled on my Ibanez Artcore (recently nicknamed Flash by a friend’s daughter), dialed in a little extra reverb, and cranked up the studio speakers.
I eventually found myself noodling around on the melody from a Christmas song when Deb came home from shopping and heard me playing. Its a little weird when you’re sort of lost in your own world messing around with a musical idea and suddenly you discover someone has been listening. But she told me she really liked what I was playing and, still being a man motivated to impress his girl, I decided to formalize the arrangement, possibly for a later recording.
I videotaped the song so I could remember what I’d come up with and when I watched it back I thought if I could get through the song without so many mistakes I might even be able to post a video of the arrangement. I tried playing through it three or four more times, but never got a clean take I was happy with. At some point along the way I realized this process had turned from mindless fun playing my guitar into a formal project with a purpose, so I packed it up and went on with my day.
I was watching the videos back later and decided that despite my annoying tendency toward perfectionism—actually because of my tendency toward perfectionism—I was going to pick the best video and post it anyway. So I chose the take with the fewest screw-ups, posted it for my friends, and was a bit surprised how many people enjoyed it and even shared it.
There’s a lesson learned for me. (Again!) A musical performance doesn’t need to be perfect in order to touch the listener. I’m not sure why I keep forgetting that, especially when I’ve been on the listening end of so many moving, yet technically imperfect musical performances. (See: Jimi Hendrix)
Here is said video: