Remember that elusive guitar solo from the other day? I’d mentioned sitting and doing ten takes in a row, and still not having what I was looking for.
Last night was 31 takes in a row. Ended up writing the entire solo that way. Kinda like shoveling snow; make a little progress, take a step back. Make a little more progress.
Funniest part is that my initial goal was to capture an improvised solo that had fire and feeling. So I looped it (“cycle recording”) and just kept recording passes each time the beginning came back around. Spent at least two hours that way, without stopping. But the process morphed into something else. Patterns started to emerge, and I embraced the ones I liked. And finally I feel like the solo tells a story; has a beginning, middle, and end. Doesn’t just wander around through the ice cream shop, bumping into walls. What started out as an effort to improvise turned into the creation of a mostly-choreographed piece.
In the end, the time I spent recording was time I spent writing. Time I spent learning. About specific chord progressions. Lead passages. Phrasing. Amp sounds and settings.
It was time I spent just losing myself in the music. And by the end of the evening, I’m rewarded with a new song. It’s cool when it works out that way.
How about you, Gentle Rocker? Do you ever sit down for awhile to focus on one aspect of your art and end up learning far more than you expected? What does this look like in your life?