Back To Basics, Only Different

My first lesson (again) with Ron Eschete was today.  It was a real treat and I had a good time. I felt like I learned more about playing in the hour I spent with him than I have in decades!

I make it a habit of not regretting things, as it really only serves to undermine you. But if there was one thing to regret, not spending more time with Ron when I was with MI would be at the top of my list. He’s not only a wonderful player, but also a genuinely wonderful person.

The first part of the lesson I just did a debrief on what I’d been doing musically since MI. So I told him an abbreviated version of the whole, stupid and rather boring (if I do say so myself) story. Whatever my assessment of it, it was important for him to have that background so he could understand where I was at and give me fitting guidance. Well, he did that — in spades! I was very glad that I brought my video camera. We talked about so much, it’s hard to keep it all straight. I just wanted to soak it up. The video allowed me to pay attention to what he was saying, instead of focusing on trying to understand and take notes. I’m a horrible note taker, so the video should be extremely helpful for me.

In the end, the single biggest thing I walked away with from Ron was this — everything you need to learn about playing guitar can be discovered from learning songs. Period.

I’ve got technique. Yes, some is rusty, but I can get that back easy enough. I’ve got enough knowledge about music to choke a horse. It’s not about what I know. I’ve even taken good ground with my ear training. I can hear things now that I’ve never been able to before. The “Grand Canyon” (as Ron put it) in my ability is SONGS. No songs, no music. So what we’re going to do is work our way from songs back into what it takes to play the guitar.

The foundation on improvisation that I added with Jimmy Bruno at JBGI was important to my musical development, but now I am ready to go on. I’ll be working on a few different assignments (all with the song Blue Bossa) and will be back to get my next lesson in two weeks. I’ll post on what I’m doing over the course of the week and catch up with some of the other posts I’ve wanted to add.

It’s good to be back!

July 25, 2010 · kengon · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Music

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