I started learning to play the guitar at the worst possible moment.
Let me explain. I majored in Music Education in college. One of the degree requirements was that we learn each of the band instruments (trombone, flute, bassoon, you name it). The final exam was to sit before the teacher and play scales and a solo piece— something at an advanced middle school to intermediate high school level. We Music Ed majors clipped along, taking an instrument or two per semester, until the end of our Junior year. Then came something called Proficiencies. We were required to retake and pass the final exams on all of the instruments within a two week period, proving to the faculty that we hadn't completely forgotten everything we learned over the past three years.
Proficiency weeks were mayhem. Picture frazzled undergrads hunkering down in tiny practice rooms, struggling to carry a clarinet, tuba, and their bagged lunch through the narrow hallways. The practice room floor of the music building was filled with the sound of out-of-tune trumpets, shrill violins, and honking saxophones. Guess what instrument wasn't a requirement to learn? Guitar. And guess what instrument I practiced more than any other during those insane weeks? Yep. I just couldn't help myself. I had to keep playing that guitar.
Sometimes we feel compelled to do things that make little sense. With any luck, our intuition is onto something, and it pays of in the end. I passed all my proficiencies (some with significantly less than flying colors). More importantly, learning guitar completely changed my life.
So here I am again, with another far-flung idea that I have been unable to shake. I've been intrigued by the concept for a long time (inspired by Max Garcia Conover, who deserves credit for the idea and also deserves your ears and support). It doesn't make much sense and it might not be the right time and it scares me quite a bit. I guess that's why I'm doing it.
I'm committing to release a new song and video every week for the rest of the year. The videos will be simple— and while we're at it, maybe the songs will be too. I've got a lot of assumptions about what it takes to write good songs that I'm testing, and I'll be frank: if this project succeeds, the assumptions will be proved wrong. I guess I'm going to lose something either way. I'd rather lose the false assumptions.
Everyone will be able to listen to and watch these creations for free. More than anything, I want to create something that adds beauty, empathy, and authenticity to the lives of those who listen and watch. I can't think of anything more worthwhile. That's the idea in a nutshell.
I really don't know what's going to happen here. I may crash and burn in public. I may break into a new creative rhythm. We'll all find out together. I'll pull some forgotten songs out of the cedar chest if I need to, but all of these songs will be previously unreleased and relatively unheard. New. That's always been my bias, anyway. The best place to hear and see this project will be right here on this blog.
If you want me to shoot you an email each time a song is released, just let me know below.
Thanks for listening, and for taking an interest in this wild idea. In some ways this feels like the worst possible moment to start a project like this. Hopefully that doesn't matter.