Imagine Jammin'

Today, for fifteen minutes, I had the beginning and presumably the end to a short and storied recording career.

John Lennon Bus

I popped on The John Lennon Bus, where they were collecting licks, snaps, noodles, and bams on various instruments to turn into garage band loops, which will be available later.

Kurtis with Guitar

Now, I’ve been playing guitar for over 20 years, and I think with a few lessons I might sound like I’ve been playing for six months. Some people have musical talent. I do not. My rhythm is off, and I just can’t get my fingers to pluck very adroitly. A friend once said, after listening, “Some people were just meant to enjoy music.” It hurt at the time, the way the truth always does, but I’ve come to accept that I’m not Mark Knopfler or Eric Clapton, and never will be. And good enough to lead a camp fire sing along is good enough for me.

That being said, I never knew about the miracle of production. On the cab ride from Princeton Junction to my hotel, I noticed the cabbie had a guitar in the front seat. He played me a tape of his band, and it was beautiful mellow Caribbean fare that showcased his picking. He’d only been playing for a couple of years, and when I said I couldn’t replicate that after 20 years, he said it’s all about other people. You don’t really learn music until you play with others, he said, which is true of music and loaded with meaning for everything else.

Tyler on Lennon Bus

I decided he was right after Tyler, one of the big-brained pros on the Lennon Bus, was able to help me refine my little blues lick, play it in good time, and then laid down an impressive drum lick and some keyboard base right from his computer. The guy obviously knows his music, and I was even more impressed that he could get excited about what rank amateurs come in and do on the bus.

It was a great experience, both for the sampling what a recording studio is like and for feeling like a pro for five minutes. I’ll post my riff when it becomes available.

2 thoughts on “Imagine Jammin'

  1. I sat down once with my boyfriend’s brother-in-law, a guy who’d been a drummer for Alanis Morrissette and a host of other bands, and he tried to riff with me on the keyboards, but all I knew was classical. What a humbling experience. I couldn’t do ANYTHING to his accompaniment and just sat there feeling about two inches tall. He was very kind about it but I realized yet again how much I lack improv talent.

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