Monday, 12 May 2014

Of Slash, Garage Rock and Writing...

I'm writing today. It's hard. I'm out of practice and the whole process seems forced and unnatural. It's a bit hard to describe it to a non-writer, wow I just read that back and realised how pretentious it sounds. This doesn't make it any less true though. That said, I've never discussed this with any other writers, so maybe it's just me. There's a point when you just fall into it and it just flows... It just happens. This is the stuff that you read back when editing weeks or months later and wonder who wrote it.With me though, there is a feeling that goes along with it and I'll try my best to explain it to you.

Many, many moons ago a ROCK GOD was born. Not in a hospital  with nurses or a bedroom attended by a midwife, but in a garage attended by a couple of mates and a misguided belief in his own musical ability. I had a cheap fender knock-off, a scratchy amplifier and little to no talent. I didn't know the difference between and arpeggio and an archipelago but I was convinced I was going to be able to learn.

The funny thing about music, and I am pretty sure I am plagiarizing someone here but can't remember who it is, is that musicians are rarely taught. They are born. You can take someone and show him the right finger positions, make him learn the notes and the timings, teach him the tunes... This will not really create a musician... a true musician has the music inside of him and the former will never equal the latter.

This was me... the latter. I practiced (a bit), I learned (a bit), I am fairly sure I contributed to my neighbour's wife's early demise with my incessant racket... Every now and then though, it worked. I remember trying to learn to play "Sweet Child of Mine", (Guns and Roses people come on!) it was massively ambitious and unrealistic. I didn't have the talent for it, or the patience to truly practice it, and never really got past the guitar intro and the first solo. The thing is quite hard to play... lots of quick finger movements and it's really really easy to ruin it.

Every now and then though I would get it, no missed notes... no poor fingering leading to buzz from the frets... and it felt like flying... or balancing on a unicycle... One wrong move would ruin it but for the moment it was glorious.

This is what writing feels like to me when it's flowing. It is words bypassing my brain and coming direct from fingertips to screen. It also has the added bonus of not sounding like someone is torturing a cat with a guitar and so far as I know... my writing has never contributed to anybody's early demise.

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