No, I’m not talking about the popular video game. Yesterday, I saw a film called It Might Get Loud which features Jack White (of the White Stripes), The Edge (of U2), and Jimmy Page (of The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin). They share one main thing in common: they all play rock guitar. Here are a couple of clips from the film, if you’re interested in checking it out. It was a trip to see three different generations of rock guitarists all in one documentary talking about their musical process as guitarists, their musical careers, and their first guitars. The film has the feel of a musical summit when they all meet together in one place and play songs of their own with the other two learning the guitar riffs and joining in on the fun. The film ends with them singing and playing acoustic guitars on The Weight, that old standard by The Band.
There weren’t a lot of guitar secrets given away which is what I was hoping for. Then again, the creative process of playing guitar (or any other instrument) is very personal and what is expressed by one player is different that what is expressed by another player. That is the nature of the Muse; she comes through different musicians like they’re each their own unique radio station tuned into a different frequency with all frequencies coming from the same power source.
I visualize a kind of cosmic jukebox that plays what I’m tuned into and that comes through either in a recording by someone else or through me and my own instrument of choice. My two main instruments of choice are voice and guitar with the occasional keyboard and recorder being played. At various times, I have the gift of picking out a song from the cosmic jukebox and playing it in my musical memory radio station or picking up my guitar and singing it. I will admit that my jukebox access does have a strong preference for folk, rock, country, blues, pop, and sometimes jazz and classical. Those strong preferences are like pre-sets on my car radio. And, there are times I’m able to change the pre-sets by listening awhile to other musical genres (ex., Celtic, show tunes, ragtime). As James Taylor once wrote, “Hey mister, that’s me up on the jukebox…..”