For my birthday, my band friends got me a guitar which I have been learning how to play for about 6 months now. The ‘music’ that I make is very slow and stilted. One of my very talented musician friends, John, shows me some really great things, but I have a hard time remembering some of them once I get home and practice.
I look at my written notes and try to recreate the chord or sound that we are working on. It always sounds different, a bit off. Inevitably, I go back to play the same song I started with, using the chords C, G, and D. I strum around awhile with that and it has helped me to feel more comfortable with the instrument. It is a slow process but at least I am trying.
Now I am also taking lessons from a second talented musician friend of mine (I have lots of those!), Jeff. I tried to show him my three chords and make a joke about how all I need to be a good musician is ‘three chords and the truth’ (actually I think they say that is what you need to be a good country musician, but you get the drift.) He showed me how to make those three chords a new way from how I learned the first time, shaking my confidence a bit.
In the interest of full disclosure, I started guitar lessons so I can go visit these guys and drink with their wives. Now I have the guitar and I need to earn my keep, so to speak.
Now I am beginning to realize that there are just no absolutes. Just like life. My truth is that I will keep trying to coax music out of this beautiful guitar (it won’t be “For Baby For Bobbie” forever) and continue to spend time with my friends, willing to learn whatever I can take into my brain and then let it flow out of my fingers.
All it takes is three chords and the truth (and more chords, and bar chords, and variations, and riffs, etc.)