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 V.18 No.48 | November 26 - December 2, 2009 

Narrative

Musica Pandeladondaria

Riding a musical pegasus

Jeff Drew

First of all, I want to apologize for writing a technical article that's admittedly directed toward professional musicians. I've been playing excellent music for what many people say seems like an eternity.

And wait until you hear my next song! That's what I say every morning when I'm drying myself off. Serious musicians need to psych themselves up. The courage to face yourself, naked, crying in the bathroom mirror, honestly challenging yourself to listen to your own music, and still make more ... well, that's something only musicians understand.

I've learned several tricks for making music. One is where I put my pointer finger on the bottom string and make my middle finger curl over the other strings, then just smash it with the guitar pick about to the middle of the bottom part of the guitar. Then, when I slide that same musical formation down on the neck, I can flip down the pinky on my left hand and transpose it into another realm.

Then I got better and wrote a song about my nervous breakdown, just to show the world I could. As if there ever were a world ...

In music theory, various numbers of "musical realms" are defined to describe the kinds of music that can be composed in them. Most of them sound like they come from foreign lands. A talented musician learns to manipulate these "realms" in order to make the audience feel as though they, along with the music, are being transported to a different place on Earth. Tacos, anyone?

Some people theorize that there are new musical realms yet to be discovered, possibly representing cultures in other galaxies. I dream to be a musical explorer who discovers one of these realms. Beam me aboard, mate! It will only come with hard work and positive thinking.

A knowledge of the realms is critical for serious songwriting, but you first need to find your muse. Mine is Angela Lansbury. Your muse can be anyone, so pick carefully. Whether it's a samba, a blues riff or some variation on a song you've already written, your muse will appear naked.

Songwriting is also about just letting go. Whether that means smashing your dishes or wearing a ballerina outfit to the coffee shop depends on the songwriter ... and the type of music he (or she!) intends to create.

It's important to have state-of-the-art equipment, too. I have several "whammy" pedals I use to encourage creativity in my roommates. I have more than 100 guitars, ranging from a stick I found to a Fender knockoff made entirely of caramel. My amp is an XV3C8TFDS7OJ. I wrote a song about my amp and had a nervous breakdown (hi, mom!). Then I got better and wrote a song about my nervous breakdown, just to show the world I could. As if there ever were a world ...

During my time as a musician, I have become friends with many other famous musicians, actors, painters, sculptors, comedians, scientists, cage fighters, doctors ... you name it! It's really amazing the things that you can learn from other people. I have also formed many corporations. I hope that everyone can one day do the interesting things I have done and create. Create, you people! I just want to shout it.

 
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