Brutally Honest #44: In Which A Guitar Solo is A Metaphor

 I love playing guitar solos. That’s not a stunning revelation to anyone, is it? When I get really inspired by a song I’m playing and it’s my turn to take a lead and I make something cool happen, that’s one of my greatest pleasures as a musician. When I’m really feeling it I improvise freely, I try crazy ideas on the fly (that sometimes even work!), and I play with genuine emotion. It’s very satisfying to my inner Hungry Artist.

I’ve noticed that most of the best things I’ve played have been created or performed spontaneously or in a situation that made me feel spontaneous. For instance, one of my favorite guitar solos ever was sitting in with a local blues band doing “Comfortably Numb.” It became a great rock moment for me because I didn’t plan it or analyze the situation, I didn’t think about what notes to play or how to play them. I didn’t really think about anything. I just grabbed the Strat and did my thing to it. 

Some night, life will give you a guitar solo. You’ll be standing in the wings, or rocking out in the mosh pit, or singing in the choir, and you’ll get motioned forward for your big moment. You’ll blush maybe, if it’s your first-ever solo. “Who, me?” You’ll won’t hesitate though, you’ll make it to the stage quickly. Someone will push the guitar into your hands, and they’ll offer you their pick. If you’re lucky, they’ll tell you what key the song is in.

My advice is to really go for it. Don’t analyze, don’t apologize, and don’t play it safe. Just play.

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    photo of  Luke Leverett
    New Braunfels, Texas Phone: 830-708-5883