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 Post subject: Jamming with the Stickman
PostPosted: 090329 05:31 
Legendary Overfiend
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As a disclaimer, I wrote this post last night, but lost it when I inadvertently closed my browser. So this is a rewrite...

On Thursday, Stickman and I finally got together to jam a little like we'd been talking about doing. Stickman is a really cool guy who's a genius musician and is known for his talent on the Chapman Stick (hence his nickname), which is the supergenius's version of the guitar. I met him first at the old Open Stage as he would often show up to play the first slot after The Primatives opened. Now, he runs one of the two current Open Stages I regularly attend (The Primatives run the other one). Ever since I started playing Robin Trower songs at the "stages", Stickman's been talking about us playing it together sometime, as he's also a big Trower fan.

So on Thursday, he stopped by, dropped off a few pedals (Microvibe and Wah) to give me a convincing Robin Trower guitar tone, and we rehearsed Too Rolling Stoned, from the Bridge of Sighs album. The following day, Friday (yesterday), we performed it together at the Open Stage. The performance was a little bit sloppy compared to the rehearsal, I think, but that's to be expected, and besides, it sounded great and the audience loved it. Stickman was right in that the song sounded so much better with a fuller sound (Stickman played bass, and he also had a drum machine to back us up), compared to when I play it all by my lonesome.

The performance felt great. The Crunge aside, it was the first time I really felt like a rock star. I can't help thinking that that is the only thing I want in life. To play guitar in a rock (or blues) band. Nothing else really matters, because that's all I really wanna do. It just feels so great, and I really feel like it's my place; it's where I belong.

Trouble is, though Stickman assures me that I have a lot of potential - and I have improved a lot over the years, especially since developing a more structured training regimen (which I must never betray from here on out) - I've still got a long way to go to be able to make any kind of living off of playing music, the way I see it. I'm not a songwriter, and I'm not a genius who can learn stuff really easily. The painful thing to realize is, I get up there and I play the best I've got, and then what's left? I gotta keep training, and keep learning, but it's taken me all this time to get to this stage. I want to believe that I'm in a shounen series. I'm Son Goku, or Naruto. I've gotta keep training like crazy, and I'll get better and better at an increasing rate, always able to just barely meet the challenges put before me... But life is not a fantasy.

So I feel like I'm about ten years behind at this point. I should be in high school, starting up a garage band. Playing at school festivals. One thing's for sure, last night's performance is the sort of thing I've been wanting to do all these years. Every time I get up on stage to play another dinky little tune, I wish I was getting up there to play with "my band". I imagine it'll be hard, after this experience, to go back to playing dinky little tunes by myself. I don't suspect there's much chance of me starting a band with Stickman, as he's a very busy guy, and he's so much more advanced than me, anyway. But I'll be excited to perform with him again anytime. I've gotta work on the vocals to Too Rolling Stoned, since Stickman's not really committed to the singing. There are other Trower songs we could learn, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Jamming with the Stickman
PostPosted: 090329 05:51 
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Sounds great that you guys were able to rock out man. I listened to the second clip on how the Stick works and that's insane. What an awesome idea for an instrument, really sweet to be able to produce a regular guitar sound from one set of strings and bang out a bass line on another... just amazing. Although, I'm sure it's pretty challenging.

It's good to see that you're improving. You pretty much laid out what you have to do, at least, read: Practice practice practice. I could be way wrong but I think some book either about perfection or practice said that hitting 10,000 hours is pretty key. Tiger Woods is a great example of this. It's kind of crazy, really. 10,000 hours of practice at something, assuming 8 hours a day, is 1250 days. This is 3.42 years assuming you practiced for 8 hours every single day (no breaks!) for 3.42 years.

If anyone else has heard of this (perhaps Panda since he reads so damn much) and my numbers are way off, please correct me.

But, the jist of the message is clear: Gotta work your butt off. Hopefully you can keep rockin out with Stickman, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Jamming with the Stickman
PostPosted: 090329 06:11 
Legendary Overfiend
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Kashi wrote:
I could be way wrong but I think some book either about perfection or practice said that hitting 10,000 hours is pretty key.

Was there like a popular article about this or something, because a little while back, all of a sudden, people started talking about that idea all over the place. Anyway, I'm willing to believe it. Probably because it means there's no difference between me and the greatest guitarist who ever lived, except for the number of hours we practiced - something that, as long as I live, I can always improve my rating on. It does seem somewhat plausible, though. I mean, I'm sure different people have different talents, and for them it might take a certain amount of less hours to learn the same thing. But yeah, even longer ago, I read a quote by Eddie Van Halen, and he said he sat at home and just practiced all the fucking time. He didn't hang out with friends or go out with girls, but now that he's a guitar god, he's famous and he can get any girl he wants. And then of course, Jimmy Page, one of my personal favorites, spent a lot of time as a session musician, playing all kinds of different stuff, learning all sorts of tricks, before he set out on his own and started Led Zeppelin.

Anyway, 10,000 hours? At my current rate, I might be able to start making a living in another 25 years. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Jamming with the Stickman
PostPosted: 090331 21:59 
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zharth wrote:
So I feel like I'm about ten years behind at this point. I should be in high school, starting up a garage band. Playing at school festivals.


I understand 150%. That was the real truth behind my Possible Pasts thread.

Anyway, tbh I think it's clear that your gear is holding you back. When you see somebody get up there and just wow everybody senseless, the biggest difference between him and you is that his gear makes him sound awesome and yours doesn't. As soon as you got those peddles from Stickman all of a sudden you sounded damn near exactly like Robin Trower. I think you could have a great blues rock band in your near future.

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