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Re: Heart before the box-

I just read Jim Lanpheer's post and wanted to comment. I can relate to
many of the things he pointed out- I am a "bedroom musician" and know
that the times I play with others are generally the most exciting,
challenging, thought provoking, and satisfying.
I just got back from a local music store and I bought a Buddha Zen
distortion pedal for my girlfriend- I was excited about the fact it uses
tubes etc. so I ran out to get it- well, I have 6 guitars here and have
been playing with it for awhile- trying this combination and that one
Now- I am taking a break because after a little while it just got dry-
riffing over and over just to hear the different tones- necessary but
I think playing with others- and especially listening to what they are
playing, i.e. saying- is the beginning of musical communication- it
becomes an exchange between two persons, and when both are listening and
allowing room for the other to speak, it can be like a conversation- a
dynamic connected string of events wherein you voice opinions, hear
opinions, ask questions, get answers, become inspired, become
confusedetc on and on- a process can take place where the result is
bigger than the individual parts.
This is such good timing for me- I am waiting for my EDP to arrive and
getting my own gear together but do not have people I regularly play
with- I begin to see how crucial it is- even in a sampling or other
environment. It seems important to stop and create from your heart and
not always from your head- I know I get wrapped up in gear to the hilt
sometimes- but it is great to hear someone else's perspective and to
look at what you are doing from a fresh angle.
I am just writing from the top of my head so bear with me-
I also very much agree with the point that starting with an inspiration
and going through the process of realizing it is invaluable. To have an
idea about a certain sound you want- or a certain riff or effect- and to
work at it and find a way to make what is in your mind a reality- it is
something everyone should try at least once.
I , for example had an inspiration at a show once- i wanted to find a
way to go from a clean guitar sound and swell into a distorted one
without having the volume go through the roof- I drew diagrams of dual
amp setups and had an idea for a distortion pot rigged to a foot pedal
like a wah etc. Then a friend just said- "Hey, just get a new multi
effect unit and assign the expression pedal to the gain setting in the
distortion- " Well, shit! I was glad to hear that but I really enjoyed
trying to figure out how to do it- I started with the sound in my mind
and worked at it- it was great- I have yet to actually make it a reality
but when I do it will be great-
It makes me think of Trilok Gurtru- he worked for 10 years or so to get
those custom drums of his designed and perfected- and they are great!

I gotta stop rambling- sorry for the incongruities-