My singer-songwriter-guitarist husband has an upcoming gig in February that he is really looking forward to.
I’m happy for him. He works hard at his craft, is a prolific songwriter and a gifted (and patient) teacher.
Since we met, he has generously invited me into the fold, whether to play guitar alongside him or accompany him using one of the many little instruments that clutter our home. He has taught me how to sing harmony and when the harmony is too difficult, allowed me to sing melody to his harmony in my reedy, wobbly voice.
Happily for me, he has invited me to play on three of his original songs for the gig, using three different instruments: guitar, bass ukulele and merlin (like a dulcimer, tuned to D).
Unlike Ian, I only practice when I have an upcoming gig or open mic spot. Today, I decided I’d better get cracking. I knew all three songs but hadn’t played them in a while. To my delight, I was able to remember all three arrangements after a quick run-through.
One of my favourite things to do when playing music is to accompany, to sit back in that role of enhancing the performance without having to assume any of the heavy lifting.
I keep forgetting what a joy it is to play music. When you play music with others, you are forced to be in the moment, intently listening to the lead player, watching as you would a conductor, yet your brain must also multitask, keeping track of tempo, dynamics, phrasing and of course, which notes to play.
The rehearsal was so efficient, we had time to record a favourite Jeff Tweedy cover.