11 February 2009

Guitar Player’s Column

Set yourself on fire!
The musical improvement has always been a constant challenge. Whe music turns out to be your professional career, the routine shows up as a big enemy of a musician’s qualities: the passion for the art. Ant not only that, the routine “hurts’ the eternal search for knowledge; the tecnical development, the daily researches among others.
The trip hous, interviews, meeting with lots of compromises not related exactly to the instrument – besides the decision which can make us get a job for the payment and not the instrument – take us away from the real essence of music and it’s learning process.
For those who are not professional players, this intellectual marasmus can also happen.
Playing repeatedly the same exercises and songs without opening your eyes to other “musical worlds” can stop our evolution.I can’t feel the same energy I had to study music during my adolescence , because life changes and our duty gets us with no mercy.Those free afternoons which we had to play disappear after you’re a grown up.
The solution for people which share the same problem I do is: Put yourself on the fire, in other words, Put yourself in trouble. Create situations which at first you’re going to not make it or you don’t have expeience. Those moments which you say to yourself:
“What am I doing here? Why didn’t I stay home?”
After all, how can you want to have some experience without facing it and getting yourself “screwed”? Playing jams, playing with new people for the first time, getting on the stage and playing something unexpected, playing and making mistakes, mistakes and playing it right, to evolve. Creating situation which you’re not comfortable to make yourself get ready for next experiences.
This whole story is to picture what happened to me in last december.
Known for playing rock and heavy metal, I was invited to play in a “choro” festival which featured some “chorões” (players which play choro) from the old times, which keep the flame of Jacob do Bandolim, Valdir Azevedo, Cartola, Pixinguinha and other composers up. The Festival “Choro sem parar” (Something like Choro with no break) in São Carlos, São Paulo on a public square.
I have always mentioned the quality of choro on the guitar – Jacob do Bandolim was a virtuoso player and his songs are pretty hard to get in the guitar format. To be invited by a genere festival was a big surprise for me. Playing Choros sometimes at home to study a little is much different than play an one hour live concert among musicians from this style. 100% Fire!

Of course I didn’t pass the invitation and I spent someday just learning and memorize the choro themes I was going to peform. It was a great encouragement for me to focus on my studies and find new styles and phrasing.
Each one of these moments along your career stands for an unique experience and “builds” our different influence helping us to create our own playing style.
I take the opportunity to encourage people to study choro. Do you wanna go through chromatism? Study Mané’s Ginga. Arpeggios? Desvairada. Do you want stamina and several combinations of picking? O Vôo da Mosca. And then it góes... besides the technical challenge, the songs are historical, beautiful and brilliant. Great Hug!

Me, the drummer Cuca Teixeira and the bass player Thiago Espírito Santo in the Chorando sem para Festival, São Carlos (SP).


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