Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rebuilding Pieces from Scratch

I have now finished memorizing both Unchained Melody and Dust in the Wind, so I now have the A minor, C major, and A major suites of my set completed. Instead of moving on to finish up the E minor and G major suites, as I had planned, I'm going to have to take a break from memorizing new music to fix up some old pieces that are becoming problematic.

If you have a lot of music memorized, as I do, adding new pieces can send shockwaves through the rest of your set, especially for pieces in the same key, or that have similar moves in them: Your brain just gets confused between the new pieces and the old pieces as you're adding the new pathways for memorization. Since I have memorized three new pieces since the beginning of the year, one in A minor and two in C major, some of my old pieces in A minor, A major, and C are actually verging on falling apart.

Usually, I will break out the metronome and slow the piece down step by step until the moves are back into my conscious memory, but I got a new idea from listening to, of all people, Tiger Woods. He was talking about rebuilding his golf swing from scratch when he got into a slump, and when he was recovering from an injury. That made me think about rebuilding pieces from scratch by breaking the music out, and simply relearning every move from the very beginning.

Since some of the earlier arrangements I've done are not written down - I did them all in my head - this will also give me the oportunity to write those out. I've also wanted to upgrade my Classical Gas arrangement - it's not written out, and I have some new ideas for an "Ultimate Version" of it - so that will be one of the first ones I do. This means I'll have to actually stop performing it for a while - until the new version is ready to rock - and since I have extra pieces in A minor now, I can do this without too much disruption. I'm just going to put Eric Johnson's Desert Song in place of it for a while.

So, this will lead to a new epic series of Ultimate Guitar Arrangement posts.


This isn't the usual style of babe I post, but this pic really took me aback: Everything Old is New Again!

When I was in high school, girls were wearing Led Zepplin ball caps, peace symbol pendants, and hip-hugger jeans with wide belt loops. This pic wasn't taken in 1974, however, it was taken in 2009! Can avacado green appliances be far behind?


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