In 2014 We Play The Guitar, Owwwww Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh…

realistic_flaming_guitar_fireI used to play. Back in the glory days. I remember the first night I played for a bar full of people. It wasn’t even on my own guitar, it was on this guy called Will’s guitar.

The guitar I had at the time was a total piece of shit. The action on the fretboard felt like I was trying to play a fucking bow and arrow so I said fuck that, and borrowed this guy Will’s guitar.

Will’s guitar was a thing of wonder. Yellow wood acoustic steel string, rich tone, so fucking easy to play. Will couldn’t play for shit so I felt like I was doing the guy a favour.

Anyway, I got good and stoned like I used to back then and headed for this total dive-bar called “Die Tajhuijs” in Grahamstown for open mic night (or “Fireside Jam” as it was known).

I remember that invincible feeling, walking down those twilight streets with Will’s guitar on my back, I was nervous as hell but I felt ready.

When I finally got up to play this crazy thing happened to me that’s only happened a handful of times since. About 30 seconds into my first song, I started to feel this incredible sense of detachment, like I was leaving myself and watching myself from the outside.



I played about 4 songs, three of my own and a cover and remember it going pretty well. Afterwards I drank cheap whisky with my friends until the bar closed and passed out later that night feeling like this was the beginning of something amazing, something life-changing.

I did another handful of gigs at varsity, but stopped when I left. I had these big plans to get a band and make a million bucks, but I got a career instead and settled for a couple of thousand a month and a life of (relative) stability and certainty.

On Saturday last week I played my first live gig in about 8 years. It was one song that a buddy asked me to play at his wedding as his bride walked down the aisle, something from the Twilight soundtrack.



I fumbled my way through the song, making more mistakes than I care to admit and shuffled off in shame afterwards. It wasn’t that I hadn’t practised, I’d practised a shiteload, it was that I wasn’t prepared for the devastating effect that nerves have on your ability to function in front of a crowd.

The positive side of this story though is that during all the time I spent practising for the big day, I started to get that old feeling back that I used to get when I played back in my teens and my early twenties.

I miss that feeling. When you connect so closely with the instrument you’re playing you can’t tell where you end and it begins. That’s fucking powerful. The feeling of an acoustic guitar vibrating against your chest, reverberating in your bones. The way you can switch off your rational mind and just get lost, become pure.

This year I want to play more. I want to start out at the beginning. Re-learn all the scales, know them backward, inside-out. Chose a song every week to learn, feel my hand strengthen and my fingertips get hard again.

Also, I plan to watch and post a lot of videos like this one below from the “Guitar Moves” series. It features one of my heroes when it comes to playing, Josh Homme, talking about how he plays and how he learned his signature style.

I really dig this interview, even if you don’t play I’d recommend watching it because Homme can be this really cagey guy when it comes to interviews. A lot of the time I get this feeling like he’s either bored to tears in interviews and deliberately trying to fuck with the interviewer, or like he’s trying to open up and the person interviewing him and they just aren’t getting it at all.

This is just Homme being himself, it’s pretty awesome.



By the end of this year, I hope to be playing like a flippin demon again and who knows? If I get my shit together, I might even film my progress as I go.

Could be pretty hilarious Winking smile

Peace out Party People, have a killer weekend.


2 Responses to “In 2014 We Play The Guitar, Owwwww Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh…”

  1. 1 Civilian
    January 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    ‘Where do bad folks go when they dieeeee?’

    Good luck bro. It would be awesome to jam together sometime.

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