A timely topic in that last week I decided to learn to play one song a week as it was written for a little while.
Last week was a Carulli waltz in Em, 3/8 time.
This week is Yankee Doodle Dixie (Chet Atkins).
I'm an intermediate-player (maybe at best!), to put things in context.
My teacher has me working on a variety of things related to the old jazz standard "Autumn Leaves - the chord progressions, as well as the melody, using arpeggios instead of the chords, plus some improvisational phrases to substitute for the chords, or to link them. Although the song isn't necessarily my cup of tea, it's proving to be a good learning vehicle.
In the meantime, I'm spending some time here and there on:
- "Back in Black" (AC/DC)
- the solo from "Sunshine of Your Love" (the last third of it, at this point)
- "Rock This Town" (Stray Cats)
- "I've Got A Feeling" (Beatles - basically trying to merge the two guitar parts in a way that makes sense)
Rush's "Headlong Flight" is a hoot to play. I've been dinking around with that one for a week or two.
Zep's "Rain Song" found its way back under my fingers this weekend. I can zone out for a looooong time noodling that one!
It has been many years since I played that. I thought I had it pretty well - until I heard Tommy Emmanuel play it.
Currently working on recording Zappa's "Sofa" and Ozzy's "Goodbye To Romance". And I've been playing along with Rush's first album. There are a couple songs there I've always wanted to learn. And I'm gradually working on parts of Sweaty Teddy's "Stranglehold".
But after "Sofa" and "GTR", I've got a new original song boiling and an urge to try to finish it...
Scoring to picture is great fun; the clients are usually tremendous to work and hang with; and every project is a bit different, so there's a lot of room for creativity and variety.
I like the fact that it's a collaborative process, where the clients have creative input - some musicians have trouble with that, but it's part of the deal and that interplay can be really rewarding. After all, it's their project, and their picture, and they usually have a sense of what will work.
I'd say the only issue is that you have to remember that it IS a business. You can't just sit in the studio, you have to get out and have face time with clients.
I've made great friends over the years, including with my competitors, and I'd say to anyone: if you have composing skill, good people skills, and you enjoy sharing ideas on a project with folks in the other disciplines who contribute to a project's success (writers, directors, art directors, producers), there is no better gig in the world.
Edit: I forgot to mention, I have plenty of free time, and control my own schedule. There are deadlines, and when there are it can be frantic, but it's all good.