One year and five months of guitar practice to date, and today I thought I’d try something a bit different. Some days, you really need to change things up, explore new territories and just play something new. On those days, I like to simply choose something that I can quickly pick up, whilst still challenging me. Something that can act as a break from the songs that I am working on, on a daily basis, and something that will more readily yield immediate results and thus keep me increasingly motivated to keep playing. On such days, classic theme tunes often come to mind.
Today, the chosen tune to work on is that haunting theme tune to the cult television series ‘Angel‘, originally by Darling Violetta. In hindsight, I think this would have benefited greatly from the addition of some subtle vibrato to add the haunting quality that the original epitomises, but clearly my vibrato (what vibrato?) needs work, but that would really have transformed my efforts on this theme, adding more depth and character to it. More than any other skills, I think the development of good vibrato and general string-bending really does simply take time, and perhaps like a fine wine, just requires even more time to fully mature. Either way, I guess that’s something else to work on!
Given the time it is currently taking me to get a full song under my fingertips and up to speed, it really is refreshing to quickly pick up something quite different to work on for the day and actually see the results of my efforts relatively immediately. Rookie efforts maybe, but rewarding nonetheless! I guess with anything worthwhile, sometimes you just need to feel like you have reached a mini mile-stone every now and again, whilst also keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Kind of like a skier, who may twist and turn left and right as they invariably weave in and out of the flagpoles that mark the course of their journey, whilst always ultimately heading towards the finish line.
Although I don’t necessarily think there will ever be a finish line in sight where playing the guitar is concerned, regularly working on bigger songs that are more complex and generally take a lot longer to learn to play, whilst, in the interim period, also working on smaller goals, techniques and tunes that represent mini-achievements …really feels like a great way to keep that momentum going strong.
For now though, I am simply taking pleasure in playing a classic theme tune that I know and love, from a legendary television series, that, I might hasten to add, had one of the best final episodes of any television series I have ever watched. If you have never checked it out, it’s about an immortal vampire with a soul. Although, some might say it’s definitely worth a look, I would say it’s essential viewing and only ever got better with time. On this theme of time: what would you do with immortality? I have to say that all that time would certainly help with the guitar practice!
Having done a cover of Angel now, it would almost be wrong to not return to pay homage to the origin of the series, and pay tribute to Buffy The Vampire Slayer!
– Joel BB