Here we are again, hot on the heels of last month’s Marilyn Manson cover. I think as I rapidly approach that coveted three-year milestone in my guitar practice, the momentum is building exponentially, propelling me to practice more and, hopefully sooner rather than later, significantly improve my ability to actually play the object of my six-stringed obsession.
A song that I have wanted to cover for a while now, also happens to be one of my Son’s favourites. When my Son was just a baby, I used to hold him on my lap as he tapped his little hands, with my help perhaps, to the metronomic rhythm of this modern day rock classic. Even now, at a little over three and a half years old, this still remains one of his favourites.
From the title of this particular chapter in my guitar playing evolution, it is apparent that I am of course referring to those legends, the Foo Fighters. And the song? …’All My Life’!
It’s not surprising that Dave Grohl‘s guitar playing on this song, holds a drum-like rhythmic quality that gives a telling nod to his renowned rock-god status on the drums. Thanks to his role in Nirvana, his iconic status as a legendary drummer will always remain firmly rooted in how many people think of Dave Grohl. Despite that accolade, his role as leader of the Foo Fighters sees him demonstrate the same breath-taking intensity in his vocal performance and also in his guitar work, too. This is one seriously talented dude!
As far as my cover of this song goes, this is another one of those times when I record a video and immediately watch it and think …”you suck!”, despite also being kind of ironically proud that I am covering songs now, that not too long ago, I couldn’t play at all. I think that is really the point. Like scrambling for holds whilst desperately trying to climb a rock face that is almost beyond your ability, the important thing is in transitioning to the next foothold that will enable you to ultimately climb higher. Obviously, with experience comes a smoother, increasingly effective and more efficient ability to climb higher.
Today then, I am grateful that I am indeed climbing higher in my ability to play and just hope over time I can continue to improve my ability to play at, and beyond, this level. It really does feel like you almost acclimatise to a new altitude in your playing, before then moving onwards and upwards to ever-increasingly new heights. Of course, over time, I hope that I can feel more at home in my playing so that I can finally inject more of ‘me’ into my performance, too. At the moment, my level of concentration is such that I hardly move at all when I play, other than my hands, as I hold on for dear life just to get through most songs. Check out the very ending of my Foo Fighters cover this month and you’ll see what I mean. That great big sigh as I finally breathe at the end of the song, really made me laugh when I looked back at it. I guess I do still feel like I am almost holding my breath sometimes, in my effort to get through a given song without making a mistake. Something to work on then …playing at altitude with attitude!
– Joel BB