I’ve been listening to quite a bit of country music lately. Those who know me best know that for me, this is unusual. I’ve made many statements in the past that I didn’t like all the cliches about pickup trucks, etc. I don’t personally own a pickup truck, or a cowboy hat. I’ve always considered myself more of a city slicker.
When I was in college at U.N.O., I was a complete jazz snob. I remember a friend of mine, who happened to be a great jazz pianist saying the country songs had some of the best lyrics. At the time I thought that was stupid.
Since that time I have come to agree with him. There are many staff writers in Nashville who’s whole job is to write songs for famous country artists. Obviously if they’re going to keep their job, they better be good-really good!
I especially enjoy Kris Kristofferson. I remember falling sleep to his music in the car on those long road trips across Nebraska. I especially appreciate the fact that he sounds great performing solo-just him and his acoustic guitar.
Speaking of acoustic guitar, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately practicing. Specifically I’ve been practicing the standard “boom chicka boom chicka boom chicka” used in songs like Folsom Prison Blues, along with walking bass line fills. Not as easy as it looks.
I always felt that mastering these country bass lines in combination with playing chords would lead me into more interesting rhythm guitar patterns for other styles of music. Last night, as I was playing some Bob Marley songs as well as just improvising some of my own rhythmic patterns and chord progressions, I found this to be the case. I feel like a whole new dimension has opened up, allowing me to create much more interesting parts to accompany my singing. Very exciting to me. This proved to me once again that there’s always more to learn, and that’s why I’ve always enjoyed music so much.