My year end 2007 reflections post is going to be a little different than in years past. I hope I don't lose you.
Many years ago, during my long-haired heavy metal days, I took guitar lessons. I wasn't any good, and I'm not just being modest. After a couple of years worth of lessons from a guy (who I heard recently has spent some time touring with a major rock band), I still could only play a couple of songs all the way through. Playing guitar didn't come naturally for me. I had to work hard to hope for mediocrity--which I don't think I ever attained.
My guitar instructor, Mark, was big on teaching the scales. He assured me that once I got the scales, then I could begin to improvise and find my own style. So, I worked my fingers to the bone learning the scales. Once I got them down reasonably well, Mark taught me to listen for the key note of a song--which is the one note in the song in which the song is founded upon. And once you are into the song, the entire flow of it is always leading back to the key note. It's like you can feel the pull.
Mark would play a song on his guitar and emphasize the key note by nodding his head at me. Then he'd play the song again without any emphasis and I could shut my eyes and feel the flow of the song working toward the key note. Mark told me that knowing the key note was vital because once you find it, you can play any note within the framework of the scales and it would "go" with the song. He explained that this process was called staying in key.
If I've butchered any of this explanation or gotten any of it wrong, I apologize. I'm just explaining it the way I remember it. But this process has always stuck with me because I think life has a key note. And much like every song has its own key note, I think different phases of our lives have different key notes.
To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out what my key note was in 2007. I'm not even sure if 2007 had one. Instead, it felt like one long song that maybe even started back in 2006 and it's building toward the key note--maybe sometime in 2008. I can feel it coming and I'll know it when I hear it.
My analogy breaks down a bit because, by definition, a key note begins a song, so as a musician you should always know what the song is working toward, and in my case, I'm not so sure I know what the key note was to begin with. Maybe I will once I hear it again. If I do, I'll let you know.
Well, I hope you have a happy, safe New Year's Eve. I'll see you in 08.