Boomer Journals 5 – That One Downside of Learning to Play the Guitar

How to Play Acoustic Blues Guitar – Berklee Online Take Note
credit goes to whoever owns this photo

The type of voice that I envied when I was younger was a deep bass voice. I thought it would have been much cooler rather than this baritone, especially when in a choir.

By the way, is it at all possible to train your voice to reach a lower range? I thank heavens that I didn’t have any of it if ever there were such lessons.

Then I learned to play the guitar. I never attained the caliber of Kirk Hammet or Slash by the way, despite that I’ve been aching for a kick ass talent such as theirs. But I can proudly say that I’m much better than someone who just started to hug the six-string.

Videoke would have been perfect but it wasn’t that common back then. Our only access to music was either by radio or Walkman. Or by means of a six-string which I immediately indulged myself into. 

I thought it was already cool to be able to jam with a six-string, to sing and all that, be it in a crowd or in one’s alone time. I was even able to enhance it to a certain extent.

And then I discovered a problem. It wasn’t a big deal at first but it had been bugging the hell out of me ever since for years:

I couldn’t sing most of the songs I love in the same pitch as the original singer’s. If I ever do finish a song, it is with a lot of difficulty. That difficulty I attribute to playing the guitar.

Why? You see, there is a standard tune for the key of C, for example, which of course you will never be able to tune your guitar into unless you have a tuned piano nearby. In most cases, people (me included) don’t care at all if the key of C isnt the same as the standard so long as you can enjoy the moment and cajole the instrument to your heart’s content. So the pitch where you sing the song becomes totally different from the pitch of the original.

And only when you sing along with the radio or in a videoke will you realize that you’ve been duped into believing that you can sing like Steve Perry. Depressing isn’t it? 

Maybe if I just focused all my juvenile energies back then trying to improve my range instead of learning to play the guitar, I now would have been singing ala Moriuchi Takahiro, Brandon Boyd, Zach dela Rocha, or the front man of the attached video, eh?

Evening Star

I can’t help but think at times that I am an old soul trapped in a relatively young body.

Because while my genre that describes my overall style as rock and alternative, a part of my music spirit consists of country music. A familiar string is struck in me whenever I hear that western country songs from the likes of Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson, etc.

I was even thinking, if I can’t be friends with my generation and the younger ones, I am sure as hell that I can be friends with their parents and grandparents!

500 Miles

This reminds me of tatay (God bless his soul) who introduced me to immortal songs. Songs that doesn’t respect any year or age or social class. Still haunting, still has the potency of thousands of onions.

While my penchant is rock and alternative music, these are the type of songs that tell me I am one with the universe.

Separate Lives – by Stephen Bishop

One of the most underrated love songs of all time hauntingly sang by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin.

While I don’t have a first hand experience of how Stephen Bishop might have felt when he wrote the song (I never wanted to know how it felt first hand anyway!) I can’t help but sing along with the melancholic melody.

I hope I also have the talent to write gut-wrenching songs such as this one aside from writing prose and poetry. So little time, so much that I want to do…

Separate Lives
Stephen Bishop

You called me from the room in your hotel
All full of romance for someone that you met
And telling me how sorry you were, leaving so soon
And that you miss me sometimes when you’re alone in your room
Do I feel lonely too?

You have no right to ask me how I feel
You have no right to speak to me so kind
I can’t go on just holding on to time
Now that we’re living (living) separate lives

Well I held on to let you go
And if you lost your love for me, well you never let it show (never let it show)
There was no way to compromise
So now we’re living (living)
Separate lives

Ooh, it’s so typical, love leads to isolation
So you build that wall (build that wall)
Yes, you build that wall (build that wall)
And you make it stronger

Well you have no right to ask me how I feel
You have no right to speak to me so kind
Some day I might (I might) find myself looking in your eyes

But for now, we’ll go on living separate lives
Yes for now, we’ll go on living separate lives
Ah, separate lives

Sana – matuto akong magsulat ng kanta

I always wanted to write/compose lyrics for a meaningful (read: kick-ass) rock music. Ok, if it aint rock, an OPM piece that will capture the emotion of the masses.

I am not much into the current OPM but I know it when I find a unique piece that pierces right through the cognitive boundary on to the seat of the emotion such as Sana by I Belong to the Zoo or Argee Guerrero in real life.

I hope I will be able to write my own heart-rending piece. Again, I must stop thinking and start writing instead. But here’s a good piece of inspiration to start with. By the way, I just discovered something: I don’t have a personal experience that parallels with this song. And yet something in me vibrated in complete resonance. I did not even think it’s possible, but it is.