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Magical Musical Moments


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#1 Compustein

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:31 PM

Hmmmm. I've been mulling over this thread ever since it was posted, and for the life of me I hadn't been able to come up with anything worth writing about. Until today, that is.

I actually started playing guitar on a Guild Madeira that my Dad bought me for Xmas when I was thirteen (1966). I took a few lessons, blew them off, and pretty much just messed around with the guitar for a few years. Started to figure out some fingerstyle playing without any help from anyone else, but that was about where I stayed for a long time.

In 1971 I went off to college (which lasted all of one year), and met a fellow named Mark Van Der hart who played a 12-string Martin I think it was. Well, as we hit it off quite nicely we began to play and sing together quite regularly, playing the occasional coffee house for beer money, etc. Our repertoire consisted of a lot of Peter,Paul and Mary, John Denver, some Simon and Garfunkel, Joanie Mitchell, and whatever else we could manage to play and sing together. And if I do say so myself, we weren't half bad.

Well, one Saturday afternoon while waiting for Mark and his girlfriend Barb I picked up my guitar and started playing Sound of Silence just standing there in my dorm room. For some reason I really felt like the music had taken me over and I just closed my eyes and played and sang the entire song, and it felt wonderful! I was simply arpeggiating the chords and singing my widdle heart out. LOL

Imagine my surprise as the final notes died away to hear applause coming from my open dorm room door. In the hallway were Mark and Barb and what seemed like most of the other residents of my dorm floor. Barb came up to me with tears in her eyes and said she had never heard me do that song so beautifully. Other people were nodding and smiling, and Mark shook my hand and said that it was simply amazing.

To this day I still have a decent voice, but I don't think I have ever hit quite that same peak of perfection as I did on that afternoon. Maybe the planets were just in the right place, or maybe some Muse decided to have a little fun with me. Whatever the cause or reason, that was the most magical musical moment I have ever had to this day.

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#2 Eracer_Team -DougH

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 09:06 PM

I'll let you know one when I have one..
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#3 Ascoli

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 08:25 PM

This continues to be a great thread! I just had a musical magic moment, in a way. I just finished a video demo reel and it is rendering as I type. I started the reel with some stock music, but wanted to compose something original to make it stronger. This is one of the reasons I started learning piano almost three years ago (Jan. 2008). I had been composing simple soundtracks for my videos using loops and I wanted to be able to make them better by learning music. I didn't really know then how complex an undertaking learning music was and I still feel like a total beginner playing piano, guitar and especially drums. I do "get" the computer though, as Steve talks about in his post above, so that really helps.

I worked with a professional musician who played guitar and drums, but I composed and played keyboard/piano for this soundtrack. I recorded and mixed it all in Logic, which I've been learning for the past year. This score was by far the most challenging part of producing my demo reel, but it is the part I am the most proud of. I have a lifetime of experience using cameras and have been editing video since 1982, but creating music is new to me. So, it seems truly magical that I was able to create professional sounding music from just an idea.
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#4 Steve Krenz

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 07:38 PM

Wonderful Adele,

Thanks for joining in.

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#5 Shadow Lady

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 09:27 AM

I had forgotten about this thread.
My magical music moments are too many to list but I guess that some of the most important ones were,

1. Getting to meet Steve Krenz and all the other students who had the courage to come to the first gathering organized by me and Mike M in August 2008. It was a blast and this years was even better. :D :D
2. Performing in front of our whole school and parents (900 people) when I was 17 at a parents day concert. :D :D
3. Playing my brothers Gibson ES335 on various occasions from 1970 to 2000. I always coveted that guitar and now I have my own Gibson but a ES 339 which I got in Nashville in 2008. :D :D

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#6 Kent

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 06:31 AM

Beethoven couldn't play by ear. :wink:

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#7 alyredbug

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:47 AM


Certain people are gifted in whatever the endeavor. But that doesn't mean that one can't learn how to do something and even do it brilliantly . . . Don't think that just because someone plays by ear, or because they seem to play effortlessly, then you are not a musician because you have to work at it.
I would venture to guess that probably in a symphony orchestra there is probably a 50/50 divide between players that are naturally gifted and those that just worked hard to become good at it.


Well said! Thank you for this!
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#8 Steve Krenz

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:42 AM

Don,

Thanks for joining in. I remember HeathKit!!! I loved those things!

People who play by ear should not be viewed as something "magical" and that the rest of us are mere mortals incapable of reaching where they are at.

Some people are particularly gifted in certain things. That's just how it is. It doesn't matter what the endeavor, there are going to be a certain small percent of the population for whom it comes easier.

I don't know why this is, but I am totally convinced that this is a true fact.

For example...

Some people can do things on computers that I couldn't even comprehend much less do. They just seem to "get it". It's like it comes naturally to them. They make great progress without much effort.

But that doesn't mean that I don't work on a computer every day and that I can't learn how to do things, even great things, on a computer with some effort.

Here's another example...

Some people can just look at a drawing and then recreate it pretty accurately. Yet, even when I try my hardest, my attempts at drawing always take on an unmistakeable elementary school quality to them. But that doesn't mean that I am incapable of learning or of gaining anything from taking a drawing class.

Certain people are gifted in whatever the endeavor. But that doesn't mean that one can't learn how to do something and even do it brilliantly.

Let me leave you with a story.

Mozart was gifted. His manuscripts have been studied and there are hardly even any scratch outs on them. It has been said that it looks as if he was simply taking dictation. He even talks in his writings about working out a piece in his head and then just having to go through the laborious process of writing it out.

On the other hand, Beethoven, agonized over every note. His original manuscripts are cluttered with half-developed, scratched through ideas. Composing didn't come naturally or easily for Beethoven.

BUT, both men were geniuses. One was naturally gifted, the other had to work for every note. But the results from both were extraordinary.

Don't think that just because someone plays by ear, or because they seem to play effortlessly, then you are not a musician because you have to work at it.

I would venture to guess that probably in a symphony orchestra there is probably a 50/50 divide between players that are naturally gifted and those that just worked hard to become good at it.

Keep Learning and Growing!

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#9 Don in E Texas

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 11:47 PM

Thanks to all for sharing some great story's!!!!

My music story is a little different - it is how I found out I'll never be a musician (back in the 70's, I'd guess).

Need to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when Heathkit was a thriving company. I had built Ham Radio transmitters, receivers, etc plus some audio things. My big purchase was the Thomas Theater Organ Kit!!! Some challenge to build, but I did it and it worked fantastic. I guess I was playing on it about 4 months when my oldest daughter asked if she could bring a school mate home so he could see the instrument - he had just started organ lessons himself. He had about 2 months worth of lessons - sat down at the Thomas and proceeded to set it on fire with his playing... No music, just playing. My first introduction to those folks that play by ear.

I learned then that I'll never be a musician.

But I do enjoy playing my new Hammond (as long as the dog does not eat my sheet music) - and starting the guitar course is a LOT of fun.

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#10 Steve Krenz

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 06:15 PM

Joe,

I think you need to play your song for her the next time you can both get together! I think that would be great.

Thank you so much for sharing.

- Steve

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#11 Steve Krenz

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 06:14 PM

Aly,

Thank you so much sharing. I remember practicing my lessons when I was a kid with my Dad singing along. It's a great moment. There are way too few of these kind of moments when we become adults.

Thanks for sharing.

- Steve

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#12 BUBBA

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 01:45 PM

A very inspiring string! I have been so wrapped up in the sessions, I have not posted in a while, but saw this and had to chime in. In the 30 plus years of playing, there have been so many ups and downs. The ups will motivate you so much, but the downs will make you want to put it away for ever.

My grand daughter was born last December. We live n different states, so I don't get to see her much. My advice to my daughter growing up was always "dont worry about us - go seek your fortune" and that is exactly what she did. So my wife and I are lonely empty nesters, missing her and our new grandbaby. For the last year, my wife has been listening to me struggle with this course. I have always played by ear, and have always been able to hear a tune and work it on to the point where I could play it for others. Learning to read music in this course has been a struggle for me, and I am sure that what she hears sounds like a 54 year old grammer school kid - slow, buzzy, muted chords and notes. But one day while practicing barre chords and finger picking, I came across a tune that stuck with me - almost lullibye like, so I worked on it, completed it from start to finish, and I named it "And Juliana Smiles" after my granddaughter. On a Sunday morning drinking coffee, I said to my wife "hey, listen to this..." and I played it for her. Her jaw dropped, and she said "thats beaitiful, what is it!!??" I said that I had written it for Juliana. She said "no way - play it again....and again....and again..."! Then she asked why I was crying - I was so caught up in the moment, the thought of my grandbaby and daughter I will only see once or twice a year, I did not notice my own tears. It was one of those "up" moments that make you struggle on, and made me realize, so what if you may never master and learn, as long as you please your own heart.

Thanks to everyone for indulging my comments. May you all find peace of heart and mind.

Joe

#13 alyredbug

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 04:33 AM

A magical moment that stands out in my mind happened a little while back. I had just mastered the notes in the first position and I was playing a song out of a book of music I have for my dad and suddenly he was singing along. I was playing, he was singing--it actually sounded like music. Exhilarating! Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of my dad singing to me. He has a beautiful voice and to be able to play something that he could sing along with is a dream come true. Now to learn his two favourite songs--The Gambler and Traveling Man.

#14 Steve Krenz

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 01:58 PM

Hello all,

What a tremendous thread this has turned out to be. I must admit, when I started it I was a bit angry at the constant bombardment of the music culture that playing music is all about just "who's the best". And I have found, in my own experiences as well as yours, that playing music can be so much more than that. And in a moment of utter rebellion I started this thread and I'm so glad I did.

Please forgive me, if I miss someone's post along the way but I wanted to get back with those who have posted since I was last on this thread.

To Jesse...

What a great time of singing with your granddaughter. It's little times like that that bind relationships together. Thank you for sharing.

To Opie...

Paul, wow. I didn't know that. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine. It's amazing though how the brain will process music completely differently than other things. Your Dad singing Amazing Grace must have been wonderful. Thanks for letting us peek into this special moment with you and your Dad.

To Ken...

I think it is great that you are going through the course with your 15 year old daughter. There's nothing like two people working on a common goal together. It helps spur both of you along and also gives you a wonderful thing that you are both sharing together. I love it. Keep us posted on how it goes.

To Shirley Ann...

You can play Stairway to Heaven. Now, you're officially a guitar player. The next thing you know, you'll be hanging out in music stores, calling other people "Dude", and riding around town with your "Rock On" customized licence plate! All kidding aside, it's fulfilling a dream and I think it is wonderful. Little goals like this remind us as adults that we still can accomplish and learn things. Keep up the great work.

To John...

Wow. What a journey you've been on. I'm thrilled that you have come all of this way and are now routinely playing in front of people at church. You are exactly correct. Playing with other musicians is a major milestone in your own development. It's the point where your musical life begins to have an "outflow" so that it can bless and encourage others. Great job. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of it with you.

To Galbania...

What a tremendous story with you playing for your granddad. Music has a way of touching and rearranging the gears inside of people. It's a reality that is important to remember. Some of us play music all the time. It's easy to forget the profound impact that music can have. Thanks for sharing.

To RL...

I smiled when I read your post. Back in college and in our early married years, I played many Elks and Moose lodges with... The George K Quintet. (What? You haven't heard of us. We were huge.) I loved those gigs. Playing Jazz with friends to wonderfully appreciative people who just wanted to dance and have a good time. It was great. And, in the Elks lodges, the gigs always ended at 11pm! No matter how far you go, your mom will always be your biggest fan.

To Ross...

What a proud moment. Playing the Star Spangled Banner to your son just back from Afghanistan. Sometimes we forget the meaning behind songs. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Thank you to all who have shared. Please keep it up. It's a good reminder to us all, what it's all about.

- Steve Krenz


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#15 sactoross

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:23 PM

My son was home on leave from Afghanistan and asked about the guitars. I picked one up and played The Star Spangled Banner. He was on his feet at full attention instantly, but with a look of awe in his eyes. Needless to say, my heart was filled with pride.
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#16 Kent

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:08 PM

Welcome :D

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#17 RL

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 05:31 PM

It might not be magical but this was a personal musical moment for me. After my dad died in 1997, my mom went through a lot of medical issues, from open heart surgery, 2 broken hips, lung/kidney and finally brain cancer. I also started drumming again and playing out in Mooses, Elks, Eagles lodges, also known as the "animal circuit". Mom would go with us when she felt up to it, she was my biggest fan, go figure. I also started to branch out in Christian rock music when I was finally convinced that it wasn't "LAME". In the last 3 years of my mom's life, Karen, my wife was full time care giver to her and they grew very close. Mom would tell her that sometimes she thought she just didn't have anymore strength to go on anymore, she was tired and had enough. Karen trying to console her would partially quote lyrics from R.E.M.'s song "Everybody Hurts" which the Christian band covered. A week before mom passed she was put in to hospice care, the band had a schedualled event that Saturday and mom always wanted me to play my events so I did somewhat reluctantly. Towards the end of the gig we fired up "everybody Hurts". Good thing I didn't have vocals, too busy brushing tears, drumming, and sobbing. After the gig, I loaded up and high-tailed it to the care place mom was at and stayed til that evening, mom was just breathing roughly, eyes transfixed to who knows where. I got the call about 3AM Sunday morn that she had passed quietly. To this day, that song means a lot to me but I can't get through it without tearing up-forget about singing it. Maybe someday.

#18 Galbania

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:36 PM

I love all the beautiful stories in this thread and am going to share my own little highlight.
I spend a good part of my childhood living with my grandparents in Germany. They were both born around 1900 and very good people. When my granddad was young, he used to walk around the city in the evenings with his music friends and play and sing with them under the windows of beautiful young women. My granddad played a little guitar, it was less than 3/4 the size of a normal guitar. If the women liked the music they threw flowers or other items out of their windows. My granddads guitar with all the dried flowers and other trophies was hanging in the living room in my granddads house and I used to admire it as a child because it looked so beautiful with it's colourful straps and flowers. Yet my granddad never touched or played with it.
It might have been because of the hardship he and his family went through in the war. He was a medic and saved many people from an ambulance train which the Russians were about to bombard. He received the iron cross for what he did, but the war experience left him traumatized and he only talked to me about it once, when he said that one of the injured soldiers he pulled from that train had no skull left, despite being still alive.
When I was 18 I decided I wanted to learn the guitar myself and with my little means bought an expensive, beautiful Spanish guitar which I still own today, almost 30 years later.
My granddad, who was very thrifty because of his war experience, got very upset with me because I had spent so much money.
But a couple of years later, when I had thaught myself a little, and my grandparents were quite old, I played a few songs for him in his living room. Then something happened which I had never imagined: my granddad started to cry!
I have never seen him cry either before or after that, but I wished I had played the guitar for him more often. He died a few years later and I don't know what they did with his guitar, but I hope he can play it in heaven now.

#19 MattMcWilliams

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:47 PM

Everyone, as someone who tends to get concerned more with the "getting people to buy" side of things I just want to say how much this thread means to me.

You have all inspired and touched me deeply. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your stories.
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#20 Kent

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 12:34 AM

Welcome :D

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