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Magical Musical Moments

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#161 Tinman



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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:13 PM

My biggest musical moment was probably 30 years ago. In grade 8 me and two friends decided to enter the school talent show. I played 6 string my one friend played bass and the other friend was on drums. We did an instrumental version of Yesterday and won the talent show.

My most recent was when I played, and sang, Old Man straight through from memory. I've never been able to play any song without having the sheet music there to guide me. Doesn't seem to matter if I play a song a 100 times it usually doesn't stick in my head. Always needed the sheet music right there or I'd get lost.

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#162 Folio



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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:03 AM

When I was in college back in the 60s, I fancied myself a guitarist as so many of us did back then. At some point I picked up on the opening bars of "Malagueña" and played them over and over again with absolutely no idea of what came after. But even those few bars were a joy to me. Then, one night I happened to be in a hotel in Minneapolis, and from the next room I heard someone playing the very same piece. Except that whoever was playing, played it to the end. It was exquisite and I was transfixed.


I couldn't help myself. I left my room, went to the next room and knocked. A little grizzled man--in his 70s or 80s--answered the door. I apologized for my intrusion, but--I said--I couldn't help but admire his music. Could I listen to a little more first hand, rather than through a wall? He welcomed me in. His guitar was a battered old thing, nothing special near as I could make out back then, but my God the sound he could make of it!


I confessed I was trying to play, but wasn't very good. "Let's play together," he said. "Fetch your guitar." For the next two hours an old man taught a young kid what mastery was all about. To this day I have no idea who he was. But his lesson is with me still. First, he said, there is silence. To play well, he said, you must first be quiet and still. At peace. Then, slowly, let the music come to you in your own time.


Now, so many years later, I'm only just beginning to understand what he meant.



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#163 Steve Krenz

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:03 AM

Wow, Folio, what a great story.  Yes, there are all kinds of musical moments like that available if we'll keep our eyes and ears and hearts open to them.  


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#164 LostInthe60sTonight



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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:14 PM

I missed one when I shared yesterday.


As I've said before in other posts, I took a Music Theory class in high school. I hated the teacher. He was a consummate snob, always talking about the people he had studied under in Europe.


I wasn't doing very well in the class, primarily because of my negative attitude about the teacher. Then came the final exam/project. For the final we had to write a canon. God was with me because I went home and got into "the zone." Like Folio's teacher of that one day said, I just sat being still letting my mind work. Then I started writing and things just flowed. I don't know if I even changed a whole lot after what I first wrote. (Too long ago to remember.) I do know I never actually played it on anything. After handing in the assignment, each piece was played. We had one of the top trumpet players from the symphonic band and the first chair bassoon player in the class so they did the playing. When they finished playing my piece, the teacher kind of sat there shocked. The trumpet player said "Rich, do you realize you've written a trumpet fanfare?" I had no idea. I just wrote what I felt. I got an A for the final and came from a D to a B for the class.


The only real negative thing is the teacher refused to return my piece to me so I don't know what ever happened to it. (Of course, I didn't make a copy.) For all I know he may have published it under his name. (I wouldn't put it past that guy. He was that type.)


In any case, one day I hope to get back into that "zone" with my playing. I'm really looking forward to the time when, given the solid background of this course and the other materials available (and practice, patience, and persistence), I can just sit quietly and the music will just flow from my head into my hands. Then, maybe like happened those many years ago, I can take what is running through my head and hands and put it down on paper. Whether it will be good or not, I don't really care. I just, frankly, want to re-live that experience I had in high school and know, in my heart, I accomplished something in music.





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#165 davkt



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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:12 AM

For me it'd be one particular performance with the local orchestra about 20 years ago. I was a first clarinet, normally 2 of us on that desk but this particular night Sue wasn't there for some unexpected reason so me on my own. Not a huge concert, a hundred or two people in the audience in the parish church which has fantastic acoustics.

We were playing the premier of a suite of music by a local composer, the opening dozen or so bars of this particular piece were a fast staccato staring quiet and getting louder with all sorts of like little nasties like 2 octave jumps to where the rest of the orchestra came in at ff. The only other direction on the score was single word 'spiky'. Certainly in practice the opening had set the tone for the whole orchestra for rest of the piece, get it right and it'd work, a bit out and whole thing thing would be a mess unless you stopped and did it again

I was a bit nervous as although I'd practised it Sue was a far better player than me and the plan had been for her to solo the opening. Anyway all I watched was the first downstroke of the conductor's baton the shut my eyes and played it from memory and wow! My clarinet has never sounded so good before or since! As the orchestra came in I opened my eyes to see the composer standing up in his place in the front row grinning like a cheshire cat, a bit of a relief to say the least!

#166 Grog



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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:14 PM

I had so many. I have been fortunate to see many great acts. Led Zep in a their first tour, in a college gym. Up close and personal, and they were just the second act, opening was Zepher, Led Zep then the Vanilla Fudge. My girl friend liked Vanilla Fudge, me, not so much. But Jimi Hendrix with Eire Apparent opening for him was another. Incredible guitarist. Sky River Rockfest was another. I got to shoot skyrockets at a drunk Jim Morrison, he was so out of it he really stunk, saw Deep Purple, Ten Years After and so many more. Johnny Winters was incredible, electric set then an acoustic set. Taj Mahal, back in the day, Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musslewhite......I saw Stanley Clark with Al Di Meola, I saw William Clark, who left the stage and came back and stood on our pool table and blew his harp, what a great player and great band.

It pays to be an old fart I guess. Kids now a days get to see electronic music and rap crap. I feel pity for them.

#167 musherdoc



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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:06 AM

Hi all:

I am the proverbial newby.  Just got my course in the mail yesterday and have gone through the first lesson.  The bad news is that I have been playing off and on for about 45 years but am one of thos Play -by - ear types that "gets by" and can impress those who don't know much about music.  It was always enough for me and I enjoy guitar and piano and I taught myself harmonica as well, all to the same standard - just enough to get by.  Recently we got a new pastor in our church and he brought in his Martin dreadnought.  He plays like me.  But I was invited to play with the church worship team and so now I'm playing with people who can read music ( I read music about as well as a first grader reads the encyclopedia Britannica).  My wife, an excellent violinist, is among them as wel as a great young pianist and drummer.  I have been inspired to try to learn how to do it right.  The hard part is trying not to just speed ahead, but to do it right.  My magical moment comes when I get on the stage and I am no longer just playing for my own enjoyment but am (attempting) helping to enhance the worship experience of others.  Being able to play with other members and being part of a larger instrument really brings me to a higher level.  It is great.  With this class I hope to be able to contribute more to that experience ( and not just tick a lot of people off).


Another great moment for me was watching Judy Collins back in the 70s at Ravinia (outside of Chicago) belt out great songs on her fabulous Martin D35.  I love that guitar.



#168 tmno2



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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:48 AM

Welcome Kurt.

You will find the course adds many embellishments to your lovelife with the guitar, if you begin at the start and be guided by the course structure.

Come to the forum often, and make use of our many and varied experiences as we all progress and inexplicably falter at times, and need the guidance of those who have gone before us.

A like minded community, as you have found out, will lead and helpfully accompany along the way.


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#169 Stefan.Chr



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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:34 PM

Welcome Kurt and thanks for sharing the story!

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#170 BenBob



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Posted 15 September 2013 - 03:45 AM

I had a nice moment that might encourage those learning to read music. It is worth your while!


My beautiful and awesome 7-year-old niece has been learning violin for nearly a year, and her father is learning with her. A few weeks ago I was visiting and she showed me some of her exercises. She wanted me to try and play along with her on the other violin and believe it or not, having never played a violin in my life, I was able to read and play along with her. She was delighted and I think she will always remember teaching her uncle to play violin for the first time. Then I was trying to show off with some fast trills and stuff and she took the violin away and jokingly said "you know, you're NOT a professional" lol!


It was just just simple exercises in first position on two strings, but it was so special to be able to read music and understand it enough to share that with her.

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#171 quilter1958



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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:22 PM

Nice Ben Bob!




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#172 dodobird



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Posted 10 November 2013 - 05:58 AM

I have always loved music and it always filled that void in me as a kid and a teenager that seemed to be empty with no answers! I was going to college and I'm not sure if it was the fall semester of 1970 or spring semester of 1971, but I remember walking across campus and a friend asked me if I was going to the auditorium tonight? When I asked what was on the billboard, he replied, "some guy playing guitar" and I know you play! I ended up going to the auditorium that night and boy! Am I glad I did. I walked in and found a seat and this young man comes out on stage with a twelve string guitar and sits on a stool with a mic stand and says, "I can't sing, so I'll just play! Boy, did he play! He played for two hours non-stop and I sat transfixed on this young man wondering how he made this guitar sound so incredible! So beautiful, so funny, so angry, so soothing and so moving! Who was this young am who changed my music life forever and was instrumental in bringing me back to the guitar 40 years later, so many years..............MR. LEO KOTTKE! Thank you Mr. Kottke!

#173 mphelps



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Posted 21 January 2015 - 01:21 AM

This has been my magical music moment.  Performing this song with my 11 year old daughter just melts my heart.  She really is an angel.  


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#174 oldjock



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Posted 21 January 2015 - 12:52 PM

mphelps, that was awesome. You must be proud. I know the great feeling you receive when playing with the kids. I am only on Session 3, but try to jam with my granddaughters. It becomes difficult to read the notes when your eyes are obstructed with tears of joy and laughter.

#175 randy120



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Posted 21 January 2015 - 07:38 PM

Really nice MPHELPS.




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Posted 15 June 2016 - 12:43 PM

For those of us who are old enough to recall the Cold War. In that context, remarkable. "Putting On The Ritz" in Mosco? Enjoy. :rainbownote: Lotsa luck.



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#177 magicwand



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Posted 17 August 2016 - 08:05 PM

Everything with zeppelin is magical!

#178 Allenbiave



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Posted 10 September 2017 - 04:05 AM

I just sight read the score, and it is quite playable. Congrats. One interesting technique, cross-string trills by dragging a,m,i across the strings. Ive not run across that before. Im no expert. Is this technique common?

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