Where Ya Been?

When I started Six String Recess, I had a vision of creating a "lifestyle business" out of something I love—music and guitars. While I had the best of intentions, I came to realize that I am simply not cut from entrepreneurial cloth and running it as a business just wasn’t going to succeed. That realization is why I took down the paid lessons and turned the site into more of a personal expression of my love for music and the instrument of guitar. I felt bad about it for, oh, about two seconds and then realized how liberating it was to do that.

Leaving SSR behind as a business allowed me to focus on work that pays the bills and is easy to compartmentalize in my life. This has freed up time to pursue other interests like more guitar (more on that in a sec), high-performance driving, board games, cooking and a bunch of other stuff. If adulthood is the realization that you have to pick and choose what you'll spend your time on, I guess I must now be an adult.

As for guitar, in the past year has been a dive into the deep-end of the pool known as "jazz". I bought an honest-to-goodness arch-top jazz guitar (oh joy, new picking hand challenges) and started doing sessions at the phenomenal Jazz Night School, here in Seattle. I have a stack of incredibly challenging jazz books to work my way through and, more often than not, I'm listening to jazz as my daily soundtrack.

 A representative sample of jazz-related books in the queue.

A representative sample of jazz-related books in the queue.

Am I still rocking out? Hell yeah. The jazz stuff has been a great compliment to my rock gig with The Royal We. Even if the cover-tunes we play are nowhere near the harmonic sophistication of, say, a Charlie Parker tune, I'm still using those in-the-moment improvisational skills for the solos I stretch out on. Even better, sometimes I can superimpose a harmony on top of a simple groove in E like a poor man's Mike Stern. None of that would have been possible a year ago.

So the posts here have dropped off because I've been busy learning and digesting, with much less to say and a greater need to read and listen. But now I'm getting the itch to sound off on the subject of guitars again. Expect things to meadner a little more—some lesson-y kind of stuff here and there, probably more of the hard-to-pin-down philosophical stuff and some gear-related stuff along the way.