looking better….to sound better!

IMG_1821Why would something as sensitive and magnificent as a guitar respond warmly to being around someone dirty and smelly? You wouldnt go out for the evening with your spouse or partner without making some effort to freshen up.

There is every reason to treat the instrument with which you make the music you love with the same respect. It will make a difference. Music is waves vibrating in the air. We can contribute greatly to the musical canvas by optimizing the quality of that air.

We musicians at least suspect that our favourite instruments have a soul of their own. We restring and polish them, confident that they will sound better as a result. So we who handle and coax sound from them, do well to look and feel our best.

My musical journey began in the late 60s. Once a hippy, always a hippy… I remember back then, a drummer we worked with, who always applied a little eye-liner before going onstage. This was a muscular, manly fellow. And though his clothing was threadbare and torn, he was always colourful and CLEAN! And so we all felt inspired to ensure that our ragged outfits were clean, and that before we stepped into them, we were too.

For some years I worked as a street performer. The same principles applied. We built a business playing on the street and passing out business cards, encouraging our audiences to consider us when hiring a band for a party or function. It was important, and not just for ourselves, that we were clean and groomed. The band leader came down very hard on anyone who showed up at our chosen street corner looking like they had just got out of bed.

A seasoned old jazz guy once said to us, that it didnt matter if you were playing to 3 people in a kitchen at 4.00am, or to a full house at Madison Square Garden. If you werent playing like your life depended on it, then you werent doing your job. If your life depends on it, you are going to want to look your best too.

So before each performance take a little trouble. Have a shower, iron a shirt and remove  any stubble from your chin. Even a dab of something fragrant wouldnt hurt! You will feel better about yourself, so will your audience, and believe it or not, so will your guitar.

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