I’m feeling pretty good heading into October. The meds must be working…finally. I’m getting out to jams a little more often and actually starting to do fairly well playing my new ax. More often yes, but still not anywhere near pre plague days. Back in the ancient times of the 2019’s, I played multiple times a week in jams or rehearsals and casual gigs. My current situation has nowhere near the quantity of opportunities and as a result of that, the quality of these jam sessions has suffered.
It seems I can’t remember the lyrics of songs I’ve been singing for years. One could say I’m rusty… unfortunately very rustyand I definitely need to shake the rust out of my playing.
Like many jammers, I have a list or should I say had a list of 8-10 tunes that I could call in jams. Just standards that I picked up along the way. I could do these all from memory. No cheat sheets or tablets for me.
That was then, this is now. I am finding myself in the middle of a song and going blank on the lyrics. Occasionally this happens with chords too but my ear is still good enough to hear the changes and adjust. After all there are usually only 3 chords unless it is one of those songs with hippie chords but I don’t have any of those in my repertoire.
So what does this mean? One could surmise that I’m not practicing very well and there is probably some truth to that but even in the ancient times, once I learned a tune, I didn’t practice it very much. I just called it and sang it in a jam frequently. This seemed to work for me back in the old days but there are two things now that are different (there are always two). The first is the aforementioned infrequency of jams in this current covid climate that aren’t nearly providing me enough reps of these songs to shake the rust and the second problem is unfortunately …I’m getting older and that from my perspective contributes to my rusty memory
Short of liberally applying Rustoleum, what do I need to do if I want to keep jamming and trying to get past this rust issue? Certainly, changing my woodshed routine would be good but also just getting out to jam more frequently will help as well. I just got my third Moderna covid vaccine shot and declining covid infection rates will hopefully and safely open up more jams.
As for the getting older thing, there is nothing I can do about that and the alternative to growing older doesn’t appeal to me very much either.
Anyway, I’ve convinced myself that I know how to resolve this issue. First, I need to quit growing older and secondly get my old self into the woodshed and practice more. After that get out and jam and play more.
That’s it for this time. I’ll catch you next month and speaking of getting older, it will be my birthday when my column is due next month.