So, What Are You Going To Play?

Posted by Brian on 1st March 2011 in Guitar, Memorabilia, Performing

Here’s the scenario: You’re at someone’s house and you notice a guitar hanging on the wall. They say, “Oh, do you play? Play something.” What are you going to play?

Its a question that my guitar teacher asked me a long, long time ago and, eventually,  it profoundly affected my approach to the guitar and continues to affect the way I teach guitar.

At the time, I launched into “Takin’ Care of Business”. After a few bars my teacher asked, “Is that it?”

“I guess.”
“Are you going to sing?”
“No.” (with a hint of “duh” in my voice.)
“How long do you think that will hold someone’s attention?”
“I dunno.”

From there, he started to teach me how to find a melody within a chord progression and play melody and accompaniment simultaneously. It would be years before I fully appreciated what my teacher was trying to do (I still had rockstar aspirations), but eventually my first love would be playing fingerstyle guitar.

Anyways, today, if asked to play something I would probably launch into “Remembering Linda” by Mike Christiansen or “Village Dance” by Ritchie Blackmore. Both good tunes in standard tuning that I can play with minimal warm-up.

So, what would you play?



Edit (March 2, 2011): This posting started out as a thread that I started on which I later realized might make a good blog post. It generated a fair bit of response, which you can read here.

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