Notes on a Page
Ever have those moments on stage where it feels like the music is literally inside you, and you can’t get enough of it outside of you, into your instrument? Suddenly you’re no longer trying to play with feel, but the feel of the music is overcoming you, and you’re powerless to stop it?
I wish these moments were more often. (Maybe the audience or congregation doesn’t, but hey…) And unfortunately, I can’t say it any better than this clip. I wish I could, because then I could have written the film, and then I would have a little something I like to call ‘money’, which would then render me free from having to choose between food and guitar gear anymore. It would just be all guitar gear.
But alas, I simply cannot find a better way to communicate this. (And please note, it is an older film, it does have a clarinet, and it is a little long. Start it at about 1:40 if you like, to cut down on the time a bit, and end it at 6:20. And for those of you who are automatically frightened every time you hear the word ‘clarinet’, there’s a guitar clip at the bottom, too. But it means more if you watch the…wait for it…’clarinet’ one first.
‘Don’t play the notes on the page. Play the sunset.’ See? I tried and tried, and couldn’t come up with anything that sounded as rad as that. And for those of you who are wondering, the ‘sunset’ is not a solo. Nope. The ‘sunset’ is most definitely an anti-solo.
And here’s one of the greatest examples I have ever found of someone going beyond the notes on the page. With feeling and passion, of course…not by adding more notes.
Wow. I almost cry every time I hear him play that song. Note that I said every time I hear ‘him’ play it, though. Jeff Buckley is the only one who has a right to cover this song. And since he has unfortunately passed, this song should now not be covered. I’m so serious. It seems that everyone who has ever picked up a guitar has decided that they will be indie and original if they film themselves covering Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’ (which he himself was covering) and put it on youtube, and then everyone will marvel at their amazing vocal skills and their ability to find this ‘underground’ song. And in reality, you just get 50,000 terrible versions of this beautiful song, sung by people trying to look and sound cooler than the previous version. It’s getting out of control. And…uh…if you’re reading this and you actually have a cover of it on youtube as we speak…I’m sure yours sounds awesome! This is just a sore subject with me because I…um…well…okay. I admit. I’ve played this song at church before and thought I was ultra-cool. Blast. I said it. So please. All of us. Let’s just find another song to be cool with.
And play it like you literally can’t contain the feeling.