Note to Self

Last Friday night I be-bopped into my guitar lesson buoyant with new music in my ears; Alison Krauss and Union Station‘s new music. I could go on and on about them but won’t here. What was of note to me then was how my teacher, Jim Nelson, responded to a song I played for him. Wait, no. I didn’t play it. AKUS played it and I shared it with Jim. It went something like this:

“Hey Jim, you have to hear this. It’s from the new Alison Krauss and Union Station cd. I wonder if we could ever do this song?”

“Okay, pop it in. Let’s listen” (The track is called, “Miles to Go” and it features Jerry Douglas on Dobro. I dare anyone to sit still through the song.) So I plugged my iPod into his big music blaster. I don’t think three notes had escaped from the speakers before Jim was playing along on his little Taylor cut away. It was stunning. This man came alive. The spark of musical inspiration was oozing from him. He grabbed hold of that song like he’d been waiting all his life to hear it. Like this was what he had been born to play. I know the feeling. The difference is I can never play along. You could see him listening hard, predicting chord patterns, anticipating the change when the bridge came along. Smiling all the while. Really, I had never been so close to such a mix of off-the-cuff joy and ability. It was an inspiration to be part of.

I’m lucky. Jim agrees to share this passion with me once a week. And he somehow has me believing that there’s hope for me to skillfully finger my way through a song I love, too. That’s a great teacher. How’d I get so lucky in little ol’ Lander, Wyoming?

Note to self: Let ‘er rip! When you feel it, go for it!

From the tips of my clumsy little fingers, Jim, thank you!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shelli Johnson
    May 04, 2011 @ 08:28:30

    GREAT POST. But. Still. Want. Audio. Of your supposed performance, my friend.
    Just sayin’.


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