I was listening to Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl and someone pointed out to me that the bass player’s E string was out of tune, I had not noticed this before and I then thought of the squeaking bass drum pedal on John Bonham’s kit which you can clearly hear on Since I’ve Been Loving You. I could add the out of tune guitar of Ike Turner at the beginning of Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin and many more and what that seems to say to me is that these imperfections do not impair the greatness of the music if anything they add to it, like some form of magic dust or charisma to the sound that makes it real unlike the highly polished computer processed recordings that we have today.
Billy Childish commented that primitiveness is important in art and that technique can get in the way of the work and I believe that this can most definitely be an important aspect to our playing and teaching for people to connect to the real emotion of music. Maybe there is too much emphasis on the perfection of the playing and not the emotional performance in exams. If this were not the case in music generally that emotion was the real power of music the old blues players, punk and grunge musicians would not have sold any records in the past and the listening public would have all been listening to the beautiful technical classical recordings.
So just like the broken Japanese pottery that is put back together with gold in the cracks to show that a broken bowl is more valuable than one that has no experience of being broken maybe we should look for the cracks and breaks in our own playing because that is where you are.
www.bluescampuk.co.uk - have a look