I once again find myself in the tropics. Funny, when I say it like that, you think of white sandy beaches and coconut trees, balmy warm weather. But no, this is The Pilbara. Barren vast stretches of red dirt, blazing sun (hit 43°C the other day, that's just short of 110°F for my American mates). This is the heart of iron ore mining, Western Australia.
I brought an old '74 Yamaha classical student guitar up here two years ago, which lives here, and I re-find it from whomever was looking after it. I get in plenty of practice, and put in time for learning new songs. Songs jump in my head randomly, and then I have to arrange them. Even though I have songs I should be working on. This time it is Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", always loved that tune. I looked up the chords and they were pretty hard to deal with, I tried transposing up 2 semitones which made it better, but still hard to deal with. It is quite a chordy sort of song, more than three in this one!
I checked out Naudo's version and what can we say, he is Da Man. He transposed it up 4 semitones which fits well, and made some great chord resolves. So I've followed his lead. As usual I changed it a bit to suit me, but it's all done, I just struggle to play it! Watch this space, still really enjoying it.
Last night, heading back to my room, there was a bunch of people having drinks nearby. One of them recognised I "was that guitar player" and I offered to play some tunes. An hour and a half and a tall glass of Baileys Irish Cream later, I bade them farewell and hit the hay. It's always enjoyable to play to people who have never heard me before, see if they guess the songs, see them enjoy it too. Generally two out of three people I play guitar for "understand it", they get it, what I'm trying to achieve. What's more, when people realise that someone playing the guitar doesn't mean be quiet, sit up and listen, it's something that is woven into a relaxed scene - sometimes you listen, sometimes you converse, it's just something that is there and enjoyable - even better.
I've been playing 1-2 hours every night for the past two weeks and I'm back to my A-game. Fingers are good, I'm relaxed, brain is in the groove, I'm getting good tunes out. I'm really keen to get a regular gig back in Perth and keep this groove going.
Oh, I ordered a hat. Monz, who I work with up here, who has a lot more fashion sense than me, I showed him a few I was thinking about getting, he pointed me to the one I ended up ordering. Apparently it is "like something Bruno Mars would wear". I looked up Bruno Mars. Good muso, I should arrange one of his popular tunes :-)