A Thought from JP

Brand New Year

This last year I’ve seen a lot of despair and intolerance. I’ve also been surprised by the great love of music that people are sharing, especially on Facebook. This alone gives me hope that as we start the new year, sharing our love of music with others will make the world a better place. Thank you Judy, Steve, John, and Fred, for showing great music to open my mind daily!Video: Brand New Day

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Exercise, discipline, affection.

Exercise, discipline, affection. The motto of “The Dog Whisperer”. This works great for us as well. As I’m helping train our new puppy this summer, going back to the basics has been my musical goal. I’ve been exercising physically for better endurance, technically through scales, and mentally through theory study and lessons. Even old dogs like me benefit from lessons. Using the discipline to practice new music beyond my skills has been a constant eye opening experience to new creative answers to old music I regularly play. All this time I’ve spent has really reminded me of the affection for a lot of music that I haven’t played in a long time. I hope your summer has been as fun as mine has playing new tunes and with our new Family member.

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The World’s Greatest Bass Player

The life of Jaco Pastorious has been my great early summer lesson. His amazing ability has always been a curiosity to me. After reading the book on his life story and re-listening to his recordings, now I know! His tireless practice and study led him to skills beyond all that came before him. I encourage you to check out his recordings with Weather Report, Joni Mitchell & Pat Metheny.

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New Year

It’s a new year filled with a fresh start, tragedy, and the powerful reminder that life is short and filled with unexpected surprises. So I’ve chosen to select the song “Mountain Dance” for my church band with a very challenging expectation. Here’s to living life to the fullest and making the most of every note we play.

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Redemption & Live Music

Recently, I went to see a friend perform who wanted me to witness his improvement in the last two years. I hadn’t been to a club in a while, except for my own gigs, so I was thrilled to see a small but very packed room full of people dancing and listening to music played well. I’m excited to see that there is hope and joy for those making great music. My pal has improved wonderfully and you can catch him w/ Lady J on Saturdays for some well done R & B.

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Welcome to “Back to School” time.

What a great time this is to shake off the summertime blues, and get excited about your student/ child/ yourself starting a musical instrument or starting in a new music program. Your enthusiasm like that in this video could really influence the success in making music in your home. I am constantly reminded that life without music is dreary and boring. So join me in the rejuvenating act of practicing and encouraging those around us to get excited in the act of making music.

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What I learned @…

My guitar teacher and I just saw the Paul McCartney concert. Upon having a great time, the blatant observation we both had was that a 67 year old bass player performed a 2 1/2 hour concert with no intermission, and sang 40 year old songs in the same key. Inspired to practice and exercise (eventually), I know I have many possible music performing years left in me. Here’s a video from that performance, and the inspiration of music making well beyond retirement age.

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Spirit of the Season

I’m sure everyone has noticed that the Holiday Ad’s, decorations, and promotions have started at every store including ours. Hopefully the Yuletide music can help remind us of the important things in life: Friends, Health, Creativity, Helping Others. Here’s to the joy and humor as we keep our focus and wonder in life and music.

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Potential and Understanding

Welcome to “Back to School”. The wonderful time where our chilidren get out of the house and bloom into something great through education and discovery. We are all hoping they find their own “Special Gift” and are excited to explore all the posibilities that could become major directions in their lives. This summer I learned of two new music aspects that have begun to get my attention. The ukulele has been a fun surprise that has been very easy for me to adapt to as a guitarist. Hearing other musicians of great skill on this instrument has been very exciting. The new Peavey Vypyr guitar amp has been another new tool that I have seen bring great potential to many budding musicians by providing options and fun. I must admit: Understanding for me has come slowly. Reading manuals, watching videos, and personal training sessions, has all been daunting. I am reminded that understanding demands a time commitment, and not just an attaboy. Here’s a video on the Peavey amp.

Happy Understanding and Potential,

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Outside the Box

One of the things that excites me most, is when someone has thought of a fresh way to make music. Combining styles, instruments, and note combinations have challenged our ears to constantly think in new ways. Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, Prince, all heard music combinations in their minds regularly, that had never been explored. This Sunday I performed for the first time on Ukulele, and for a church service. Here is a video that a friend sent me some time ago that first impressed me about this instrument.

You can’t help but smile.

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