Sitting on my bed with the Taylor, retuned to DAGDAD and ran through a few riffs I picked up over the years. Then I wanted to play my favorite tune I picked up from a Celtic guitar book years back. Song took me forever to learn, and I continued reviewing it for years, but I hadn’t played it in perhaps a couple years? I can’t remember.
I spend an hour trying to recall it, barely able to pull together the first several measures. I can’t review the book because it’s in storage at my parents’ home several hours away. It’s like a corrupted memory in my brain, still there, but all distorted from the original. Dammit, what good is that going to do for me? How am I supposed to show off my (fake) Celtic heritage when I’m trying out new acoustics at Guitar Center???
I sit down with the guitar the next night, hit the same wall in the eighth measure for around ten minutes…then the whole tune suddenly opens up in my fingers. Not pristine, mind you; it was like not walking for a few years and taking the first steps all wobbly. But a few nights of review later I was able to play the entire tune more or less smoothly without needing the book.
What makes the brain do stuff like that? It’s enough to bring stage fright to the surface. In jazz you can simply play the messed up passage again and say you did it on purpose. That doesn’t fly with a beautiful flowing Celtic line. Whatever, I’m happy the notes were still intact in a distant part of my hard drive.