Learning the guitar

I’ve been thinking about picking up the guitar again lately. I learnt the basics years ago, back when I was at school. I had a teacher for a few months and learnt the basic chords and I’ve played a bit since then, although not in the last 4 years. I guess I just got busy with work and life but recently I’ve been wanting to start up again. I always found playing quite therapeutic. I used to always buy the chord books for my favourite albums if there were some easy songs, to try and learn to play some of the tracks I liked. I find it’s a lot more fun playing songs you know and love.

Since I learnt the basics of the guitar,probably around 15-20 years ago, I haven’t really improved too much which is kinda sad. I’ve just kinda stuck to the basics but I am looking to change that now. I want to set some goals and start taking it more seriously. I’m considering online guitar lessons like the program advertised at Just Like Hendrix, or alternatively, just buying some instructional DVDs from Amazon and learning that way. At the moment I’m leaning more towards the online lessons. I feel like it’ll motivated be more, just knowing that I’m paying every month adds a bit of healthy pressure. With the DVDs, I’m likely to buy them and then just forget about them.

Anyway watch this space, maybe I’ll post my 1st Hendrix solo soon! :)

Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun

I actually intended to talk more about individual tracks on here than full albums, but I had to make an exception for Mama’s Gun!

I first discovered this album when it was released 15 years ago, and I remember the exact period of my life when I was getting into it like it was just last week! It’s funny how music helps you to recapture memories like that! There has been a lot of research around the link between music and memories, you can read a little here.

But anyway, back to the album, this was during the period when neo-soul was just taken off, with albums like India Arie – ‘Acoustic Soul’, Alicia Keys – ‘Songs In A Minor’, and Jill Scott – ‘Who Is Jill Scott?’ all coming out in a very short space of time. After the years of 90s R&B, the influences of the old soul artists blending with a more modern sound was refreshing!

Erykah brought something even more unique to the mix, there was jazz, blues, and a bit of the Erykah craziness all thrown in! This was far removed from cookie-cutter R&B!

This album still remains a classic for me. It just has such a warmth and authencity to it that can never get old. Highlights tracks for me are ‘Didn’t Cha Know’, ‘…& On’, ‘Orange Moon’, ‘Bag Lady’, and ‘Green Eyes’.


Erykah Badu - Mama's Gun