My name is Craig Smith... and I play the guitar from within the deepest part of my being. To me I hear and visualize within my mind the totality of all music, guitar or otherwise, just as if it were a physical object that I can see with my eyes. To me music is like a landscape we travel through as if one were on tour seeing three dimensional objects with all there characteristics and having the clear ability to navigate among them... knowing all the right moves necessary to avoid errors in making the wrong move, stumbling or bumping into something. When people ask me how they can hear the changes in the chords of a song... I explain how and show them the way to really be a part of the music... and to have no more difficulty doing this than walking around their home without mis-judging where a doorway is, or driving a car without seeing and knowing how and when to turn, slow down, stop and go... or parallel park. It's no great mystery once the truth is know as described even by the Greek Mathematician and Philosopher "Pythagoras" who understood that music is a Three Dimensional Audio Form... just as the world around us is a solid and visible one. My experience hearing music on the guitar before I was born was just a training ground for this world of sound. I just had the uncluttered privilege of experiencing The Way Music Works a little earlier than some others. Yet... it can be learned by anyone with a pair of ears that function reasonably well.
I Am Guitar... I was born to the guitar... it is as if it was one of my parents. During the nine months preceding my entrance into this world, my mother played the guitar several hours each day. Less than one hour prior to her giving birth to me she had been playing guitar for several hours as she would do for hours on end. It is a matter of very clear understanding by many experts in numerous fields of medical science and other areas of study and there is no doubt I came into this life with a pre-disposition and awareness of the sound of music played on a guitar... and more than likely affected by this phenomena that the very essence of myself is intimately connected to that audio imagery... the unique sound of the guitar. So, it by this that I can definitively say "I Am Guitar"... or at least from the very beginning of my own existence... The Guitar Is With Me... Let Us Play.
All the aspects of the thing we call music are merely hearing and instinctively about making the right moves. The regular practices of reading and counting the values of music notes is of extreme value in the area of knowledge and education... but just like in daily activities when we walk, talk and interact with the environment and individuals we encounter... we don't have to calculate distances, measure or count steps we take or pull out a small guidebook to have a normal conversation with another person. We do these things just naturally. Of course it is helpful to be aware of the systematic elements of measurements of the physical world, and the rules of grammar establishing good speech and more... but we do not think or generally use these things in our millions of movements and such each day. We are instinctive by nature and act automatically to basically survive in daily life. All the structure of knowledge including that of music knowledge came thousands of years after human beings did anything they do as valuable ways of remembering and teaching others elements of better understanding and doing things, but we did things first and then created ways to retain and describe what it was we had done. No one wrote it down first and then said now I think I can do this or that. We have to regain confidence in our natural human instinctive behavior... a gift we have long forgotten we were given at birth as a right of life... along with it's counterpart creativity... the stolen human right.
This is not to say we should not use the valuable lexicons we have on performing all activities, but if we over establish the premise that everything must follow the directions as if they are dictated on a map of some sort we can become too focused on the map and drive off the road into a ditch. We do not follow little guidebooks, maps or GPS directions in 99% of daily activities. We have to be extremely on guard to avoid too much so called help... and use our inner "gut awareness"... these abilities are a gift from birth... Instinct. Playing and hearing the true aspects of music is no different, we must be aware first... and then use the guidance available for assistance and refining moves and increasing our ability to survive better, with more ease... and a better outcome.
The Music Is In You... Just Release It
The sounds are in you... they are not out there. For your entire lifetime, however long that is... you have been accumulating designs in sound, patterns of both melodies and harmonies... from the millions of songs and fragments of songs you have listened to. We as human beings hear and store music movements and all elements of sound as we listen to any and all the music we hear. We compare, analyze and categorize these designs in sound just as we do visual images, the tastes of foods and all sensory perceptions. Our mind is a computer... and we keep within our mind billions of experiences in all areas of our five senses as a computer stores information... the only big difference is that within our human mind... our bio-computer... they are kept in an analog form... not digital, and therefore are first hand... real representations instead of just digital code to be retrieved as from the hard drive of a computer. What does this all mean?
My Version of Picasso's "The Old Guitarist"...
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The guitar is essentially the origin of almost all musical instruments on the planet. The instrument, from a known historic perspective, was conceived and born roughly 9,000 years ago in the Mesopotamian River Valley... the often called Cradle Of Civilization. However in actually, as with everything else man has created... the prehistoric date is much older than that. While there are clay reliefs, stone carvings and paintings depicting the guitar, and it's ancestors as far back as approximately 9,000 years, There is evidence in it's basic construction and especially in it's tuning that point to it's beginnings tens of thousands of years ago...
"This Is Guitar"... Craig Smith
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The Natural Heritage Of Music...The Family Of Your Culture....
We all enter this world complete, with a brain... The Processor and Operating System, and also with a Natural Heritage of Our Culture of Origin... The Programming for that system. From the beginning everything is in place all ready to be used. All we have do is unpack the box and start using the equipment inside, that is... inside us. With this, let it be said... as with any equipment, we have to not be in the box itself, but just like using a new computer... outside looking in. Letting any piece of equipment to remain in the box makes it unusable... and nothing changes... things do not grow... and we access nothing from the wealth of information and applications that we have available. Things remain at status-quo ... still, non-moving, in a state close to that of death itself, No Movement, the basic indicator of the non-existence of life, as that of a piece of stone.
We were not born to be a solidified mass of nothingness, with no objectives or purpose in this thing we call life. We were all put on this planet to be part of the planet's own life energy field; and interact with all things around us in creative ways which allow for survival. We are to be using Our Natural Bio-Computer, The Brain, to help the world and all that is a part of who we are keep moving forward in the endless Procession Of Creativity Unfolding for the betterment of the whole including all mankind.
This is our reason for "being"... that's why we are Human "Beings". As I have previously said "We Are The Creators... We Are Man". However, are we really alive... acting in the responsible way that we were put here for, or are we just standing there "still"... not much different than that image of death itself... caught in the Death Trap of non-purpose without any direction. Trapped in the conformity of those who are our jail keepers, our slave masters?
The answer is NO. We ascribe to and follow these almost dead "call them zombies... perhaps" beings that make us believe this is the way it is to be. But, we are not actually enslaved or trapped, we hold the keys to our imprisonment... all we must do is unlock the cell of illusion that others have made us believe that this is all there is. Once again, "We Are The Creators... We Are Man": And we have all the equipment and natural resources within us to free ourselves from the "Daymare" of waking life and move into the World Of Our Own Reality... and Live Our Dreams. Life is not that, that we are being told it is... Life Is Freedom and Continuous Movement. We must create the world we want to live in and the life we want to be ours.
Life is like a river, or a natural spring... it is meant to be flowing... not dammed up, or diverted in it's course. And, as we so often seen water so diverted or blocked frequently causes devastating changes to an environment, turning what was once a green pasture into a desert... making life no longer the same, or maybe even totally non-existent.
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We all come into this life with an immediate abundance of ability to be the "Next Big Thing" in any area of life we should so desire to explore. We are born into the Natural World of Creativity... with all the connections in place, like those of the processors and programs of a brand new computer, just waiting to be presented with ideas and images from the outside that will take us on an inner journey of imagination to discover who we really are and were meant to become to the world. Then... it starts to happen... The Shut Down, like perhaps a computer virus that takes over from the outside of our true self... and slowly... bit by bit... piece by piece blocks, controls and destroys all the great things we could have uncovered and offered to the rest of the world. It seems almost deliberate, as if those around us in our lives... from family, friends, teachers and later others in our working environment... everyone, everywhere has taken an oath based on perhaps the fear of change, a pledge to stop us from the uniqueness of ourselves. It's as if they want us to follow a specific road map... or guidance system that "keeps them safe from us". Why is this... What is it that they are really so in fear of... is the fear really based on their concern that we will be better off by complying, or that they will be less threatened. This is the question and a dilemma for ourselves as to how we can not be infected by this virus of insecurity when they are the carriers of it. It seems to be their sole purpose only is to take over our lives, destroy our potential of individuality... and protect themselves from the fear of any type of change. Just like the pathology of any infectious disease, or a computer virus... We Are Gradually Taken Over To Become "THEM", and serve only their wants and needs. How can we protect ourselves, how can we immunize our creative mind to this epidemic of fears that is focused on us so that to comply and do only what the program allows.
Have we forgotten... We Are The Creators... We Are Man! Creativity is in our nature and in our hands, and has been since the dawn of mankind. We are the only species of animal on the planet that continuously pours out new ideas every second of every day, and has been doing so for as long as any historic records have been kept... and even far beyond that into the deepest past of pre-history. Our very essence is Creativity and , we were put here, placed here... or whatever to continuously bring about Perpetual Change. If we have any purpose in life at all it is that, to create and move the world into the future with our ideas and what we make and bring into reality. Why are people so determined to slow things down to a halt, to cause things to stop... or to say in other way... To Imitate Death, that condition where there is no movement.
In my art... music, there has to be movement... music is like a living organism at it's best... ever changing, twisting stretching and exploring new worlds of sound. Music is non-static design, it is A Sound Sculpture in Sound, always In Motion. Music moves like all healthy living things... not trapped, inhibited, restricted or enslaved to any outside force... Not Dead. Music is A Pure, Living... Creative Flow of Energy, unfolding before our ears... as if they were eyes. This is what has made music a very special and important part of our lives... it is a pattern or blueprint of life itself. Like DNA music shapes our lives mysteriously in ways we cannot even begin to know. Music takes on a journey to our own soul, a place we seldom can visit without such a guide, a guide to a part of our self we cannot experience any other way.
"An artist cannot fail.... It is a success just to be one." Charles Horton Cooley
Creativity is in our hands, and has been since the dawn of mankind. We are the only species of animal on the planet that continuously pours out new ideas every second of every day, and has been doing so for as long as any historic records have been kept... and even far beyond that into the deepest past of pre-history.