You can tell when one hasn’t played guitar in a while – the first time he or she shreds through a few songs after a long, long break, their fingertips start to blister and peel. In my case, unfortunately, not only do they blister and peel, but I start to chew on them as a result, thus ending up eventually covering my fingertips in bandages to both heal and keep me from gnawing at them. It’s an incredible annoyance, especially when you’re trying to get back into playing, and particularly when you’re trying to use an iPad or iPhone. Touch screens don’t like bandaids.
The fact of the matter is, you kind of have to play through it and let your fingers get tough. That’s very difficult to do when you happen to be in a period where you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. One of the reasons for this, though, is because I have my 7-month-old first born in my sole care on a fairly regular basis. Over the past few weeks I’ve found that she seems to really enjoy it when I plop her in a chair in the studio and play her some songs on my acoustic guitar. It’s wonderful, actually – I get to sing to my daughter (get immediate feedback), spend some quality time with her, expose her to some music and get my fingers moving again. I sometimes even start jamming on a few new riffs or ideas that I have to put down on a little recording app on my iPhone for later perusal!
I’ve found that little Addison appears to like the stuff where I sing really low, as well as the stuff where I go complete falsetto. She absolutely loves songs where I can do both.
Here’s a few I’ve done with her:
- “The Wanderer” (from U2‘s Zooropa) – I actually sing this in a key a half step above the norm (mainly because it’s easier to play that way) and try to put on a little Johnny Cash drawl, but it’s the falsettos at the end that we both really enjoy.
- “Miss Sarajevo” (from Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1) – I’ve always loved this song, and my mother jokes that Addie should do the Pavarotti part someday. Actually, that’s not a joke – she should!
- “Julia” (oh hey, that’s me!)
- “Not Enough Time” (INXS) – I love the whispery stuff he did.
- “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (Elvis) – I love singing this song, haven’t got all the chords playing properly yet though.
My fingers are already starting to get back into shape and I am having a blast introducing some of the things I love to my little girl.
Can’t wait to have a whole new catalog of songs to try!