“Give me all the notes on the keyboard, and I can do nothing. Give me three notes and I can make a symphony.”
Some time ago Carol told me one of her music teachers quoted Tchaikovsky as saying something like that. I just Googled it and could find no evidence that he or anyone else said it. I’m glad I didn’t know that until now. That quote ultimately made my singing these songs possible.
About 5 years ago, I hurt the index finger on my left hand in such a way that it would not fully bend without pain. The only real impact it had on my life was I couldn’t play a lot of basic chords on my guitar. My doctor said the finger could be surgically repaired, but that didn’t seem worth it to me. I was never a good guitar player anyway. So I thought I’d just quit playing and leave it at that. One day I was fooling around with the guitar and discovered that I could still play a few chords with my remaining three good fingers, among them the standard three chord progression in the key of D. I remembered Carol’s quote and thought, OK, maybe three is enough. I figured if I learned to finger pick I could make those three sound different enough to cover a range of songs. I found a few easy songs to start with (cowboy songs, like “Red River Valley,” some old spirituals, etc.) learned them, and enjoyed it. So I found others from many genres—rock and roll, country, blues, folk, big band, show tunes—along the way and did the same. In the beginning, I didn’t sound very good, I could tell, so I’d close the door of the back room when I played. After a while I got better and Carol started to come out there to listen. Then I’d go where she was to play some of the songs. I learned dozens of songs, all of which she heard repeatedly, love songs, happy songs, sad songs, old songs, new songs, anything I could adapt to my three chords and my voice. She enjoyed them and I enjoyed singing them for her. A couple of years ago (2015) I decided to record some, for me primarily, just to listen to at home here, as a way to remember my time with her. I sent a few to my brothers, who liked them. Then I started uploading more and more of them so I could also listen to them when I was out or away. Now I put playlists up and take them down on a whim, in assorted groups that make momentary sense to me.
Last summer (2017), I wrote enough songs of my own to make an album, “Wistful Thinking,” just below here.
N. B.: If you have musical training or talent, enter at your own risk. I have neither. As the old song says: “I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free.” Well “happy” at least to be able to inhabit all these amazing feelings, and “free” at least to add what I want to my own website!
This is the my first album with songs I composed myself
It’s called “Wistful Thinking”
“And now for something completely different . . .”
Here are a couple of songs for a new album I think I’ll call “While I Sit Here With Me”
Here’s the first song I wrote in its original, raw form. I think it’s cool and says exactly what I wanted to say around that time (late 2015).
The playlists below are all covers, arranged by my whims
Peaceful easy feelings
Yes, I AM lonesome tonight! So what’s it to ya’?
The day that I stop counting . . .
“I woke up in between a memory and a dream . . .”
Long as I can see the light . . .
Dream, dream, dream
The birds and the bees
A bunch of other Big Band era songs I like
A few under “blue”