Guitar Craft day 6

The group challenge over, I have a slight tension headache. Talking about applause and the need for approval, Fripp says he doesn’t look for approval or liking, just someone who’ll tell him honestly if a performance made it or sucked.

At lunch, performed Flee As a Bird with Ben while Hernan mugged on the phone trying to distract me ‘Hello? Norman, yes he’s here, just hold for a minute please. Norman!’.  The performances today are particularly good – solo guitars, duets and a guitar/harp duet.

Today, the Quality exercise – pick a very small task on the guitar (or something else) and practise it so that you can discharge it superbly in front of the group in the evening. I choose just holding the pick properly (GC has a lot to say about how you hold a pick).

At some point each day we have ‘whizzing’ – like circulation, but instead of a delicate shower of notes, this means passing grungy chords around the circle as fast as possible – and the inner circle, the more experienced guitarists, got very fast indeed!

We have the presentation of our ‘task’ – round the circle. Robert helps some people in great detail, and just thanks others and moves on. I think at his time in life, my pick-holding is probably too much of a long-term project to take on. A final whizzing session to release the tension and the guitar part of the course is over.

We have a final meeting giving comments, observations and reflections. I mention how I find the coming and going of silence on the course e.g. during mealtimes, a little more difficult than the enforced 7-day silence of a Zen retreat. Something about knowing when to be silent, when not to and how to relax into it.

We start cleaning up at 11:30. Everyone’s tired and there are no late night jams.

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Free to download - Stories My Killer Told Me: Five surreal story-songs from my Edinburgh Fringe show.



  • I Am Not The One For You
  • The Ever Open Door
  • New Eyes
  • A Forest Trail in Autumn
  • The Portobello Slam

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