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Thoughts on the Fetal Position

I have an uncle in the military. He always tells this war story about how he fell out of an airplane. Or a helicopter. I can't really remember what kind of flying machine it was or how far it was from the ground, but there is one thing about it that always shocks people who hear it for the first time... 

It's the fact that he didn't suffer from any major injuries. Well, he says it was because he tucked himself into a ball before he landed. I mean... Sure, he probably had some bruises. But don't you think it's a bit unbelievable that he walked away with little more than a few scratches and some soreness? Apparently, it protects all the inner organs. And if you tuck your head in, you're golden. 

I wish all painful things could be avoided by curling up into a ball. 

Thoughts on Travel

Every place feels different, and every place feels the same in some way. Some places are fancy and some are simple, but every shopping plaza in America has a Walmart or a Target. Some places have more traffic than others, but every state has that guy who tries to get there faster, only to get stuck at the same light. Some places are not so modern, but anywhere you go you'll see someone looking at their smart phone while they should be doing something else.

All these different people are in different places for different reasons, and they live lives that are all so differently the same.

Depending on where you go the world can seem really big, or really small. Sometimes, the same place can feel big at one time and small at another. Like when you get lost, then someone draws you a map. Or when you're feeling lonely, then you make a new friend. A confusing place is suddenly not confusing when you make a new friend - or maybe it is still confusing except now it's the exciting kind of confusion.

I keep thinking how good it'll be to sleep in my own bed, but I know pretty soon I'll be anxious to get on the road again. 

 

Finger-Style & Percussive Guitar Playing

Hello all!

Lately, I've been getting feedback from some of you asking about my finger-style guitar techniques, and perhaps the best song to use as an example would be Change My Mind. I humbly write this post, knowing that there are about a million things I have left to learn on guitar and as a musician in general.

The process of writing Change My Mind really inspired me to start using my acoustic guitar in more creative ways. I always aim to write songs that are interesting to as many people as possible. As pop artists, we want our work to have relatable, original lyrical content, a catchy melody or hook, and of course good dynamic. When it comes to creating dynamic in songwriting or in performances, using the guitar as a percussive instrument and playing with rhythm can go a long way. Of course, there are many ways to go about doing that. The first and most common is by using the palm of your right hand, resting it against the bridge of the guitar and muffling the strings as you strum. This is normally done when using a pick. That way, you hear the sound of your pick attack as much as you do the notes. But this is almost impossible to do when you're doing finger-style.

Finger picking is the first style that I learned on guitar, and to this day it's what I feel most comfortable doing, but it can be frustrating to put energy into a technique that is so detail oriented. The first thing that worked for me was a flamenco method called abanico or “fan”. This involves flicking down on the strings rather than using a pick or your index finger. In Change My Mind, I do something similar to that, holding my right hand close enough to the strings to where I can strike and mute the lower strings with the fleshy part of my hand, and still let the higher strings ring out by flicking down on them with my nails. A little added bonus: since I no longer need a pick in my hand to get the same tension, I now have an easier transition from strumming into fingerpicking. Then if you really want to have fun you can do a combination of both - which is what happens in the chorus of Change My Mind. 

Experimenting with rhythm in general is huge too, and there's a lot of different genres to study that give a good idea as to how to do that. Progressive Rock has done that for me. Watching, learning and playing songs from genres and bands that are completely different from our own is humbling but almost always worth while - especially when it comes to playing guitar!

Spending the day recovering from a head cold 😒 but just because I can’t sing doesn’t mean I can’t still play! #lickoftheweek

#regram from @seanpblanchard last night at @hrcdenver ! Notice the logo on Dean’s kit wohoo!

#regram from @seanpblanchard last night at @hrcdenver ! Notice the logo on Dean’s kit wohoo!

Conversations that happen before a show! See you guys tonight at the Hard Rock Cafe at 10!

Conversations that happen before a show! See you guys tonight at the Hard Rock Cafe at 10!

Came across some old stuff from middle school today - including a few fashion magazines… I’m sorry but reading them is definitely not as fun as defacing them!

Came across some old stuff from middle school today - including a few fashion magazines… I’m sorry but reading them is definitely not as fun as defacing them!

Something you may not know about me: I have an ungodly large collection of tea :) This morning called for #matcha #greentea - I even have a bamboo whisk to go with it!

Something you may not know about me: I have an ungodly large collection of tea :) This morning called for #matcha #greentea - I even have a bamboo whisk to go with it!

On stage view of the indoor stage at #taosmesabrewing (they have 3). Apparently there’s sand under the stage floor to prevent unwanted booming and as you can see the walls are set up so there’s no slap back!

On stage view of the indoor stage at #taosmesabrewing (they have 3). Apparently there’s sand under the stage floor to prevent unwanted booming and as you can see the walls are set up so there’s no slap back!