Song With No Words

This morning I got up- for about 5 minutes. I took out my 12-string guitar which I have hardly played at all in about four years- not because I don't love it but because the body is too big and it is just a little awkward for me. Sat back down on my bed with it and didn't stop playing for close to two hours.

I had forgotten just how much I love the sound of that guitar. I heard things I had never heard before, beautiful overtones. I also found myself playing in ways that I had never played before and developed some kind of a cool riff in a minor key that I couldn't stop playing. I loved the sound of it.

I sat playing it and wondered how I could be playing better than I had ever played and how I could be making up new riffs when I hadn't practiced in forever and had also put it down for a good 20 years before I started playing again just a few years ago. My technique is lacking but my ear is better- more creative and more open.

I think it is partly due to all the sound healing work that I do. My sense of hearing is much more sensitive and refined- being able to hear more subtle sounds also allows me to produce more subtle sounds. The other thing that crossed my mind was that I seem to be thinking of the creative process differently since I took the Expressive Art Therapy training. In relation to creating art, one of the freeing things for me about the EA process is that when I see something now that inspires me to draw, I don't have to draw or paint the object or person that inspires me. Before that, I had always felt that I had to be able to paint the landscape or the flower or the person perfectly and I didn't have the technique so I always felt frustrated and incompetent. What I learned from Expressive Art Therapy was that I could express the feeling I get from it and get a great deal more satisfaction and joy from the process.

~Not my 12-string guitar!~
I think the same thing is happening for me when I play the guitar. I am experiencing a deeper ability to listen to what wants to be played, as well developing a new kind of openness to what is emerging from the instrument. There are times that I have felt constricted by the belief that I had to either learn, or write, a song. After all, that was why I learned to play the guitar in the first place- because I loved to sing. I have always enjoyed just sitting and playing the guitar, but even when I did that I was mostly playing chords to songs even if I wasn't singing along with them, rather than allowing the song to find itself, so to speak.