During my teaching day today I had some real variety. Riffs (Last time – Rolling Stones), chords (Don’t Speak – No Doubt), fingerpicking (Bloom – Paper Kites) and a study on the mixolydian mode. One of the reasons I love teaching after all these years is that it re-connects me to why I learnt to play guitar in the first place. For the love of it. For the great noise a guitar makes. In every one of those lessons there was moments of enthusiasm, excitement and achievement.
Whether it was the fantastic 60s guitar twang of the Stones, the unusual variety of types of chords (for a modern pop song) in No Doubt’s Don’t Speak, the chiming acoustic guitar in the Paper Kites track or the new soloing flexibility afforded by taking a modal approach.
In addition to all that, I got to teach my favourite lesson. Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing. It never fails to bring a smile to my face, it’s a beautiful, mesmerising and timeless piece. It’s my go to song whenever I play a unfamiliar Stratocaster and I reckon I’ve spent more time on this one song than any other. It never fails to put a smile on my face and you can play it round and round and never get bored.
It appears I’m not the only one who thinks so. Check out this brilliant YouTube video of Joe Satriani talking about Little Wing. It’s really fantastic. You can actually see the excitement and passion in his delivery. It’s really heart warming to see someone like Satriani speak with genuine excitement and passion about one of his favourite things about the guitar…
The Guitar. It’ll catch on.