Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jerry Can On Rock

I never was a fan of classical music, though I am aware of the cerebral-enhancing effects researches have purported this genre to have, as opposed to the cerebral-eroding effect of rock and their heavier counterparts, i.e. metal. Some classical stuff are pretty good solutions to insomnia too. Think Blue Danube. Some are as mood-swing-inducing as it can get. Beethoven’s symphony I-dunno-number-what (told’ya I’m not a fan). One must admit, though, there are those who are into classical music as a status-propelling platform to be “up there” with The League. Pop a classical CD in the Lamborghini and you’re gonna get your chicks riding high for free. Same effect if you have Kenny G blowin’ in your ride, but they just attract a different variety.

Let’s be honest. How many of us bengs here actually know classical music and appreciate them as they are without degrading them to chick-snaring arsenals? How many chicks you have snared so far really know what they are listening to?

Sore de, being the rock guitarist that I am, and an incompetent chick-magnet who balks at unleashing brain music on clueless bombshells, how does one get in on learning to appreciate the classical for what they are, music?

Two words. Jerry C. On Youtube.

Growing up learning to play rock guitar without regards for taking theory exams and knowing the foundations of timeless music (read classical music), I had next to zero idea on the rich melodic content and the undeniable influence they have on all music. In my youth I have heard Yngwie Malmsteen ripping Bach-influenced solos and performing Suites on his Fenders, but his skills and musicality at that time had already far exceeded the limits of what I could do on my guitar. Up till then, classical music on rock guitar existed in my consciousness as an esoteric skill achieved only by the chosen few guitar gods that walked the Earth. Check out Jason Becker’s Caprice No. 5 on Youtube, and you’ll see what I mean.

A chance glimpse, however, of a trailer for a local charity program on TV brought to my attention a certain title I have not come across previously: Canon Rock. Up till then, I had absolutely no idea what a canon is. All I saw was close-ups on Singapore Idol no. 2 Sylvester Sim wanking on a Zakk Wylde Les Paul, intensely focused on churning out a melody the kind folks who produced the trailer muted in favor of a ranting voice-over promoting the show. A few days after the show, the denizens of a certain local music forum were found to be flaming him like he was a hapless burger patty on a BK grill. Most were in disgust that his not-so-good redition desecrated the original arrangement of the piece by a then not-so-well-known Taiwanese musician. Though I must say, all that are still secondary to the ire he incited among the more rational, non-nymphite multitude with his pouting on national television.

Back to the point.

All that got me curious about this Jerry C fella. So I keyed in the name on Youtube and took a look at his home-made video.

I was floored.

At last, here is one classical piece that can be played by a mortal below the echleon of Malmsteen and the likes. Incidentally, I found that it had a very pleasing melody. With a new breath of life, I picked up my guitar and looked at it with renewed vigor. I have found a new challenge that could help me take my playing to the next level. Though, up till now, I can only manage to play the first minute or so, it has become one of my essential practice pieces of '07. So what if I become one of the legion of Jerry C wannabes? At least I'd be a skilful wannabe. Watch for me on Youtube playing a cover of Canon Rock? Maybe not...

And so it is, if nothing else, year 2007 will be a year I shall conquer Canon Rock, and have them chicks gawking at me in awe without the need for a flashy ride and a Kenny G CD inside. And, without the pout. Wahahaha….


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