Screen on my phone illuminated. Incoming call: Bob Bakert. Bob is editor of Jazz Guitar Today, based in Atlanta, GA. The magazine features jazz scene and instruments more traditional than avant-garde, so it was a pleasant surprise when they decided to do a feature on Goshawk™ 6-string guitar. Ede Wright and Bob Bakert had connected locally, and Bob fell in love with Goshawk’s design.
Bob was calling to tell me the article had just been published.
He’s an interesting person, athletic, fit, intelligent, actively playing (and pursuing) all things guitar since the late 1960’s. Our conversation drifted — as it quickly does — into music tangents. He was still aglow from a recent compliment where a well-respected industry insider told Bob he is an excellent musician. What was especially interesting was the follow-up comment: “Musician, not guitar player. Those are two different things.”
Many of us who play tend to bring a set of patterns (musical or thought) to the guitar, then attempt to fit those into the current context, possibly contextually appropriate. Approaching guitar as a musician, instead of as a player, happens when we lead with our ear instead of our skill set.
This is something I have noticed as well, and mentioned recently in the video interview with Mike Dawes. The difference seems based on the ability to listen. Really listen.
Mind still, and present in the moment, as Buddha would say.