September 5, 2010

Hands Like Dogs


I wrote a new song tonight. I'm not going to place any expectations on it, but I like it.

Songwriting has always been my default medium of personal expression. My songs may not always be literal interpretations of what's going on in my life, but the emotions that come out of the songs are genuine. They show what I was feeling at the time of writing, and what I am re-feeling by performing the piece. Does that make sense?

Anyway. I don't always realize what's going on inside my brain or my heart. I'm busy paying bills, working, doing laundry... But sometimes I write a song and it makes me stop, because I had no idea I was feeling something so strongly. This new song is like that.

In related news, I want to buy a new guitar. I've been using my trusty Cort since I was a teenager, and while I love it to pieces, it holds no more songs for me right now. My hands want something different to sink some chords into.

As Tom Waits once said, "Your hands are like dogs, going to the same places they've been. You have to be careful when playing is no longer in the mind but in the fingers, going to happy places. You have to break them of their habits or you don't explore; you only play what is confident and pleasing."

I'm going to try that. Besides, if my hands are anything like my dogs, my guitar must be completely covered in drool by now.


Amanda said...

yes, makes sense to me indeed. i've always found it frustrating as a writer when readers assume a 1:1 connection between my life and the text. it's not how it works.
very nice about the new guitar. looking forward to hearing about what you end up buying...

Nat said...

Three cheers for new music. I'm a writer, I find some thing feel better in one medium vs. another. i.e. the really creative stuff doesn't happen at this keyboard, it happens with a pen in my hand... Don't see why a different instrument wouldn't be the same.

jenny said...

i love that tom waits quote! damn!
i've been feeling trapped by those old habits your hands get into, so i've been writing WITHOUT an instrument lately. and i think the songs are better. some of the best i've written. and i can do it while walking to work, or riding my bike...