I’m not one for making new years resolutions but when you’ve already made your mind up to carry out a very difficult task and you’re like me it’s a done deal. It doesn’t happen that way often enough for this guy but when it does get the hell out-of-the-way. The time was the Holidays-ish last year so I did it, I made a resolution that was such a cliché it was almost sarcasm in its purest form. That in itself brought a little twisted humor and whimsy to the task creating some fun. The Deed: dropping some serious weight and completely change my lifestyle. No one want’s to do that and I can really sympathize with athletes a lot more in some ways now believe me. My diet, weight and lack of exercise was really effecting my performance as a musician and in the bedroom (I know TMI but I’m to old to GAC piss off).
I noticed it when I was doing a really demanding but brilliantly artistically fulfilling session that was to be 23 songs, that’s a long CD. I was doing it with someone over the internet which is always more demanding then having someone in the booth with you. During those sessions I had to play for almost 2 hours just to warm up. It doesn’t take that long to warm up and I’m one of those players who has to warm up for 25 minutes or I just don’t have it. The real downer was it also took those two hours off my finger tips as well. After about a good 5 to 6 hours of playing all the skin is gone off my fingers and I’ll blister. I have some rather ballzy calluses for a club schlepper too.
If you let them go that far that you blister you won’t be able to play the next day and that costs money usually. I was at a record high in weight and middle aged had crept through the back door, change was no longer a choice. I am gratefully here to report I’ve lost 14″ around my center and feel great but it’s a stupid, dope, whack, silly, crazy, funky, sick amount of Time I have to put in exercising daily. I’m still getting smaller in cloths size but gaining lbs which means I’m in muscle or so the pundits say. Hey, My doctor is all kinds of happy. You can’t buy that kind of chaos as a rebel believe me.
The best thing, musical musings are returning to the physical side of my back, shoulders, wrists, hands and fingers. Les Pauls weigh a lot at least mine weighs in 12 and a half lbs and my Epiphone Custom Les Paul (which is my next press because I love this guitar) weighs in 14 lbs.
The last few years that heavy guitar wore me out in a stamina performance based way after about 35 minutes. My Strat is heavy for a Strat (10 lbs) as well but my Telecaster is light, even those guitars where really bothering me. By the end of the night we could be Jamming Black Sabbath covers to blow off steam and I’d have a freaking Telecaster with the tone knob turned all the way down because my back and shoulders were on fire. I can remember at rehearsals sitting in between songs like BB King something you can’t do at the gig unless your BB King or Skunk Baxter.
Now I’m not having thoughts of “wow this guitar is really heavy” rather than “that chord substitutions is sweet!” That’s what my mind should be on unless I want to be worthy of fruit being tossed. The Audience is listening!
As usual in life it’s only yourself and your fear that keep you from what it is you’re really trying to accomplish. My fear comes in the form of this inner Moon Unit Zappa Valley girl voice inside my head that says “like are you really going to try and exercise all these hours a day for the rest of you life?” BAM! Vally girl self-doubt, the worst kind next to Vally girl guilt trips! Oh my whatever shall I do? I know not the future, at least not yet but I’m working on it :) I reckon it will go something like this: “Man Chris we’ve been eating Pizza and playing more video games in the last 2 weeks then we’ve been recording or jamming.” Then I’ll go to the gym for 3 months and eat properly until the next time I play video games and eat like crap playing music and cards with the homies for 2 weeks. It could happen :P
I have to give a Talk back to Nicole Rogers who’s article on Guitar and Health was the inspiration for this Press: http://classicalguitarnstuff.com/2012/08/29/keeping-fit-and-healthy-for-playing-guitar/