It recently dawned upon me that something I thought was normal all my life is not. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had music playing in my head – during literally every waking moment and frequently in dreams too. I’m not talking about ear worms (when one gets a song stuck in their head, although I get that too). I mean like a constant soundtrack that only you can hear.
In my case it’s often about three quarters of a bar looping over and over, changing gradually. Often it will start as a longer phrase but will progressively narrow into just a handful of notes, often looping around at an odd point. Or the next bar will fade in over the top of the previous one while it’s still playing.
I’m aware that it’s in my head rather than a real sound occurring in the room. The timbre is usually somewhere between humming and breathing mixed with an orchestra. It gets extremely vivid when I’m tired or stressed, to the point where it can keep me awake. Sometimes at moments of extreme emotions (positive or negative ones) I start to perceive colours too, in the same way that anyone can see anything in their mind, but it’s always the same colour (a neon green on a background of very pure white and black).
I also have synesthesia – the sensation of perceiving colours and textures in relation to music. I wrote about it for Guitar World here.
I know I’m not alone with this stuff, but I know that not everybody has it either. There’s a book called Musicophilia: Tales Of Music And The Brain by Oliver Sacks which talks about a lot of these topics. You can order it here. It includes a lot of case studies of people with various music-related problems, quirks or sensations.
I don’t really consider this stuff to be a problem, although it can be kind of annoying when I’m stressed out and need to focus my mind but instead there’s this constant and ever-strengthening stream of sound happening in my head. But for the most part it’s just a welcome little companion. It’s kind of nice to have your own internal soundtrack.
Users can now also purchase Lick Singles from the app’s extensive library of amazing licks for learning guitar.
New York, NY, February 28, 2012 – Guitar World and Agile Partners today announced a new release of Guitar World Lick of the Day that introduces The Beatles Lick Packs to the popular app for learning guitar on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Arriving just in time to celebrate over one million downloads of Lick of the Day, the new version also introduces Lick Singles so users can select individual licks from the app’s extensive catalog of licks. All licks in Guitar World Lick of the Day include high quality videos of guitar instructors or celebrities demonstrating the lick, scrolling tab and standard music notation, and more. The app is powered by TabToolkit, an Apple Design Award winner developed by Agile Partners.
Check out my latest for Guitar World, about the glory of 7-string guitar. This is my personal list of favourites – what are yours? Comments below or on the Guitar World post!
By the way, that pic is my newest 7-string, a killer Buddy Blaze prototype with DiMarzio Crunch Lab and LiquiFire pickups and a Floyd Rose bridge. You may have noticed me drooling over it at NAMM. Well it’s all mine and it’s incredible! Review coming soon, along with plenty of video. I’ve already written a buttload of songs with this guitar!
The Gibson M-III is one of my favourite discontinued guitar designs, and if ever there was a guitar that was screaming to be made into a 7-string version, it’d be this. I wrote an article for Gibson.com about it a while back (which you can read here) but I thought you might like to see these old 1991 ads from Guitar World, which I recently unearthed at the same time that I found those cool old Yamaha ads. Enjoy!
I don’t know who wrote the copy for these Yamaha ads from 1992-93 (which I recently tracked down in some old guitar magazine issues) but they were a marketing genius. These ads are informative and fun, and they lodged themselves in my brain immediately when I saw them as a kid, staying there for the almost 20 years since then.
Observe this brilliant piece for the RGZ (Guitar School, September 1992)
Y’know who’s awesome? Bay Area thrash pioneers Forbidden. I recently had a chat with guitarist Craig Locicero (on my birthday actually, thus making it the most thrashtastic birthday ever) and you can check it out over at Guitar World.
The band is working on an official video that will be out very soon, but in the meantime, here’s “Omega Wave,” the title track from their latest album.