Between lessons with my new teacher and a focus on improving my Godfrey and Guy guitar parts, I seem to be on a creative streak.
At last night's French Market gig with The Standard Quartet, the drummer commented that he was hearing new ideas in my improv solos. I felt especially good about my playing with the same group tonight. After just two lessons with my new teacher, I'm discovering fresh ways to approach improvisation. I still have a lifetime of challenges ahead of me, but if the past two gigs are any indication, I'm on a good path.
Normally I'm exhausted after a gig, but tonight I felt inspired – so much so that after returning from a 3.5 hour gig, I felt compelled to take the guitar out again and mess around with some Godfrey and Guy parts. I ended up with a pretty tasty solo part for Old Devil Moon, and the start of a good solo part for Summertime. The only reason I stopped was because I have to get up early tomorrow to lead my choir.
The last holiday season was great for gigs, but once it was over, I didn't have much motivation when I returned to my regular repertoire…like there was something else I should have been doing. I dutifully practiced my scales and made sure I was prepared for gigs last month, but I was only going through the motions. Now I have some forward momentum.
It's nice to feel inspired again!
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.