While I’m hardly good enough to be professional, I guess I am permanently hooked! Wherever I am, I usually try and keep one in the corner, handy. There’s hardly a day goes by when I don’t pick it up and have a wee strum.
A lot of it is the same old stuff I’ve played for ages, but quite often I manage to figure out something new and get pretty excited, playing it over and over ad nauseum, driving everyone else in the house crazy. The really good times are when a few family or friends join in with a variety of instruments for a bit of a jam session – raucous to say the least!
As years have gone by I’ve probably mellowed. These days I seem to play less of the heavy rock and much more gentle, melodic stuff. I hardly ever use a plectrum now but prefer a natural finger plucking style. It’s amazing how you can manage to squeeze out a recognisable tune just bluffing your way around the chords of C,F,G and maybe the occasional A minor!
Recently I’ve been experimenting with some alternative chord shapes and progressions, trying for a more jazz feel. I don’t know all the technics or musical theory, or even the names of chords I’m playing at times but my own little theory is this:
It seems a ‘jazz’ chord is just a variation of an ordinary one. Most of the same bits are there, but maybe just one note is different, giving the whole thing a softer sound. It sounds unfinished, like there might be the possibility of more.
I like that.
And I’m wondering could I apply my little theory to my whole day today, and, if it works, maybe tomorrow too.
A lot of the things in life are like fixed notes. They are essential and really can’t and mustn’t be changed. But here and there we’ll find the opportunity for a ‘jazz note’, a particular choice, word or action, a simple kindness perhaps, that will bring a little softness and gentleness into the equation, and open a door to new possibilities. It won’t solve all the issues and heartaches, but it will prolong the melody, and might just keep us humming a while longer.
Writing to a young Christian community in 1st century Ephesus, the Apostle Paul urged that, in view of the often harsh, discordant world around us, people should try and ‘be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.’ (Letter to the Ephesians 4 v 2)
Nice sentiments, but sometimes easier said than done! Does he know some of the people we live or work with?
To do this any way well we need something of the spirit of Christ Himself! Like Him, the ‘fixed points’ of truth and integrity, but also the ‘soft notes’ of gentleness, patience and forgiving love. It might be good to ask Him for some help!
Paul wouldn’t have known jazz music in his day, but I think he may have liked it.
Look out for the opportunity of some ‘jazz notes’ in your life today.
They’re worth finding.