I got this day off to a slightly different start. I came across a blog post that reminded me of some things that I learned in school that I felt should be passed along here on Single of the Day. My original intent with Single of the Day was to share music I’ve heard by others that need an additional voice to be heard. It also morphed into a bit of my journey and the musical soundtrack that has been happening with it.
Along with that read, I started a new workout regimen. I’m going to work on tracking my progress with it since I’ve seen it work for some other friends of mine. No I’m not going for muscle. I’m going for strength and tone or definition. I’m not concerned about gaining size. In my quest I’m going to try my hand at creating a spreadsheet in Numbers to help with collating the data (if you’re a Numbers wiz, I could use some tutorial help).
Ok, so getting to the idea at hand today. I was in a class at music school where one day a teacher said:
“All artists steal.”
Then he went on to clarify it by saying:
“Mediocre artists steal from one source. Great artists steal from many sources.”
The post that I referred to earlier said the same thing. I’ll take it step further and say that in addition to stealing, a great artist will add their own spin on what they steal. Also, great artists will learn from those they think are great – read about their sources and explore those sources.
Lets take a case example. One band that I really admire is Rush. I’m not alone with that when it comes to great musicianship and great players. Many people who play instruments love Rush. Many music consumers love Rush too. They have a huge catalogue to explore as well. But if you dig far enough back into their early material you’ll hear direct influences that they had and who they copied. One such band – also hugely popular – is Led Zeppelin.
Today you’re hearing Working Man by Rush. As you can hear, it’s heavily driven by the guitar. A thick sounding beast of a riff opens the song with a very pentatonic style that mimics Jimmy Page. Hell, I think Alex Lifeson actually used a Gibson and a Marshall on this song as well. Then mix in some powerhouse drumming by Neil Peart that is reminiscent of John Bonham. The bass is much like how John Paul Jones would have approached it and add Geddy’s high vocals over the top of it that are harkening to that of Robert Plant. How much closer can you get? In the immortal words of Nigel… None more closer.
It very much sounds like something that Zeppelin would have written, but it’s got a very slight twist that makes it Rush. A Rush that is truly wearing their influence on their sleeve. As you move forward through the years of their career you find they break away from their Zeppelin influenced roots to find their own voice and take a serious command of that voice.
That is lesson one in Stealing.
More lessons will be coming. I’ll show where I have stolen things from others. Think of it as my desire to show insight into my secrets and giving back…
Have a great day!