The facts of life, (how to unlearn)
Over this past weekend, I was in a situation where there were people both younger and older than me. Those older then me were probably by as much as 26 years, and those younger then me were as many as 26 years. A situation arose where a boy, who was born on May 30th, 1990 had a guitar and an amp on which I was asked to play. The boy just turning 14 was at the point of his conscious desire that he sought to play songs, and to listen to songs played on his guitar instrument. (Who doesn't remember this stage of development, where to do some 'thing,' that 'thing' could only be so as far as it modeled exactly that which you similarly desired.) Then when I cracked and popped the strings and found unisons to create eschewing warbles in air, the kid was was visibly edgy, rightly unimpressed, and I heard only "play a song" in reply. I told him to listen to everything he hears, and further to "check this out" this song is called you. Being a Grateful Dead fan, the boy could at least get into the fact that I was talking about improv-minded guitar playing and he even mocked me for it, godbless him. But luckily for me, born on May 29th 1978, the 14-year old boy left the room and along came a child of 14 months. The child couldn't speak a word but for a few, he clearly had an interest in the black guitar device in my hands and on my lap. He reached out for it and I held it closer to him. The child baby boy was only interested in the three knobs on the guitar and turned them back and forth in different ways, creating patterns he was both conscious and unconcious of. He prefered no sound from the amp, leaving my one note playing to vibrate acoustically, but when he moved the knobs to the position where the signal was loud enough to drive the amp the baby boy of 14 months would stop and clap, perhaps smile, always acknowledge what he had done and seek to repeat it some way.
What had happened in the 14 years of the 14 year old to make him listen only to his desire to find some form acknowledged and not what he was actually doing, while the baby was totally in tuned to what he was doing at all times and had no ability to express his desire for form other then in experience?
Obviously the right way is to be able to assimilate both styles of knowledge into one's guitar playing and be able to belt out Clapton licks as much as unlearned fiddling... It was a good time, enough of one to take out at least 40 minutes of my day that day.
Also odd was when an electric bass was plugged in the 14 year old replied that he did not know how to play it, but the 14 month old could rock the knobs like a seasoned pro!