“He’s not a shredder!”
“He doesn’t have to be! Everything he played fit the songs. Can you imagine any of their songs without his distinctive licks?”
I was enjoying a lively discussion with a fellow guitar player, much younger than me, debating the merits of Beatle George Harrison. So many of today’s younger guitar players are enamored by their guitar heroes who exhibit technical prowess, also known as shredding. There are many examples, changing with each generation. In the sixties, it was Jimi Hendrix. In the seventies, Eddie Van Halen set a new standard and inspired many of the current generation of shredders like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Yngwie Malmsteen. Even this short list will probably invite a lively discussion. Suffice to say, today’s music scene is a crowded stage of numerous giants of guitar technique. Frankly, I am duly impressed with their skills and could never even begin to emulate some of their famous licks. However, music is more than just technique.
I am of an older generation, growing up in the sixties and seventies. While I appreciate the contemporary shredders idolized by this current generation, my guitar heroes are those who created memorable melodic phrases and licks for their respective songs. George Harrison was an unparalleled master of creating these musical passages. Can anyone ever think of “Day Tripper” without humming the infectious guitar intro that is pervasive throughout the song? What about the jarring opening chord of “Hard Days Night”? And don’t get me started on the crazy descending chromatic run on the opening phrases of “Help!” None of these songs would be the same without the tasty, creative licks and melodic excursions George Harrison created. I appreciate the right musical phrase played at the right moment within each song. The phrases may not be the most technically demanding piece ever played on the guitar but it fits and completes the song.
A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples in silver settings.
Proverbs 25:11 (CSB)
My love for the right musical phrase presented at the right time carries over to my spiritual life as well. How many times have I found myself wandering in a spiritual wasteland only to have God speak to me with the perfect Bible verse? I don’t always need to hear a heavy, technical dissertation on theology. I need to hear the pure milk of God’s Word to penetrate my heart and heal my tortured soul. God’s Word is always the golden apple presented on a silver platter!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.