I’m diligently working on my novel and I decide to watch a documentary that I think will help me capture the little things that I need to write about. I’m writing about a musician and I happen to really enjoy the documentary, It Might Get Loud. I thought these two would compliment each other.
I have very specific ideas and feels for my musician character. When I watched the documentary I felt the light of the character start to dim. Instead of panicking, I stopped watching the documentary (I’m learning).
The documentary helps with a couple of things. It shows how three contemporary guitarists talk about what guitar means to them, how they learned, and how they approach music and their careers. Like everyone, musicians have certain mannerisms especially when they’re with other musicians. This is one of the things I wanted to describe. When Jack White watches Jimmy Page play Kashmir, you can see the wheels turning, you can see osmosis in process. B.A. Jack White kind of quiets. It’s also fun to hear Jack White play Kashmir and hear Jimmy Page play Seven Nation Army and hear Jimmy Page ask Jack White, “Was that right?”
Musicians walk a certain way. I don’t want to generalize or group everyone together but when you see someone walk you can kind of tell what they do on their free time. When my brother and his friends walk you can tell they’ve been on ice skates since they were 3. When drummers walk they’re always tapping something. Jimmy Page floats. He’s tall (or looks it) so he has that longer stride but it’s graceful. I think it’s because he knows he’s Jimmy Page. He looks like he could be someone’s grandfather, all sweet and polite, but he knows. He knows one of the first songs you wanted to learn on guitar was one of his. The Edge even told him.
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re listening to talented and passionate people talk about their craft. Even more distracting when they play off each other. But I remember my little character and ask, “How would he be if he was asked to join this conversation?” He’s the best in his world, what would happen if he learned there are 3 others as good if not better?