We should learn to play naked!!

Alright alright….I know what you’re thinking….playing while nude. NO…..that’s not what I mean.

Look, I just clicked a Youtube video where someone was playing drums to Subdivisions from Rush. It has 144,000 views. Before watching the vid, I asked myself whether this person was going to play drums without the original track….in other words naked…..or were they going to play it with the original track.

Fine…I’ll bite, and I clicked on through. Yes the drummer played along to the original track. In other words the drum sound you hear is a mixture of hers and Neil Peart’s nicely sculpted tone. After about 5 seconds I turned it off because although I see her hands and feet moving and seemingly playing along perfectly with the song, I can’t tell what I’m hearing. And after all, isn’t the sound the most important?

Well what about us guitar players? This happens all of the time where an amateur player seems to suddenly bust out a John Petrucci or Eddie Van Halen solo. And their fingers are flying and seem to play perfectly with the original tracks. As in you can barely distinguish between them & EVH.

That’s just it, I don’t actually know what the player sounds like. I hear a mixture of the originally recorded guitar solo and what they are playing. It doesn’t matter to me that the fingers are flying, how do they sound? You and I will never know….and you know why?

Because people won’t play naked!

They won’t have a vid which ONLY has their playing. Or at the very least, find a backing track without the original part and let’s hear your playing for real.

Oh yes I remember way back in the day playing along to my favorite songs. I played along to Enter Sandman from Metallica. Oh man, I thought I had it nailed. I sounded huge! I loved showing it off to whomever would listen.

I was so confident, I got together with a good drummer and a bass player. We tried playing that song and I realized something within seconds. I SUCKED! I had pathetic timing, my tone was probably horrific, but most importantly I just couldn’t actually play the song. It was the real me in the moment.

I didn’t have a nice recording to hide behind and lead me along the way. I had to…GULP…..learn how to play it with others. Learn how to play it with a drummer who actually knew how to play. Yeah…….he wasn’t interested in playing with me after that.

Yes its rough, its embarassing, and hard as hell as first…..but I’d love more musicians to play naked.

And if you are not a musician and just love good music, please support the players who actually play naked.