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Power of Soul
May 17, 2005 Lessons

Mikhal Caldwell3rd Installment!

This Installment: “Power of Soul”

Here’s #3 This is a special Lesson title “Power of Soul!” Hey I know that we’re moving along in the cool side of Tonal Conditions and that’s not going to be forgotten, but I gotta share something that was brought to the front of my mind by the great Frank Marino. One night I was talking on the phone to Frank, and we were speaking about improvising, (not unlike many other times) and anybody with ears knows that Frank can rip with ANYONE, so I value any thing that he enlightens me with. Frank who can play anything that he wants, reminded me of how we could feel each others heartfelt thoughts with only minimum words used to express our intents. He also brought to my attention that as close friends we never make fraud attempts at trying to talk above each others (not that I could anyway) heads in regards to any topic, music, relationships, parenting, GOD, life, and etc. What I’m saying is that we “keep it real between us, and at has allowed me the blessing of becoming good friends with one of my MAJOR influences, and one of the coolest people on the planet.

Now what Frank said, I watched him do every time that I’ve ever seen or heard him play, he made me feel as though I could trust his playing because he “KEPT IT REAL.” Frank can peel the paint off the walls with chops, but he NEVER just rips because he can (and he can believe me) and he’s a very soft spoken, and a very funny guy. That comes through in his playing. I asked him about his phrasing and his answer was TOO simple: “I just play like I talk, or sometimes like I sing”. After about 15 minutes more on the phone I really noticed, WOW, He does sound an awful lot like his phrasing the space for breathing, thought without thinking stuff happening. This really made me check into this even deeper and with some research I’ve come to be believe again that we share a very close connection to the sax and even vocalist because of the ability to add vibrato, slurs and bends which gives guitarists a unique perspective because we also have a full harmonic range (chords, tri-tones, semi-tonal playing and bending), but even more than that ,we have sometimes become so involved in the pursuit of “ultimate technique” that we sometimes forget (or in worse case even lose) the ability to “keep it real”.

In all my Fretboard Frolics columns please remember that no matter how technical my articles may be, that they’re sole purpose is to provide you with mental and physical stimulation and serve only as a guideline on one of many millions of ways gain a firm understanding of the tools of music and how they apply to us as musicians first, than as guitarist to use in the most creative way possible for each individual. Also, I realized that Frank Marino was one of the first fusion players, when you think back to how brilliantly he brought together blues, hard rock, jazz, funk, middle eastern, and even some pop elements. What I’m saying is that this guy has always kept it real and his music was never limited, because like in a conversation he merely said what he was thinking within a given topic of discussion, which meant that he was never a victim of styles because he rose above all that by doing what he taught me since I was 14 years old “KEEP IT REAL!!!!!!” and play the music in your soul!!!!!

Next: TONAL CONDITIONS continued……..

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