Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A few thoughts about entering a guitar contest

OK, I did it. I recorded myself playing a guitar solo in order to enter a contest. It's David Wallimann's 60 Second Solo Contest on Youtube. David recorded and shared a backing track and everybody can show what (s)he came up with over this backing track. So why on earth would I do such a thing? OK, you can win some pedals or something, I don't even know exactly what it is. But winning a pedal, or even winning the contest, was not what motivated me to participate. I know that there are zillions of awfully good guitarists out there that have enough time to record some amazing guitar solos which will make mine look rather modest.

So what else could it be then? I'll tell you and I'd also advise you to at least think about it and consider entering this or any other guitar contest at some time. What makes it really worthwhile for me is the feedback you get on your output. You can be sure that most contestants will be eager to see and hear what the others did, so you will get quite some exposure to a critical and possibly competitive audience. This feedback will help you put yourself and your playing in a new perspective. Don't worry, most people won't put you down, but they might be critical, and if you're able to take it, it will help you to keep moving in the right direction. The other important motivation for me is the opportunity to take the time to sit down and get inspired by someone else's music (in this case David's backing track). It's a very smooth and peaceful track which (at least for my understanding) asks for some emotions in what you add to it. I tried to come up with melodies and phrases in my head, not on my guitar, because in the latter case you're tempted to do what your fingers do best and not what the music is actually asking for. Whatever other people will think about my entry, I know that I found and played what was inside of me, triggered by the music. This makes me happy and satisfied, regardless of who's gonna win the pedal, or whatever it is that can be won ... :)