As we continue to discuss power, we are looking at the metaphor of guitar power chords for our lives and as a way to learn how to effectively use our power to our greatest (and simplest!) benefit.
It’s how I started all this- just one simple hand position got me playing guitar. And I still do it, regularly. Just yesterday, I went into my guitar lesson in a total post-SXSW funk. My teacher, who is a total badass, must’ve sensed that I needed something to reclaim my vibe and my power. He kept it simple and fun, and taught me Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight.” An excellent choice: it was fun to play even though it was super-ooper simple, with an easy solo.
We definitely can feel more powerful when things are kept tolerable, simple, and achievable. This song was a good example of that. I had new things within to to learn, but overall, I felt good about it. I could do it. Even when we have challenges, it’s crucial to have that sense of accomplishment as well.
Of course, one of the integral parts of playing a power chord (or any chord, for that matter) is the sound. And that includes silencing the sounds you don’t need. You have to set your fingers in the right spots to mute the strings and the notes that aren’t part of the desired sound. In the picture above, can you see Joan Jett’s index finger lightly touching that big string? She’s silencing it when she does that. (She’s playing a bar chord rather than a power chord in the photo, but you get the idea.)
What do we need to silence within ourselves so that we produce the right outcome? Do we have fears and doubts and insecurities making loud noises that create discord and inharmonious notes? I know I suffer terribly from this- just as I did yesterday, in that lesson. My own fears and issues can drown out the love and happiness and POWER that we strive for on a daily basis if we are not careful.
As you continue to practice your simple power chord repetitions, add this in: Every time a fear or doubt or negative thought pops up and threatens the simple harmony of your chord, replace it with the following:
I refuse to allow negative thoughts to destroy my harmony and power.
Just like Joan Jett in the photo above, it only takes a light touch to silence what could be detrimental to what you’re putting out into the world, to mute those wrong notes. And with practice, it’ll become second nature, every time you pick up your instrument- or live in it!