Echo Chambers

As a guitarist and a young dude learning to move from r&b, soul and blues to rock licks, of course Jimi Hendrix became a massive influence.

So at one point I discovered one of THESE amazing little babies! Well, not this exact make or model, but very simple electronic box with about 4 switches that mostly/sorta made one sound like Jimi when plugging an electric guitar in to!

Wish I had one today just for nostalgic reasons… well o.k., might even employ it live in a moment of crazed pleasure…

I guess most electric guitar players or wannabees are taken down the street for this or that guitar, amp or effects pedal that seems to instantly transform them into whomever their chosen guitar hero is. Well at least there’s that inspirational buzz that moves in one’s brain… “Man, I at least kinda sorta SOUND like…” whomever it is you wish to emulate.

Alas, it’s all part of the fun (and commerce $$$) of musicianship to check out the latest gadget.

But let’s go deeper. It’s about your own heart, ears, core aptitude, attitude, willingness to practice-practice-practice.

Sure the gear -and I mean EVERY PART of the gear- is certainly important to the process of learning. But if one only focuses on one’s self, does not really learn to LISTEN, to pay attention to other guitarists, is not humble and willing to accept the pain of making mistakes, trail-and-error, and LEARNING from others who may or may not even be exactly the one’s you want to sound like later… well living in a vacuum doesn’t help any of us grow.

The modern slang term “echo chamber” of course refers to simply thinking inside of one’s own head and experience. It’s a phrase used to discuss talking without listening, focusing so much on one’s own hard-wired current perceptions that giving any credibility to the knowledge, experience, possible wisdom and even solid truthful experience of others is just shut out on our part. “I know what I know and everyone who does not immediately agree with me is an idiot, end of story” sort of thing.

Do this in any area of life (music being but one of them) and you are now a brick. You’re a wall. You yourself cannot be a bridge because you’ve chosen to live inside your own echo chamber.

Funny how it only took about 3 rehearsals where that cool echo unit one of my bandmates had loaned to me became more a burden than a gift. I dug it so much I wanted to play through it on one of the three basic settings on EVERY SONG. In other words, I was so “transformed” by this space echo sound that immediately put me in a sort of Hendrix-land that I just never wanted to turn it off.

Even I realized as good as it may have sounded (who knows… I had not yet gotten into drugs but one can convince oneself of nearly anything if so inclined!) it was just overkill, just TOO much to have the thing full-on on every single song of our set!

So there is my analogy for today’s blog. No matter how cool, even Truthful and Correct… folks aren’t always going to agree with you nor should they. You ain’t God any more than I am -nor are they. But we can all learn IF IF IF we get beyond the old “I already KNOW IT ALL DUDE” attitude and mentality and actually pay attention, listen, at least try to give “the other” person/s a chance.

Listening to all voices does not mean buying what they believe or sell or live out. Yet there is a measure of depth and wisdom, even growing in the fruit of patience, learning to love people you may fully disagree with and even coming in time to realize not everybody but you are “dolts” who have zero to offer you.

Then again, you could just keep living inside that echo chamber until the thing shuts down from corrosion.

Sad, but plenty people choose that sort of path.

As for me? Jesus indeed said He Himself is “The Way, the Truth and the Life”. What He did not command me to do is completely wall myself off from all others who think otherwise.

Seems to me there was a foot switch on the old sixties echo unit I used back then. Good thing… it was just too tempting to never shut the thing off. Obnoxious, even dumb to not make use of it.

Things to consider perhaps 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


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