I’ve woken up to the news that one of my all-time heroes passed away. I’m terribly saddened. BB King was one of the most amazing musicians that ever lived. I was very forunate to have watched one of his concerts a few years ago – he even gave me a guitar pick in the middle of his set!!
The world will miss you, BB, but your music lives on! Say hello to Jimi and Stevie Ray for us!
The Beatles’ songs should be left untouched and unchanged. I don’t want any of them remastered because nobody can make any of their songs better. To me, their that good. their music was ahead of their time in a way that only few can emulate. In the words of the Beatles themselves, LET IT BE!!
Pictured above is my very own Ibanez JEM 777dy, which is 25 years old. It has been said that the great Steve VAi used to own (or still owns) a few of these guitars, and this (and other JEMs) have been the model from which he modelled his own line of signature guitars (I could be wrong, of course). Nevertheless, it is a fantastic guitar which I plan to keep forever.
Even though I have only had it for five years, I can tell you that it has stood the test of time. All of the hardwares, wires, pick-ups and paint are all original. I have gigged it many, many times in bars and outdoors, and it still sounds amazing. It stays in tune better than most of my guitars.
Today’s Daily Prompt: Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.
Aside from my family, friends and students, the only things that I love in this world are my guitars. I love the way each of them sounds and the way I respond to their own distinct qualities. When I plug one in and hit my first note or chord I could transport to any place in the world. They could also change or match my mood. I play my Telecaster when I’m excited or giddy. I play my Stratocaster or my Les Paul when I feel aggresive, angry or anxious. My AS75 (not on the picture) is for days when I’m sad or want to calm down. My RG and JS (again not on the picture) are for when I want to be transported into space. Time flies when I play my guitars.
Today’s Daily Prompt asked:You can choose any person from history to teach you any topic you want. Who’s your teacher and what do they teach you?
Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Alain de Botton, Michel Foucault and Urie Bronfenbrenner taught me how to think
Adolf Hitler taught me what NOT to do
My family taught me how to survive and how to function in society
My beloved other-half taught me how to love…
But I really wish Jimi Hendrix could teach me how to play the guitar. I have been playing guitar for over a decade now and I have been influenced by guitarists who were influenced by Hendrix (who isn’t, right?). I would really love to pick his brains on how he managed to come up with timeless classics such as Little Wing:
Is there anyone who ever remembers Changing their mind From the paint on a sign? Is there anyone who really recalls Ever breaking rank at all For something someone yelled real loud One time
Oh, everyone believes In how they think it ought to be Oh, everyone believes And they’re not going easily
Belief is a beautiful armor But makes for the heaviest sword Like punching under water You never can hit who you’re trying for
Some need the exhibition And some have to know they tried It’s the chemical weapon For the war that’s raging on inside
Oh, everyone believes From emptiness to everything Oh, everyone believes And no one’s going quietly We’re never gonna win the world We’re never gonna stop the war We’re never gonna beat this if belief is what we’re fighting for
(Is there anyone who you can remember Who ever surrendered With their life on the line?)
We’re never gonna win the world We’re never gonna stop the war We’re never gonna beat this if belief is what we’re fighting for
What puts a hundred thousand children in the sand? Belief can Belief can What puts the folded flag inside his mother’s hand? Belief can Belief can
Whether it’s Carly Rae Jespen’s Call Me Maybe, Nickelback’s How You Remind Me, or Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger, we all had a song or two that has been stuck in our heads for a while and we don’t quite know why. Such an experience is called ‘Earworm’, a term which is a direct translation of the German word ‘Ohrwurm’.It has been found that around 90% of the population have had such an experience at least once a week. Earworms have been found to last between a few minutes to a couple of hours (Beaman & Williams, 2010). Although it is a common experience, around 15% of people claimed that Earworms are ‘disturbing’ and ‘unpleasant’ (Liikkanen, 2008).
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
Although there isn’t a definitive theory which can explain why how songs get stuck in our heads, there have been a few suggestions:
Exposure: Some have proposed that songs/tunes are more memorable than others because we’ve listened to them a lot of times. However, a research by Victoria Williamson and her colleagues (Williamson et al., 2011) found that listening to a song is not a necessary pre-requisite for a song ‘worm-into’ our brains. Their findings suggest that being exposed to a stimuli which are (sometimes vaguely) related to a song can induce an Earworm. For instance, reading a number plate with the letters CMM can lead to remembering Call Me Maybe.
Memories: Being in the same place where you’ve heard a song can be enough to trigger an experience.
Mood: Williamson et al.’s findings also suggest that being in the same mood as you were when you first heard a song can also trigger Earworms.
Boredom: The same study have also found that in some cases, Earworms begun when people were bored or in a ‘low-attention state’.
HOW CAN I STOP IT?
Now that we know the possible reasons why an Earworm manifests, we must know of any strategies of stopping it. In a research conducted by Hyman et al. (2012), participants were asked to listen to a variety of songs, from those of the Beatles to current ones like Lady Gaga’s. They then completed a number of different puzzles, with varying difficulties. After these, they were asked to report whether there are any songs that are playing on their heads (and did so again after 24 hours). They found that puzzles which are too easy and too difficult induced the most number of Earworms. The researchers suggested that:
Earworms are manifestations of Zeigarnik Effect, i.e. we only cease to remember things/tasks when they are completed. In other words, a tune lingers in our heads because only a certain part (and not the whole of it) plays in our head. Hence, if we want it to stop, we need to consciously ‘play’ the whole of it.
Also, after we’ve listened to a piece of music, we need to perform an activity that will keep our minds and/or bodies occupied. However, we need to consciously avoid tasks that are too easy or too difficult for us.
HERE ARE SOME EARWORM-INDUCING SONGS FOR YOU:
Beaman CP, & Williams TI (2010). Earworms (‘stuck song syndrome’): Towards a natural history of intrusive thoughts.British Journal of Psychology, 101(4), 637-653.
Hyman, I., Burland, N., Duskin, H., Cook, M., Roy, C., McGrath, J., and Roundhill, R. (2012). Going Gaga: Investigating, Creating, and Manipulating the Song Stuck in My Head. Applied Cognitive Psychology DOI:10.1002/acp.2897
Liikkanen L.A. (2008) Music in everymind: Commonality of involuntary musical imagery. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition. Sapporo, Japan.
Williamson, V., Jilka, S., Fry, J., Finkel, S., Mullensiefen, D., and Stewart, L. (2011). How do “earworms” start? Classifying the everyday circumstances of Involuntary Musical ImageryPsychology of Music DOI: 10.1177/0305735611418553