Creativity blossoms with collaboration.
My 14-year-old son, Sam, heard me playing a chord progression on the guitar and asked what I was playing so he could join in on piano. It was a song I had been writing.
During the pandemic, I’ve been playing the guitar a lot as a means of refocusing my brain. This mostly involves “noodling” and exploring the chord progressions that resonate with me. Sam has been playing a lot of piano, picking out songs from bands like Radiohead, Wilco, and the Beatles while also learning pieces like “The Entertainer” or “Moonlight Sonata.”
Normally, I think of the chords being played as the finger position on the guitar, even when using a capo. The song Sam asked about is played with a capo. Now I had to really think about the chords I was playing to translate them to Sam.
He picked it up quickly, riffing on the chord progression, adding flavor, color and depth to it.
“You make it sound good,” I said to him.
“It already sounded good,” he replied.
What my song had been missing was a collaborator, someone else to explore its possibility.