Last night I had my guitar lesson with Tony Guitar. My lessons have been particularly fun lately because he’s pushed me to start writing my own songs. Over the past few weeks, I wrote two songs – both jazzy in nature.

One of those two songs had a particularly colorful chord progression with the bass tumbling down beneath a thick B minor blues. When writing songs, it’s really easy to inadvertently steal sections of other songs and my B13, A13, G13, F#7#5, sequence sounded very Ray Charles to me. Specifically, it sounded like the turnaround in Charles’ cover of ‘Oh, what a beautiful morning.’ But this happens all the time, and while Tony Guitar is an excellent guitarist, I couldn’t imagine him noting the similarity in this particular chord pattern.

What I had forgotten, was that Tony Guitar toured with Ray Charles. Sure enough, as soon as I played him my tune he commented “this sounds a lot like the stuff I used to play with Ray Charles.”

But like the epic musician that he is, Tony Guitar didn’t frown upon this similarity; instead he started playing Ray Charles’s style licks over my chords and daaaaaaaang – it was remarkable.

I ache for the day when I can play with half as much skill as my guitar teacher.

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