Budding or experienced guitar players out there, or really musicians who play any instrument, who have always wanted to take private lessons with Phish’s Trey Anastasio now have access to the next best thing.
Anastasio now has posted two videos to his Instagram feed providing rudimentary music lessons, saying he wanted to pass on his knowledge because the music instruction videos and books he’s come across make learning the skill difficult.
He said he plans to post several videos in the weeks ahead.
“I was just sitting here playing my guitar like I do every morning … and suddenly I had this thought, how fun and easy music is, and how often music instruction books and videos and stuff … whenever I see them I think, ‘Oh my God, you’re making this so complicated, and it isn’t complicated.”
In the early-morning videos, Trey is sitting by a fire, guitar across his lap, speaking off the top of his head and from the heart, like some kind of dream scenario thought up by Phishheads come to life – you can almost picture Poster Nutbag the cat curled up at his feet out of view.
In the first video, Anastasio discusses dividing and playing rhythm – demonstrating on a pillow how to tap out quarter notes, eighth notes, and triplets – saying that anyone wanting to learn an instrument should begin with drums like he did growing up.
“Music is rhythm,” Anastasio said. “Throw your chord books in the garbage … you don’t need a Ph.D. in music to do this stuff. You just need a pillow and a couple of minutes.”
The second video begins with Trey apologizing for not responding to comments in his feed, saying he doesn’t reply directly to people.
“That’s only because I have this – maybe it’s irrational – but I have this weird fear that if I respond to some people and not other people it’s like exclusionary, or I’m leaving someone out,” he said.
The 57-year-old Anastasio said anyone watching, whether he or she is a musician or not, should give themselves the beautiful gift of learning one song. He then goes on to play and teach the chords to the Creedence Clearwater Revival tune “As Long As I Can See the Light.”
Trey then changes from an acoustic guitar to his trusty hollow-body Languedoc and runs through the basics of chord shapes, touching on a bit of beginner’s music theory, and how the guitar differs from every other instrument, notably because of that pesky B string.
“From C to shining C, familiarize yourself with your instrument, and the major scale, so you’re getting warm and friendly with your instrument … and learn one song,” he said.
Teach us more, Trey! Like how to break out of thinking inside those pentatonic boxes.