Canadian Musician - March / April 2018 - Page 25

GUITAR Sophia Radisch is an award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, and actor from Ottawa. At just 19 years of age, she is a Gibson Artist and tours internationally. Sophia is in the studio with the epic and legendary Grammy Award-winning producer Rob Fraboni (The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton). She loves her top hats! For more, visit, Sophia.radisch, and By Sophia Radisch Finding Your Passion M I remember the impact it had on me. I remember how the guitar strings felt on my fingers, and how it kind of hurt. I remember the rush I got from playing the only two chords I knew. Finding Your Instrument I started watching videos and learning chord progressions to songs that moti- vated me to play, which then inspired me to write my own melodies and put words on paper. It’s important to be continuously inspired by others, and to have musical heroes. You can then adopt and adapt new techniques and make them unique to you. Apply what you learn and create your own piece of music. In this way, you will find your musical identity. I listen to and am influenced by music of all genres and styles. I find musical elements that I like in all of them, and even find that I learn as much from music I don’t like as I do from music I love! Everything I hear has influenced me in some way, shape, or form. usic, or more specifical- ly, my guitar, is 100 per cent responsible for all that I am, and the artist I aspire to become. The guitar influences the way I sing and affects the way I feel. It creates beau- tiful subtleties in acoustic performance and dramatic rock ‘n’ roll floor drops in my most energetic band experiences. It shapes my biomolecular structure. Most importantly, though, the guitar is the gateway to my songwriting, the heart of my everything, and I want to share some insight with you. Quality over quantity – a crucial factor in be- ing a musician. Does the guitar feel good? Does it sound good? Does it look good? Do you dig it? Does it speak to your soul? If you answer a resounding “yes,” then that instrument may be the one that inspires you and motivates you to keep learning and ex- panding what you know. This is the gift of the right guitar! When I find myself in any music store, I feel a gravitational pull toward the wall of guitars. As a preteen, my passion for songwriting became more and more ap- parent. I needed something to kick-start my muse, and something told me to do it fast. I had someone who inspired me musically, and had done so for all of my life. My dad taught me some chords, and from that point on, words started flowing like a tropical waterfall. W W W. C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N . CO M Finding Your Style Finding Your Songs Building a song from nothing to some- thing can happen in many ways. Some- times, it is a fleeting thought or feeling that acts as a seed for the growth of a story. Others, it is a personal experience. A lot of the time, it is a product of my imagination. Playing guitar and writing songs, for me, is like breathing. It is something that I must do. It completes me. I feel that I was born to do this. Like any artist, it is not easily definable. I believe each one of us is born with a gift, and when you follow your heart and intuition, your gift works in you and speaks to you, and then you can share it. There’s no such thing as “too many guitar- ists” or “too many musicians.” This industry will never be overcrowded in the sense that music is the universal language. It’s meant for anybody and everybody that has the desire to play. If you’re a music lover, you already have a musician’s soul, so, pick up a guitar and wail, (wo)man! Learn how! This is how your musical energy translates into spiritual energy, and that’s meant to be shared. Let it free you; let it heal you! In order to play with vulnerability, you have to be present in the moment. In or- der to play with precision, you have to be thoughtful. In order to perform with pas- sion, you have to be open and true to the music. Honour the song. It’s something that comes from inside you. The poetry moves the magic of the instrument. I am always learning new ways to write, use my voice, and play guitar. I don’t think anyone can ever really perfect an instrument. The main thing is to continue to work on improving your skills and learning new techniques. The guitar is like any other instrument. It takes time, patience, desire, and passion. As I’ve been known to say, “Play it like it’s golden; play it like it’s stolen!” C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N • 25 Ou