Lana Del Rey

Some good advice from Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins’ Letter to a Young American is making it’s way through the internet. Unfortunately, there’s many edited down versions. I recommend the full version here.

Personally, I would have skipped the references to politicians, but the central focus of his message is conveyed in a manner that only a word-smith like Henry Rollins can articulate. Here’s the message in a nutshell:

[There are people who have it way easier than you. Their path in life had been tended with the care of bonsai tree. To be successful, you must forget about them and pursue your desires (as Rollins puts it) with monastic obsession.]

Additionally, I would say that we all have insecurities — and it’s very easy to project those insecurities onto those whom we perceive as having advantages over us.

For instance — someone could look upon my lifestyle (which I’m forging with monastic obsession) and come to the quick conclusion that I’ve had every advantage in life.

However, my path has had a crazy amount of obstacles. Some of which — like an often debilitating, King’s Speech level, stammer — exist to this day.

Although I’m able to control my stammer, I still have bad days. The worst thing about a speech impediment, is it puts the person (with whom your trying to communicate) into a visibly awkward position. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody, and it’s not even my biggest obstacle.

I didn’t tell you that for sympathy, but rather, to bare the truth for you. As it turns out, you really can’t judge a book by the cover. So Rollins has good advice. Forget about the other guy and focus on your own goals. Life is way too short.

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(Note: West Coast is my premium material. Please comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions. Your email will not be used or published.)

How to play Lana Del Rey’s West Coast for classical guitar

As a musician, I am continually stunned by Lana Del Rey. Her sound is unmistakable. With her lazy croon and spring-reverb guitars, Lana Del Rey is a true American original.

There are very few things in life, especially in music, that are totally authentic. The mark of great musician is being able to bring their thing live. Lana Del Rey can even make a crappy cell phone video compelling with her new single, West Coast.

I stumbled upon Lana Del Rey’s music with my version of Lucky Ones in November of 2012. Since then, I’ve arranged Young & Beautiful, and Summertime Sadness — both were fairly popular on Intellimusica. I’ve done enough of her material now, that I even made a Lana Del Rey category to make those posts easier to access.

One post that wasn’t very popular was Body Electric. I love that song, but it wasn’t one of her most popular tunes, so (of course) a classical guitar arrangement of Body Electric wasn’t going to blow any doors off. 

West Coast is an involved guitar piece, but relatively easy to play. The tab is laid out very clearly across 3 sheets. I did my best to keep the chord positions as simple as possible. Please check out my free material to get an idea of what my tab style looks like.

Enjoy, the tab is available below:

West Coast is played in standard tuning with a capo on the 2nd fret.

West Coast by Lana Del Rey

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Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, film composer - Broken Noons, creator of modern content for guitar.