download (3)Like everyone else it seems, I’m a sucker for highly stylized pop with a nod towards the 80’s.  Tegan and Sara’s new single, Closer, definitely fits the bill, and it integrated seamlessly into a solo-guitar performance.

If you’re new to this blog, I have no scheme as to what songs I post.  It’s totally whimsical.  A few days ago I heard Closer while riding in my wife’s car, and thought, that’s it, that’s the next song I’m doing.

And then begins the war of art:  I hash out capo positions, different tunings, finger-picking patterns, and strumming.  I’ll spend a few hours on transcriptions that never see the light of day because the verse worked, and chorus did not.  All this while enduring a constant voice in my head telling me I’m a fraud.

So I’m here to say, it’s not just you.  Creativity, or in my case, creative duplication, is tough stuff.  It’s more often a battle with yourself, than with the actual project.

My advice for tentative, would be musicians, artists, designers, or creators of any kind is: put your stuff/yourself out there.  Don’t worry if its not perfect; let the chips fall where they may.  Whats the worst that could happen?

Yes, there is a small minority of individuals who will go out of their way to tell that you suck.  Oh, and god forbid you actually sell your work — then you’ll really upset them!

These aren’t the people who’s opinion you should fear, but rather, you should pity their “timid souls”.  Enter Theodore Roosevelt’s obligatory troll-crushing quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

Reading that never gets old.  The great majority of people will appreciate your work, and they’ll tell you too.  Those are the opinions that matter.


How to play Tegan And Sara’s Closer for classical guitar:

Closer is played in standard tuning, and entirely on the first three frets.  While its not for beginners, I hope you try it. I loved playing this!  The tab is available below:

Closer (Tab)


Written by:

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