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Dave Grohl records 23 minute track to promote music education

By | Published on Thursday 2 August 2018

Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl has reminded himself what it’s like to be a child learning an instrument by recording a 23 minute song in an expensive recording studio, using expensive instruments, to be released on expensive vinyl. You know, like all the young people do. The process of all this has been captured in a new mini-documentary, which, like the song itself, is called ‘Play’.

“Watching my kids start to play music and learn to sing or play drums, it brings me back to the time when I was their age listening to albums, learning from listening”, says Grohl of what inspired the ‘Play’ project.

“When I take my kids to the place where they take their lessons, I see these rooms full of children that are really pushing themselves to figure this out”, he goes on. “And even now, as a 49 year old man, I’m still trying to figure it out – it’s not something that you ever truly master. You’re always chasing the next challenge, and you’re always trying to find a way to improve on what you’ve learned”.

To be fair – and despite my customary cynical first paragraph – I suppose what Grohl means is that watching his kids learn to play an instrument made him want to challenge himself anew. Even if that took the form of an old fashioned recording session somewhat unlike what the kids would be doing themselves.

And we ought to note that for the 23 minute track, Grohl eschewed the shortcuts of modern recording, playing each part of the song live from beginning to end from memory. If he made a mistake, he just started again.

The two-part documentary will feature an interview with Grohl, plus behind the scenes footage, intercut with students from the Join The Band music school in the San Fernando Valley practicing their own instruments. The second part of the film will see all seven of Grohl’s individual parts of the instrumental piece cut together so it looks like there’s a room full of Grohls playing it.

As well as the straight film, there will be an online interactive version, allowing you to focus in on one specific instrument and download the sheet music for it. It’ll also provide information on where young people can start learning to play, and run a series of auctions to raise money for music education charities.

Here’s a trailer: