Cris Cohen: Actually, the last time we spoke you talked about how a lot of your instrumentals have lyrics that play in your mind as you're playing them. No one's ever heard them… no one ever will hear them… but you've got these lyrics going in your mind even as your performing.
Jake Shimabukuro: Yeah, it helps me to phrase the melody. That's why I love covering songs you know, that have lyrics because I'm singing the song in my head as I'm playing it. And that helps me to draw more emotion. It helps me to phrase the melody properly. And I never realized how much I rely on lyrics until I did a project in Japan maybe almost 20 years ago. I did this recording project where I covered 12 very popular Japanese songs. And I never struggled so much in my life. They were all vocal tunes, but because I don't speak Japanese, I couldn't sing along in my head as I played and it was the most bizarre feeling. So I would memorize a verse and a chorus, just phonetically. Even if I got it wrong, just to be able to say the syllables, like how many syllables there were, then I had something to play to.