Ask yourself what does music mean to you?
To me it means an escape and much more. I can move to many different places depending on the song. I can move to my happy place where the sun shines on all of us, I can go to a place to pump me up for a run, and I can swing into a groove that all of the people in my circle can jam to.
Keep thinking about what music means to you.
Music is something that binds us all together. Even if some of us don’t like a certain genre, there is always something to take away from every song that can leave an impression on us.
The lyrical talent and phrasing in rap can be very powerful.
The feeling and mood of a country song can take us to an old memory.
The rhythm and punch of a good breakdown can cause heads to bang in unison.
There are just so many different ways that music can affect someone that it is impossible to put into a post without going on and on for paragraphs.
So for musicians, the passion to play is as variable as the music itself.
Why is it that you play an instrument?
Maybe it is to make a career and play in front of others to inspire happiness.
Maybe you want to teach about music and help others that wouldn’t have a chance to learn otherwise.
You might want to just play for yourself and your friends around a fire to pass the time.
Or you may have your own reasons for playing an instrument. I’d like to know in the comments below.
Any way you look at playing your instrument, it is one of the most powerful ways to improve yourself as a person all around. There is an article about the benefits of music so I wont go into too much detail about that.
Music for me is a way to better myself every day.
I’ll tell you a story of when I was in middle school. I was fresh in a new town, new school, new life it seemed, I didn’t know a single face in the hallways I was walking. At this point in my life I was still a bit of an introvert and not very confident with myself.
I felt I had no value, nothing to offer to the world or anyone I would meet. Up until this point I had enjoyed playing video games with my brother, watching tv and listening to my favourite bands at the time. I had other hobbies as well, like any normal pre-teen but nothing really stood out.
My younger brother had obtained a guitar and only played for a few months before becoming frustrated and putting it down. That is ok, it just wasn’t his thing.
But one day I picked up that beaten acoustic guitar, and not knowing much more than a simple G chord I tried to figure out how to place my fingers and pick away. I was so entranced by the sounds I was making, although they sounded like garbage with no real pattern or feeling. I remember saying to myself, “hey this is pretty fun. I wonder what I could learn to do on this thing.”
I must have played that G chord until my fingers almost split from the pressure. The next morning my fingertips were screaming at me. As soon as I was able to, I started looking up tabs on the internet to some of my favourite songs.
I was just starting to get into metal around this time and thought “Divinity Within” from Protest the Hero would be a great song to play and practice.
It took all of about 30 seconds to realize that I didn’t stand a chance on Everest without an oxygen tank of being able to play that song.
So I decided to move to another favourite band at the time, My Chemical Romance. A little better suited to a beginner, to say the least.
After a few weeks of playing my parents bought me bass guitar starter kit from Wal-Mart. I don’t remember why I decided on a bass at the time, but I was very excited to plug in the DVD that came with it and start playing.
Now I didn’t know how to tune the thing, change the strings, or even hold a pick properly, but something inside of me lit up when I would play a guitar. Something told me to practice for another five minutes, something told me that this is something that I could really put my time into and enjoy.
The rest up until now is all details.
Have you been thinking about what music means to you? Why did you start playing an instrument? Why have you kept playing an instrument for this long?
That last question is a really important one. If you can answer that question clearly then you must have clearly defined goals for your musicianship.
If you can’t answer that question clearly, don’t worry. Take the time to think about and write down why you want to keep playing an instrument. Think about what exactly it is you want to do with that instrument.
Maybe you want to play in an orchestra one day.
You could even want to be a rock star.
You might even have your favourite place to play already thought of in your head like Carnegie Hall. Oh wouldn’t that be amazing?
It is extremely important that you have a clear defined direction that you want to take your musicianship in if you ever wish to get there in a reasonable amount of time. Don’t underestimate the power of doing this, most drivers will get lost if they don’t have a proper destination and road map of how to get there.
This is where having a great teacher comes in handy. That teacher will be able to help you set the goals you want to set and help you get there faster, knowing the specific steps you must take to reach those goals.
What I want you to do now is click the follow button on the side so you can stay in touch and get the latest guitar playing stories, tips, and practice strategies to implement. Then I want you to ask yourself and all of your musical friends why it is you play your instruments.
The answers you get may surprise and inspire you.
So again, what does music mean to you?
Note: Yes I know people have ascended Mt. Everest without an oxygen tank, but I sure haven’t.