Music Is About Choice

headphone-girl-smYes, music is about choice.  You get to decide.  No one else can tell you what you like.  Sure they can tell you what THEY like and that may influence you but no one can really tell you what to like.

Consequently there are a zillion types of music.  Yes that is a real statistic.  🙂  Honestly I doubt anyone can classify them all and I certainly won’t try.  But the beauty of it all is that everyone is different but we still like to hang out in groups.  I’m sure you have noticed in your life how you became part of a group of friends or knew others who all hung out together.

It turns out that social pressure will often cause people to pretend to like or maybe even believe they like a certain type of music just because their friends do.  Or perhaps somehow you decided a certain type of music was “cool” and played it even though you weren’t really sure yourself.

Sometimes even as professional musicians we play music that we don’t like because someone else in our “group” wrote it, liked it or so on.  For the most part any group I was in really did have similar tastes in music as I did.  They would find bands that played music I wasn’t familiar with but USUALLY I liked it, not because they did, rather because we had similar taste in music.

Not every band is so lucky and musical tastes and egos are very common reasons for breakups of bands.  Egos are probably a MUCH larger percentage of the problems.  Still, musical taste can be a big problem to some of the biggest of bands.

One famous example is the rock group Styx.  This will be an oversimplification, but original member Dennis DeYoung had significantly different musical taste in music compared to the other members of the band.  Dennis liked the rock opera style and the other members tended to want a harder rock.  Yet Dennis wrote and sang many of the hits that endure today even though Styx tours constantly without him.  Lots of stories revolve around this but it is my understanding that the Mr. Roboto tour pretty much had the rest of the guys in arms against him.  (me too!)

The point of this is that you need to listen to your own inner voice and pursue it.  It is YOU that you need to please or it won’t last.  You will find others who have similar taste in music as time goes one unless you are big into aardvark hoedown music. 🙂  Not much of a call for that.

Hopefully you are involved in music even further than just listening to it.  I hope you have found a musical instrument that is for you.  Or perhaps you like to sing.  Music can relieve your stress and take you to places you can’t imagine.

If you haven’t found that instrument for you I encourage you to try.  It is never too late to learn an instrument such as guitar or maybe learn piano.  Maybe you have another instrument in mind.  It doesn’t matter.

I hear people say all the time, “I wasn’t given the gift of musical talent.”  While there may be a shred of truth to that, I can tell you that PASSION fuels that musical talent much more than native skill.

If you want it bad enough you can do it.  I have watched kids go from zero to near guitar genius in 2 years.  WHY?  They didn’t do ANYTHING else.  Sure there is the occasional genius 8 year old concert pianist or violinist.  Guess what?  They don’t do anything else either.

So it is a matter of CHOICE.  If you DECIDE you are going to learn guitar and be the next Eddie Van Halen, and COMMIT to the hard work perhaps you can be as good as Eddie sans drugs and alcohol.

Music is about choice my friend.  Don’t let ANYONE tell you that you CAN’T be good at piano, guitar or anything.  But just “kinda” wanting to learn guitar won’t cut it.  You must decide you are going to learn.  Don’t change your mind.  It will happen.

I hope that you find the happiness in music I have.

As always, your honest comments are welcome.

JF

I Like MUSIC But Not Some of That OTHER Stuff!

ElectricBassGuitarPlayerOK I’m old.  I admit it.  But I have been raised in a house of music my whole life.  While I tend to be drawn to classic rock, I listen to hard rock or metal, country rock, country, jazz, instrumentals of all types, orchestral music, pop and some alternative music.  Some of you are probably noticing a gap or three right there.  Yes that’s right.

I don’t want to sound like someones father (but I am) …. “I remember back in naught three when I had to walk 72 miles to school in the snow, but now you young hippies want a new Camaro with the big V8 to drive your lady friends to school in the 4th grade.  What’s this world coming to?”

Sorry, but I can’t handle but just a little hip hop. And rap while I agree is a talent form I liken it more to poetry than music.  Certainly it takes talent to come up with the stories and the rhymes, but that is about where it ends for me.  I can only watch a screaming 300 lb guy with pants around his knees with his underwear showing so long before I have to change the channel.

Musical thugs like Kanye West (could he be less relevant?), Chris Brown, and Eminem just don’t do much for me because I am about the MUSIC.  Not the lyrics as much.

And I certainly don’t want to hear a bunch of cop killin’, drug sellin’, bling, bling, booty shakin’ lyrics.  I prefer the much more refined lyrics of “She loves you yea, yea, yea.”  Or maybe America’s epic Horse with No Name “In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain”.  “Aint no one for to give you?”  REEEALLY? 🙂

OK it is pretty obvious I am a hypocrite.  There I said it.

So be warned that while I respect everyone’s right to like rap music (even though they are wrong) 🙂 I won’t be covering that here.  Sorry if you are fan.

Not much on the dance/trance craze music either.  Chung, chunga, chung, chunga, chung for just slightly less than 4 hours straight.  I like rhythms.  I like music LOUD.  So that is not the problem.  I guess I burned out on disco years ago and didn’t like it then.

Boy I am picky for a guy who claims to like music. Hehe…

With all that being said, what you will find here are miscellaneous ramblings about various forms of music, particular songs I either find fascinating or maybe offensive.  I will cover the recording scene to a degree and certain instruments such as guitars and the musicians that play them.

The beauty of music is that it is personal.  We each have types we like and types we don’t.  Nobody is right or wrong.  What speaks to YOU is right for YOU.  I feel sorry for you if the song is about “cop killers” or whatever, but wish you well.

I find music for me falls into 2 basic categories.  Uplifting/inspiring and depressing.  When I write music it tends to come from either extreme highs or lows.  I find myself inspired to write at either end of the emotional roller-coaster.  In that regard, I can say that probably relates to rap music also.

Perhaps MOST styles of music can relate to this.  Dance music is usually upbeat and happy.  The blues music is about…well…the blues, misery and sadness.  It is harder to interpret in the orchestral types of music but power, softness and emotions do come through quite easily.

The point being music is an expression of emotion like most art forms.  Whether it is a painting, a ballet, a sculpture, or whatever, you will find at its roots emotion.

We humans are emotional creatures.  We can’t help it.  We couldn’t change it if we tried.

So please, go listen to the music.  Let the emotions wash over you.  Enjoy it, even if you listen to some of that “other stuff”!

Live Mixer

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