My relationship with music has changed a lot since I was kid. When I was a teenager I used to just put a record on the turntable and listen. I’d only listen to the music. I would rarely do anything else while listening. I was a sponge back then. Listening to my dad’s old records, going to Sam Goody and Music Trader and listening to CDs for free. I couldn’t afford to buy CDs back then so I could only listen for free. That forced me to listen to all kinds of music. Guess how I’d decide on what to listen to? I’d walk to the section in the music store and pick something based on the cover. That forced me to listen to all kinds of music.
Now I’m older and technology has made listening free (with ads…thanks Capitalism!!!) and easier to get than ever before. Now I don’t have to take CDs to the clerk and ask if I can listen at the designated listening station. I can just plug it into my car and go. But a lot of the tactile enjoyment of having the CD in hand and also selecting completely random music is now gone. The love of the randomness and enjoyment of finding something totally new are almost gone. After a while my Pandora station starts to sound stale. So I switch it to some other station that is stale. The quality of the sound is diminished too. The great crystal clear clarity that I once enjoyed isn’t present with streaming. It’s a sad state.
The only thing that gets better over time is my relationship with my instrument. Sometimes I get in a funk and I can’t come up with anything cool for weeks at a time. But then I’ll hit my stride and every time I touch the guitar I better have that thing recorded because I’m walking on water. It’s been years since I’ve ever given my technique and ability a second thought. I remember when I used to nitpick my alternate picking technique or wonder how the hell am I ever going to be able to tap like Eddie Van Halen or even play rhythm like Metallica. Now I don’t care. I can do that. I can write music. I have finally gotten to a point where my thoughts can be manifest in time through a song. I can elicit an emotion with a chord sequence. It took me years to get to, but I’m here. Everything I set my mind to when I was younger has been accomplished. I’ve had to set new goals and new targets to have new frontiers to go into.
That next frontier you’re going to see tomorrow morning.