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Quitting Music Forever. (not)

By Billy | April 27, 2011

Music.  Music is amazing.  You can hear it and feel it but can’t see it. (I can’t believe I keep linking to this song.  It’s just so funny though)  It’s a fairly universal language (although an A is considered 443 or 442 hz here in Europe, though its 440 in America…) and it’s beautifully mathematical.  You can, and usually must, use the same couple of pitches to express triumph, joy, sadness, confusion…  blah blah blah.  And I am so freaking frustrated by it right now.

I have been spending a lot of free time strumming a guitar, tapping my foot, counting to four in both German and English, and doing everything I can to not throw the guitar across the room.  Not really.  My frustration is directed at me, since I know the guitar isn’t doing anything wrong.  In fact, when someone else picks it up, it sounds rather lovely.

I have been trying to learn, and trying even harder to enjoy learning, how to dance, how to strum the guitar and sing at the same time, and how to play the piano with my left and right hand syncopated.  I can’t do it.  (Yet.  Some frustrating part of me won’t even let me be miserably discouraged right now.  He screams for me to realize that I am simply frustrated at this moment and will later look back and not even remember this frustration.  Shut up, you, and let me rant!)  I am so horribly frustrated with myself at the moment.

I think I have tried too hard to break things down into their simplest universal algorithm and I have bogged down my thoughts and stifled my ability to be.  I don’t know.  Right now, I’m trying to analyze why I can’t stop analyzing the rhythm when it’s time to dance.  Last time I tried to waltz I realized that I literally can’t hear that music is happening if I try to measure/meter my steps AND actually move my feet.  I can move and count, hear the music and move, or hear the music and count, but never all three.  I can strum a simple down,down-up, up-down-up pattern for many many minutes perfectly.  Then I try to sing and by the 3rd syllable, I have ruined my pattern.  Every time.

Huh.  Well maybe I should make baby steps.  Maybe I need to try a letter in the alphabet with every strum, or every beat regardless of strum, and if I can do that, skip every other letter, or every 3rd, or do simple math, or list primes consecuatively.   I guess singing is just too much to ask.

Why do I do this to myself?  I literally want to cry and pout and promise myself never to try again when I start dancing, or when I earnestly attempt to sing a song while playing it on the guitar.  I wish I could just sit and watch or listen and find happiness in that, but I don’t work that way.  Instead, I push myself to tears, spend time recooperating by venting on a blog, or learn the German word for melancholy (it’s truebsinnig, in case you were wondering) or take a walk.  I wish I could play the guitar to exhale all my frustrations.

My dad used to joke that if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.  The jury’s still out on that one for me, but I really think there’s something else to trying.  I don’t know what it is, but it involves being overwhelmingly frustrated.  Perhaps if you haven’t completely failed at something in a while, you’re not trying anything worth while.  Maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better.  It works, so we shan’t press it further.

Topics: Utterly Random | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Quitting Music Forever. (not)”

  1. nommomuntu Says:
    April 28th, 2011 at 12:40 am

    “Perhaps if you haven’t completely failed at something in a while, you’re not trying anything worth while.”

    Thank you for that. I think it’s true. Most worthwhile endeavors are bound to have some failures along the way, though there are some NOT worthwhile things one could fail at, too.

    Also, sometimes a simple up-down-up pattern is all you need. And sometimes, things are better not sung, but better just spoken.

  2. Quitting music is the easiest thing… I do it all the time. | Rumbelow (rŭm’-bĭ-lō): A combination of meaningless syllables Says:
    July 24th, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    […] I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m quitting forever. Today I watched a rather informative YouTube video about vibrato on the violin. And after crying for a while, I decided to quit playing the viola. I’m just certain my body is incapable of making it sound beautiful. No, I’ve never had a formal lesson. Yes, I’ve only been playing on and off for four years. Four years, though. I know stringed instruments require a long time to sound nice, but I am ridiculously bad and tired of being frustrated with it. OK, so if you know me at all, you know I’m just writing all this stuff and I don’t mean it and I’ll probably still keep playing and I’ll probably talk myself out of being so negative in a few minutes. […]