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Upon reflection

Everyone has a musical journey…to a lesser or greater extent; even if you’re just a passive listener. It started somewhere…in your life…and it carries on. Musicians, you might say, have a more ‘intense’ musical journey – one that’s full of practice, rehearsal, frustration, joy, progress, development, experiencce and so on…

I sometimes think about the point I’m at with it. There’s a few years under my belt – I would say I first picked up guitar around 1977. Certainly by 78, I was tinkering on my own. I wouldn’t say it’s been an intensive journey. I mean compared with some people – they start at the age of 3 years and they are on one major trip thanks to their parents. Work, work, work etc…I’m not saying it’s all work and no play but hey, I discovered this thing on my own. It certainly wasn’t school or the area I grew up in or anything else. There was a guitar lying around and I guess there was some music in my household and the rest is history. But I do wonder how the journey might have been thus far, if it had been intensive all the way since 3 years of age. Hmmm, I’m not even sure I would have liked it. Surely this is the treadmill for children of pushy parents and countries with poor human rights records. One thing I will say, there has to be self motivation and it comes from passion, from the desire to express. To want to practice, you have to find something that floats your boat, so to speak. Perhaps a teacher can help you find it. Well, I always loved music and got real buzz being able to stretch my hand to play some basic chords on a guitar too big…and with no amp! Now that’s enthusiasm! Later on I discovered that real emotions and feelings could be expressed through music. I hadn’t really thought about that before!

Anyway, how’s your musical journey? I’ve got to say that the musical journey should be for life – it’s a journey right to the end! And as a final thought, imagine someone that has all of the following:

* been playing a very long time
* many years of intensive learning and training
* brilliant technical ability
* theoretical knowledge up to PHD standard!
* exceptional ears (and I don’t mean their appearance!)
* great improvisational abilities
* great sight reading skills
* can play in any style – in depth knowledge
* accomodate any musical context
* got all the resources and great sounds

What else? Oh yes…taste, imagination and a SOUL! Yup, that’s the bit that cannot be paid for – not financially anyhow. You could have all the above but it could be an empty vessel.

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