It’s been a long time, yes it has.
Tonight seemed to culminate a desire that’s been percolating for a little while – I’ve been thinking about playing music again. The other day I thought about how much I missed playing live with others, and that idea even found its way into a script-story I’m working on with a friend. I spent all day listening to amazing tunes as I did website-work, and the last step on this path was finally watching the movie Nowhere Boy tonight (Grade: A, by the way… loved it and it made me all weepy, very touching). I really want to make music, and I have for a very long time. In fact, music has had a place in my life even longer than movie-making has.
It’s a subject that I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned much here, and that’s mostly because of my technical inability and current skill level – or a lack thereof. I started piano lessons in 4th grade, after taking a brief intro group-course in 3rd, and I continued on with them for a couple of years. This isn’t intended to be a 5-part series on my history with music, so I’ll spare y’all the details ;). By 6th grade, however, the teacher I was with was an older lady – nice, but just not too fun and hip. Plus, I was a kid. From ages 9-11, I was more interested in just playing video games, girls, hanging out with friends, babes, and, of course, movies (and, also, chicks). So, my days of playing music died off. At least, for then…
As far as what music I had been exposed to growing up, I was darn sheltered. That came from my parents’ own sheltered tastes, but as I got older, I began to venture around the radio and discover things on my own. It was a whole new world, as I moved from oldies, to classic rock, to heavy metal, to everything. After a few years, my musical interest began to expand again, as well. While often sitting in the back seat of the family car as we drove around southern California, I found myself humming and “playing” along to the rhythm and bass lines of songs my parents were listening to. Eventually, after finally mentioning this new interest to my folks, I brought home my first electric bass guitar.
I ended up taking lessons with a guy from church, and later played with a few friends (you know, in garages… like cool kids do). Actually, for a while, I was in the “band” for the high school youth group at church that I was “encouraged” to attend and be a part of. There was a great highlight to that, though. On a couple of occasions, after the service was over, me and two of the other guys in the group would end up just jamming on the little stage. I was never that great, I have no delusions, but it was a heck of a time.
Eventually my bass guitar started to collect dust (until it was stolen from my car), as did my first keyboard (and the upgrade I bought years later), my second bass and it’s amp, my semi-hollow guitar, and my nice vintage-remake tube amp. Why so much dust, though? Music is my longest-running interest, has the most start/stops in my history of failed endeavors, and definitely has been the most expensive non-hobby I’ve attempted to undertake… but why?
It’s not easy.
When I was young, I was smart and things came really easy, so I never HAD to work really hard at something. Even as I got older, if something took a great deal of effort and time, I’d leave it behind. I’ve improved on that, and with my new resurgence in creative ambition (not something I’ve talked about here, but it’s happened), this long-time love/failure has come back to mind. I often talk about the magic of movies being one-half beautiful imagery and one-half music, and regard music as the soul of a movie. Movies are my great passion, as most anyone here should know, but they are nothing without music… the two walking hand-in-hand down the road of my creative mindset. Heck, the first screenplay I ever wrote was called The Soundtrack to Life, for the pete of sake. For me, the two are intrinsically, and eternally, linked, but so far I have only really seemed to focus on one. That is, of course, because of my issues with difficulty that I mentioned above.
Acting is really easy for me. Writing and storytelling is natural. Heck, even making movies is a drop of the hat for me, for as many issues as I may have had with getting myself to do it. The process can be difficult, at times, but as far as a learning process… I’ve found it to be very simple to pick up as I go along. Music, though, is so technical. There are things that NEED to be understood and studied to make a musician a musician, not to mention the physical work of learning the instrument.
I marvel and truly admire the musicians I respect, not only because they’re good at what they do – but because they’re doing it :). I often talk about having an interest in meeting a gal who is musically inclined, because no other talent turns me on more – and there’s obviously something to that. I’m on my way to moving forward with my movie-making, a much-discussed topic here (and with my friends, in person), but perhaps it’s time to start dealing with the subject that I pretty much NEVER talk about in the same way. Perhaps it’s time to begin the process of pushing myself to do another one of those things that I absolutely love, yet, for various reasons, haven’t done a thing about it.
Movies stayed just out of reach for fear. Music has stayed far out of reach for very different reasons… but, I say, enough of that crap. Question is…
where to start?
(This evening’s post brought to by the music of Led Zeppelin and the time of 3am.)