Monday, May 19, 2008

Songwriting and Music

Music is a passion of mine that unfortunately I'm not inheritly good at. I've spent years working on playing guitar and piano better and was passable, but never really that good. I pretty much stopped when I was dealing with Carpal Tunnel and realized that I essentially had to pick which activities mattered the most to me as my hands weren't going to be able to do everything. I chose work and art and sports and let playing music slide. But I continue to mentally work on musical concepts here and there - trying to recognize notes, harmonies and keys.

But it's taken me a long time to get to the point of admitting that I'm much more visual that auditory. Visualizing things is very easy for me, except I can't just look at written music and know how it's going to sound, and keeping time musically by manually counting is out is very difficult for me (though if I hear it I usually can figure it out). I took a basic music composition class and it was fascinating (and demoralizing) how easily playing music came to some folks.

But I have to remember that writing (at least expository writing) is very easy for me and probably a lot of those folks would struggle with that. Or they may not be as visual and able to imagine an object at several different orientations in space. We all have our talents.

But it doesn't stop me from being really jealous. I keep thinking that I could at least write lyrics, but my brain doesn't seem to work that way. When I write a song I'm more writing a story and the idea of stopping to write a chorus just doesn't jive at all. It's clearly a skill that I need to learn but once again it would be an uphill struggle for me. When I stop and imagine myself writing a particular song that I'm listening to, I realize that I would never have occurred to me to arrange the words that way. Maybe I'm just too linear though I don't think of myself that way. Hmmm.

I'm obviously making this far more difficult than it needs to be. Each time I have trouble, it's magnified into a moral failure. Oh please.

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