It can be argued that music is only relevant when it is a ‘conversation’ between two or more musicians.
Start a Conversation
Is it possible to learn French, or German, or Spanish in your bedroom? Yes, of course it is, to a certain extent. But, the only way to really understand what you are learning and saying is to communicate with others who speak the same language.
Music is the universal language, there isn’t a culture on this earth that can live without some form of music. Plato, the Greek philosopher, once said, “Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything,” and I’m pretty sure he knew what he was talking about!
Moving From Practice to Performance
We learn patterns in our lessons and use them to play along to songs. These are necessary actions to enhance our skills and develop our ‘vocabulary’. However, these activities can be described as only an indirect involvement with the music. We are not a part of the moment that has been captured on the recording we are playing along to; nobody is listening intently to the pattern we are playing and trying to accompany us.
To put into practice our interpretations of the music we have studied and the patterns we have learned, we have to throw away the safety net and start engaging directly with other musicians, in the moment. It could just be you and a guitarist, or you and a bassist, recreating the music you enjoy. Or jamming, reorganising the puzzle pieces you have learnt over the years into something coherent and pleasing to your ears.
To start with, it may be a step down from playing along with the brilliant musicians on your favourite recordings, but it won’t be long before you are enjoying your instrument more than ever before. There is no greater feeling than being fully present in the moment, doing something that you love.
Finding Your Stage
Where does it go from there? You could start a band? Getting together with friends and playing your favourite songs each week is the best place to start. Or perhaps you’re ready to join an existing band that are keen to start playing live gigs? The choice is yours. All that matters is that you find opportunities to ‘converse’ with others in the new language you are learning.
If you are unsure how to start, the first step is a strong intention to play with others. If you can project your desire, the universe will oblige and opportunities will start to present themselves. Your job is to seize those opportunities. Remember there is nothing to fear, you cannot fail with music if you play from the heart.
Go share your passion with the world!