Words from Dic(tionary)
by J. R. Practix
- It has to be fun.
- It has to be humble.
- And it has to be willing to learn.
Those are the three ingredients I think are necessary to make any adventure workable, enjoyable and realistic. Whenever any group of people takes themselves so seriously that they believe they’ve arrived at the apex of all understanding or the pinnacle of all talent, they are obnoxious and in some ways, dangerous.
This is true of musicians.
Music, which was meant to be a heartfelt explosion of joy, intimacy and emotion, has become, God forbid, a craft. And as craftsmen, we sit around and discuss the subtleties of the use of particular implementations which hold our delicate treasures together.
Thus the word acoustic.
So the rock band, which was once willing to admit “they only knew four chords and that’s why their music sounded the way it did,” pretentiously now does a documentary film, sharing their music acoustically instead of using electronic assistance. We’re supposed to stand back in awe of these cave men, who have discovered that there is some little world outside their enclosure, and mull over their genius simply because … “they’ve unplugged.”
I love music.
- Music was God’s way of saying life should be tuneful.
- Music was God’s apology for conversation.
- And music is our way of expressing ourselves without insisting that the whole room listen to us pontificate.
So we should HUMBLY pursue it, realizing our limitations and ceasing to make excuses for our frequent bobbles.
But instead, we proclaim some people who compose to be “masters,” and everyone else mere “minstrels.”
So rather than enjoying the fact that other people have picked up our instrument and exceeded our efforts, we instead attempt to tear them down because they are not purists and don’t honor the traditions of syncopation or structure.
I don’t care if you rock, jazz, square dance, hillbilly, rap or insist on Mozart. Be humble about it and have some fun. You’re not a better musician because you play an acoustic guitar instead of an electric one. It’s not a better auditorium because it’s acoustically adjusted to the high A-sharp on the first violin.
It’s supposed to be joyful. “A joyful noise”–remember that? So unless you plan on giggling and dancing, don’t come my way.
Somebody needs to take off the rubber nose and the big floppy shoes.