Tag Archives: music

Instrumental

26 Aug

If you’ve read the title, then you already know what this is going to be about. If you didn’t read the title and you’re already reading the post itself – which you are – then that’s pretty flattering. You clicked on the link without seeing what it was about, and that shows trust. In any case, all that remains is for me to explain what this is about.
So, bear with me. A few days ago, I bought a ukulele. For those of you who don’t know, a ukulele is a small musical instrument which basically looks like a small guitar. I have never plucked a string or strummed a ukulele chord in my life, so I started at absolute zero with my new instrument.
I’ve played a few different instruments in the past – recorder, piano, saxophone, and I know how to play those moderately well. So now, with my new ukulele, I was once more at a stage I’ve been at several times in my life. A stage I’ve visited with every new instrument. It’s a sort of stage where you’re holding the instrument, fiddling around with how it works, awkwardly playing a few halting notes… In short, being basically pretty terrible. This can be the most frustrating feeling in the world. You can play other instruments, and you can play those well, so you know that if you work hard you’ll figure this one out as well, but for now you’re stuck.
This feeling, however frustrating, really makes you appreciate how good you at anything other than what you’re trying to do. 
Now here’s where writing comes in. Finally.
You see, today I realized something, while I was sitting there and mangling my fingers into a Bbm tab. I realized how much I should appreciate whatever skill I have at writing. I don’t really think about it often, but at some point I must have been as clueless at that as I am today at ukulele. Learning how to write better is always positive and awesome, but we should also appreciate how far we’ve come.
So this is what ukulele taught me. If you’re good at writing – and my guess is that you’re pretty amazing – take a second to appreciate the life-skill which you have at your fingertips. If you’re not yet a master wordsmith, then think of all the things you do know how to do, and realize that you can conquer this too.

1926 US advertisement. "Play a Sincere In...

1926 US advertisement. “Play a Sincere Instrument and Popularity Love and Romance will be Yours” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Advertisements

The Music of Our Words

14 Jul

 

What do you listen to when you write? Do you listen to music? Or to white noise? The sea or windchimes or birdsong? Or to nothing at all?

This morning mine is Tartanic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2HMKpOYel4&feature=share&list=PL16EFDDBDFDFC7E2B) and Cast in Bronze (http://www.youtube.com/user/CarillonBellsMan)

Have you ever thought of changing up what you listen to? How would it change your writing? The tempo? The message?

This morning I’ve been playing around with music and creating my own mix to listen to over the next few weeks, and I’ve found that I can create in myself differnt moods even within my writing that kind of go along with what I’m listening to. I know it plays a role in how the words flow and how I lose myself in the writing, but I hadn’t realized that I can influence myself with what I’m listening to.

I’ve started taking one minute videos every (okay, almost every) day of something that strikes me. Some mornings it is the birds at sunrise, sometimes the cicadas at sunset. Others a moment caught when I’m out doing something with my family. I have my phone with me always and I capture moments in time that I think maybe I would like to be able to call back to mind easily later. I use these videos much like music on my iPod or on YouTube, to call a certain mood or frame of mind back to now.

How do you use the tools that you have at hand? How could you? I know in my life, I’m busy enough that I may not take the time at any given moment to capture the words that I maybe could capture but I capture a few words (sometimes on audio on my phone, sometimes as a note, sometimes just as a picture stolen in a second) and call back the memory later, when I have just a little more time.

There are shortcuts and tools all around us, what music can you capture today?  How can you make your words dance?

 

%d bloggers like this: