Thursday, November 16, 2017

Music Rant #1

Music Rant #1
Dylan Bourne

I'm sure anyone who decided to take the time to click the link to Skinny Devil Magazine already knows about the joy of playing music. After all, this IS a guitar publication. That being said, as someone who continues to be surprised as to the pleasantries of being a musician, I wanted to write an article for any non-musicians who may be scouring the internet late at night wondering how in the world we do what we do; or more importantly, WHY?

They say that "music speaks to the soul." I remember being a child and feeling my way through the world, and music has always been a static yet ever changing force in my life. If I want to step back in time, I can just put on an old album or playlist and remember times of the past. Just as well, I have found many new bands that I know in five years will define my memory of this time. When you go through a rough break up and you hear a love song and revel in the sadness it makes you feel; or when you are having a fantastic time and you put on some good jam music, it is a clear illustration of the power that these simple chords and musical phrases have over the human psyche. The drive to learn this craft, personally, comes from the desire to emulate and understand why I feel the way I do about music and life.

The other aspect of my fascination with this “music” thing is the vast array of patterns involved with learning and successfully playing guitar. I was the “math nerd” in school, and if I had one solid benefit of being ridiculed it would definitely be the ability to easily identify a good pattern. When you see a guitar (non-musicians) it must be intimidating because what do all those crazy strings mean? Why does that sound so cool? What is a fretboard? How did that guy on stage just steal my girlfriend? Those questions are more easily answered than they may seem, yet these are questions that can take a lifetime to learn. It's very “wax on, wax off” and there is no real way to “master” this craft, making it all the more exciting.

In this era of existence, especially for those of my generation, there is a monumental sense of overwhelming loneliness and a vast array of people who feel disconnected with the world. Personally, music has filled this void since I was a child, and it is the one thing that makes me feel as if I'm not alone. We all know that kid that sits in the back of class with headphones on, so engulfed in the sonic oasis to a point of separation. These people as adults exist in venues all across the nation coming together to appreciate this noise in person, and anyone who has had the opportunity to go to a show can attest to the joy of being in a small venue around a bunch of people who want to go, listen to, an experience. It is our one escape. The only desire I have in this world is to give that to others and be the one expressing. This is the passion of my aspirations to make this my profession.

To expand on the idea of expression, think about what a stage show is: The guys on stage are presenting an idea; They are a group of individuals with common ideology and common struggle, which they cast into musical coals that fuel the fire of their movement; and fans take to those coals and the ideology spreads. Whether a fan of folk music or a fan of black metal, it is inarguable that the ideologies in the music shape the individuals that listen. That is a beautiful thing. It's humanity sorting through the social and economic struggles, as well as the deep and often dark ideas in their head. It is a way to speak when words are not enough, whether for the orator or the listener. Some of us are content being the listener, relating to others ideas and taking a piece of them in our hearts; but for some of us that is not enough. We have our own thoughts, we have our own ideas that need to find a way out, whether through words or through a guitar.

Conclusively, us musicians are an odd breed. I've spent the greater portion of my life trying to find my people, and these days I am happy to report that for the most part, I have. In the same way, many people who occupy the venues all across America and the world are looking for something. Some form of release, some form of relation that is inaccessible in their day to day lives. That was the attraction to pick up a guitar. Hearing songs as deep as “The Unforgiven” (Metallica) and albums as peaceful as “Morning View” (Incubus) led to the question of how the hell do I learn this craft? It is an ever growing passion that is nearly indescribable to the average reader, but if there is one thing to take away from this article it is this: music is peace; it is rage; it is pure aggression; it is unnatural bliss; and to those that relate, pick up your instrument and play it until your fingers bleed, because that is the only way to make this your way of life.

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