Who Likes Music

Simple enough question, isn’t it?Well, yes and no.

Everyone likes music of some sort.What is interesting to me though is some of the strong feelings of what music is and what it is not.I am not addressing the Rock vs. Rap deal that has been going on for ages.Google ‘Noel Gallagher Jay Z’ and see a recent example of what is happening.

Well, OK, maybe I should address the Rock vs. Rap deal.Music: Melody, Harmony & Rhythm.This is how I define music to students.Simple and accurate; Wikipedia has a nice page about it too.

(For the spelin’ empayrd; plz note the spelling of RHYTHM.It governs the universe. Thank you.)

Old folks have been asking about the Melody in Rock since it started.This is because early rock singers were not really singers at all.Rather, they were guitar players.I think what has been going on with the Rock vs. Rap deal is essentially the same issue.

By the way, I shall make a great point here concerning the popular ‘Rock has singing/melody, but rap does not’ argument: Modern Group with Singer; Modern Group without Singer.

‘Nuff Said.

(By the way, the water-on-drums trick was done decades ago.)

Anyway, the point is that we all have different views of music.It has been said that there are two kinds of music: good and bad.This has been attributed to Duke Ellington.I don’t know I wasn’t there, but my thought is similar and goes like this: There is well-played music and poorly-played music.I like the well-played kind.

I woke up a bit ago to start writing this article and I had AC/DC playing in my head.Actually, I got up to blow my nose; it is allergy season, but I thought that sounded far less cool.Incidentally, it wasn’t any particular tune I was hearing in my head, but rather a ‘jam’ that sounded just like Angus Young.Then, of course, specific AC/DC tunes popped in my head.

Even though I do not listen to AC/DC very much anymore, I still like them.I have liked many different styles of music.I even went through a period of listening to rap starting with the Fat Boys (I used to ‘Beat Box’) and the Beastie Boys continuing on until I won’t tell you when.

OK.L.L. Cool J is Here.1991 (When)

I think that it is very important that we open our minds to at least trying different sounds.As mentioned earlier, there is well-played and poorly-played music.Maybe the first group you hear from a particular style is not very good.There are many different shades to sounds and music styles as there are colors.As an acquaintance of mine has said: ‘If we all were sent out to get a red shirt, almost each one of us would return with a different shade, and we would all still consider the lot of them to be red.’

I agree.

So as an experiment for yourself, pick a style of music that you do not believe you like, and do some research of different groups or personalities of that style.Then, go about listening to some of them.I have found YouTube to be a great source of discovery and reminiscence.Keep in mind that some styles cover decades.You may find that a particular decade is better than others.

As an example, I like country music from the 1970’s and some early 1980’s.I do not like the sappy 1960’s nor do I like the cookie-cutter 1990’s to present.I also like Western Swing, sometimes called Hillbilly Jazz.

Let’s see; my list so far is: AC/DC, Rap, Country, Western Swing, and as many of you know, Jazz of all sorts.Is your musical net wide or narrow?As an aspiring musician, what should it be?

-Justin

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Acoustic or Electric Guitar

To me this conundrum is similar to the ‘Lead or Rhythm’ question I get from people when they learn that I play guitar.I was not aware that I had to choose one or the other.

So, I chose to do both.

When a person starts to play guitar; a choice is usually made between purchasing an acoustic or electric instrument.Recently, a package deal for either will cost about the same.Even if a person chooses to start with electric bass, a package deal is comparable in price and quality its guitar counterparts.

I started with bass.I loved playing bass and I still do.The reason I started playing guitar is because I wanted to play more detailed music when I was playing alone.I started with an acoustic guitar and later moved to an electric.

For the beginning student, I suggest starting with the instrument that you want to play most: acoustic or electric guitar.Here is why: if you get what you want, you are more likely to practice through the ‘I’m terrible’ part of learning.(Which never goes away really, but that is a different issue altogether)

We want to play one or the other because that is the sound we prefer to hear.I like both depending on the role or atmosphere I am trying to create.To me, they are simply different in the way a watercolor or oil painting are different.

See Watercolor & Oil.

For our discussion, it is a matter of sound texture and vegetables.

There is a terrible myth that I would like to debunk right now.That it is better to start with acoustic because it is more difficult to play, thereby making electric easier.

WHAT!?

Should we learn to drive a tractor-trailer first so that driving a car will be easier?

Should we have, as babies, learned to eat with a serving spoon?

I understand if you have believed this myth.I do not blame you because I am sure you heard it from someone else.

Ignore them from now on.You do not know what else they may be lying to you about.

No matter whether you play electric or acoustic guitar, you may eventually decide that you like the sound of the other as well.So, then, you only have one more to purchase.Be careful though, some folks acquire what is called: GAS, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

-Justin

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