My friend showed me a video today of Dave Grohl talking about how he created the song ‘Everlong’. At one point, he mentioned that he approaches playing guitar as he would the drums, the different strings being representative of the different parts of the drum. It was a fascinating concept to consider.
“I wish I would have stuck with piano lessons.”
When conversing with friends who found out I play piano, or hanging out after a performance and chatting with people, I’d hear that phrase from a lot of people.
There’s nothing stopping you from picking up the piano, or any other instrument, at any point in your life but yourself. Yes, it is much easier to be a child with little responsibilities and endless amounts of time to take up a musical instrument. As an adult, we have work, family, and whatever other responsibilities that chip away at our time.
My brother and I were gifted a Yamaha SY55 between 1990-1992. It was 61-keys of awesomeness. Tons of sounds, MIDI connections (which I got into later), everything you could want for your imagination to run wild.
Even now, I have a Korg Grandstage 88 with thousands of sounds, yet all I want to play are the piano sounds.
Back in college, my piano instructor once told me a story about how when he was taking lessons, his instructor would sit and listen to him for awhile, and then do random stuff like try to stuff himself into a cabinet, drop things on the floor, anything he could do to break the focus of my instructor.
I always thought it’d be interesting to create something with a keyboard and computer that would allow for specific colors to be displayed when played, but in a live performance setting.
One thing I wish I had learned early on would be to approach every piece I do slowly, at least when it comes to self-study. Maybe I was taught that when I first started, but I don’t recall.
If you have browsed my equipment list, you’ll have noticed that I’m fully digital with my equipment. I moved 2,758 miles across the country in June 2020 and had to put my Boston Essex upright studio piano in storage (bless temperature control), as I had no idea where I would end up. This ended up being a good decision as I live on the second floor of a house, which has a spiral staircase, so there was no chance it could have found a place here.
… but I (and other musicians) control the time, or at least the perception of time. Other mediums such as film and literature can as well.
A four-minute piece of music could feel longer or shorter based on the amount of notes, rhythms, or what someone chooses to do with phrasing, or how they utilize silence, rubato, accelerando, ritardando, etc… we have a large variety tools at our disposal.
For as long as I remember, I’ve been acutely aware of my hands / fingers (or phalanges if it pleases you). Yet, somehow that doesn’t prevent me from temporarily inflicting damage on them.