A website devoted to teaching/playing/writing for/ the King of Instruments
Jul. 19, 2016
Diamond In The Rough
What do you do with yourself when you're retired, you've been messing around in your spare time with that electronic keyboard or organ you have at home that's been gathering dust for years, and you've suddenly discovered, to your great surprise and amazement if not outright shock, that you've got some modicum of ability with it ... that you can actually PLAY something on it ... that it's beginning to develop into a hobby ... There are a few people out there who've always envisioned themselves musically, and wrongly, as some old, beat up car with dented quarter panels and faded paint riding on bald tires ... because they think they don't have a musical bone in their body. What many of them don't realize, and what they've never realized or understood, is that a car like that can be rare and precious, a diamond in the rough, that it can still be running good today, and that it can be reconditioned to look even classier and run just as good as, if not better than, the majority of anything they'd find on the road [See blog, Before And After]. There are all kinds of rare uncut diamonds in the earth of different sizes, colors, and clarities (photo), just like there's all kinds of vehicles on the musical road these days of all ages and descriptions; they all have their functions, and they all have their value. You would refine and polish one of these rough diamonds just as you would recondition an old car like that, in the following manner: 1. Firstly, wash it, wax it, and clean the wheels and tires. Clean the inside, trunk, and under the hood. Rinse away with the dirty soap and water whatever negativity about it life may have dealt you so far. Get to where you can see more clearly the value of what God has put inside you. Tell yourself you're going to have a new adventure. Discard any previous failures, large or small, with the vacuum bag. That experience you may have had early in life that ruined you on music should be scrubbed and left to circle the drain. 2. Secondly, if your headlight covers have dimmed, get a brightener (from any parts store) and fix them. Have your eyes checked. Be able to see clearly not only the printed page but where you're wanting to go with your music making. 3. Next, change the oil and filter. Dispose of any defeatist attitude and whatever residue of doubt remains in your mind. Replace it with something better so that all the moving parts of your mind are free to work at their best. Remember what Henry Ford said: "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, most of the time you're probably right." 4. Make sure all fluid levels (radiator coolant, transmission fluid, windshield washer, etc.) are perfect. Fill your mind with confidence and positive thinking, right up to the line. Flood your mind with positives so you can handle the next round of negatives without running dry. Stay loaded for bear and realize that Resistance will do anything, try anything, to drain your juice and keep you off the road [See blog, The Lizard Brain, Parts I-VIII]. 5. If the windshield is cracked call your insurance agent and get it fixed. Have a clear view of the musical road that's in front of you and what other people on that same road are doing around you. Talk to a teacher. A good teacher can help you get the big picture to help you see past and steer your way around any major bumps or holes in the road. 6. Make sure all warning lights (check engine, airbag, etc.) are off and repaired. Pay heed to what your body's telling you, and Identify any red flags. Take care of any loose ends with your physical condition, if you can, that might, if they were ignored, tend to get in your way. 7. Tires should have lots of life left. If not, buy some. Do what it takes to be mobile enough to take advantage of opportunities to grow in the musical direction that best suits you. Contact with other people who share your same interest is where the rubber meets the road. Join a local organ club. If there isn't one, start one. 8. Make the wheels look good. Buy matching hub caps or replacement wheels from a junk yard. Take pride in your music making. If it sounds nice, show it off. Play it for somebody. Have some fun with it. You could maybe even look around for some other equipment (keyboard amp, power mixer, etc.) to connect with your own instrument to spruce up the sound. 9. Have your local paintless dent guy do his thing. Little things can add up, so, pay attention to the small stuff. Take a close look at your habits. Get some help to fix them, if they need it. Find a role model, somebody you want to be like, who might coach you with the little things.