June 15, 2011

It’s not an obstacle, it’s a challenge

I get inspiration in the oddest places. I write arrangements for traditional tunes based on my appreciation of Depeche Mode's arrangements, Robert Frost poems, or squash casserole.  And I get ideas for what to share with you from sources just as diverse.

I saw a billboard today that said, “It’s not an obstacle, it’s a challenge” and I thought – “wow” (not very erudite, but sometimes basic is best!). Mostly the wow thought was due to the heartbreaking accuracy of the concept.

Do you ever open a piece of music and just get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of ink they left on the page? Or have you ever heard a lush arrangement of a meaty trad tune and just gotten lost in all the notes in the air? Either of these experiences usually leaves you thinking, “That’s fantastic...I LOVE that...but I’ll never be able to play it”.

But the reality is that you can play anything you like. There is no warning label on complex pieces. There is no gatekeeper on tunes. There is no catalog of pieces that only “really good” people can play but no one else can. If you want to play it, you can.

Of course, some things are out of easy reach. Note I said “easy reach”.

You can reach though, if you want to. You might have to work hard and you might have to practice a lot, and you might have to take more time than you want to admit to having to spend.  And you may have to be patient with you. But think about the reward.

Nothing is out of reach. It just presents a challenge...So ask yourself...when you think, “I can’t play that”, how much do you want to? Are you willing to do the work?

I'm looking forward to hearing your piece - when you have mastered it and are ready to share!

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