|The Opening of this Livejournal Entry is Intentionally Formatted as a Short Story
||[Dec. 8th, 2005|11:32 pm]
|||||Royal City – At Rush Hour the Cars||]|
After the In Search Of... Michael decided it was time to get the band going for real. Because Adrian didn't really have time to practice with us, he was left out of the plan. So, Phil, Michael and I started trying to figure out how we were going to play these songs with just three people.
Of course it doesn't help that I can't really play anything. It also doesn't help that we need to play everything. After two practices we could play four songs. On the first, Michael played guitar, Phil played guitar and I played bass. On another it was banjo, guitar and bass. On another it was organ, guitar and keyboards switching to drums. On the last it was violin, guitar and me on xylophone and a drum.
There is a problem with this. Two, really. First, three people cannot carry two guitars, two basses, a banjo, a drum kit, a xylophone, a violin, a small electric organ and a rather large keyboard to a show. Equally importantly, the audience doesn't want to wait a minute between songs while we switch instruments.
The solution to this problem was the play the same instrument more often. This solution requires me to actually be able to play bass. Fortunately I'm not really as incompetent at it as I imagined I was. Even more fortunately I have come to some realizations that are helping me get better pretty quickly.
For one thing, practicing makes me better. This is something I didn't really know for a long time, because I only did things that I found easy, and gave up on things that seemed hard. Another thing is that I should take advice from people who know better than me. Michael is a pretty good teacher, and he can give me tips to improve my technique. When I listen to him and do what he says, I get better in a hurry. Also, just because something seems hard doesn't mean that I can't do it. Yeah, I will never be the best bassist in the world. Being the best in the world is hard. Being good enough to play some songs–even some fairly difficult songs– and entertain a crowd is something that hundreds of thousands of people do. It's something that people do. I'm not really that special. If I was missing an arm, and I found bass really hard and frustrating I might be forgiven: I really would be special in my lack of ability to play bass. That is not to say that one armed people should give up on their quest to play bass, just that they can be forgiven for saying that it is extremely difficult. But I am able bodied, and of sound mind. If I think playing the bass is extremely difficult it is because I haven't practiced enough, because I haven't had someone instruct me on technique or I haven't taken the instruction I've been given. If I give up because it's too hard, it's because I'm a whiner and I don't like to be confronted with difficulty. It is because I am arrogant. I believe that if it is difficult for me then it must really be difficult.
And this is how it is with most things. Things that people do anyway. Unique things are something else, it's hard to guess how hard they are. But if hundreds of thousands of people do something, you'd better believe that unless you have an idenfiable limitation that would prevent it, and likely even it you do, you can probably do it to. You just have to practice enough. You just have to humble yourself to instruction enough.
But I don't know if I will ever be in love1. People do that. But maybe I really am special in this regard. I know it's arrogant. I know that "everyone" feels that way sometimes. Some of them are right. It might actually be that there is something about me that means it just won't work out. Or it might just be that this isn't the sort of thing that you can practice very effectively, it's not something you can get really good at, and a couple of misunderstandings and poorly timed events can render you to loneliness for the rest of your life.
Some people are lonely. Some people have never been anything but lonely. Any day may be the best day of your life, and all other days beyond that are just the slide downhill.
1. What I really mean is that I don't know if my organism will ever be part of a couple in the future.