DUSTING OFF OLD FRIENDS
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 22:03
If you’re like most students you’ll be ditching tomorrow and partying like a rock star tonight. The next several nights should involve more drunken/stoned adventures to shake off these last few months of academic laboriousness, but what do you do after that? I suggest dusting off an old instrument.
The last few weeks I’ve been barely hanging on academically—well I’m always barely holding academically—but as a senior this semester I reached a new level of stress I thought only coke sniffing shady businessmen reached.
A few days of vegging out in front of the TV should do us some good, but what do we do after that? I think once boredom sets in I’m going to dust off my acoustic guitar and piano/keyboard.
I should catch up on essays and projects I’ve been working on, but then I wouldn’t be procrastinating, and my instruments would feel neglected. Is that any way to treat an old friend?
Spring break is about alleviating stress, and expression is a great outlet. I’ve always resorted to writing, singing badly, and getting shitfaced as a stress reliever. Expressing myself through an instrument—even if it sounds like crap—should come as my next step, or a step revisited.
And if you have never explored this avenue, go down to the pawn shop or dust off your old man’s guitar from the attic and see where it takes you.
Ray Manzerek, the keyboardist for The Doors, didn’t put out his first album with The Doors until he was 28. Guitarist Joe Satriani was 30 years old when he released his first album. Although Frank Zappa did music previously, he was 26 at the time of his first album, Freak Out!.
It’s your instrument now and your experience, so you can play whatever you want on it. Fuck your bitchy roommates and their hangovers; you need this. The more you fuck around the better you’ll get, and the better you’ll be able to play what you want and how you want.
Music is like an artist painting emotions onto a canvas or a writer scribbling in a notebook. A musician can play a piece with emotion—maybe more so than other arts—even if it sounds like you’re torturing the poor instrument.