I used to think I was musically retarded. I was the absolute worst person in orchestra as a kid. I played the cello and I was terrible.
Then, Mom got me into piano lessons. And once again, I was terrible. I learned how to play Chopsticks and some other easy crap, but nothing compared to the other kids who took piano lessons.
As a high school kid, I thought I was foreign language retarded. I took five years of Spanish and still could barely speak it while other kids my age spoke in complete sentences.
I also thought I was artistically retarded. In my early thirties, I still drew like a little kid. You know when parents put their little kids’ drawings up on the refrigerator? Well guess what? That’s how my drawings looked like.
Let’s start with drawing
Well, some old lady on the internet said that every single thing you see is a line or a circle. Stop reading, get up, and take a minute to look around you. Notice something?
She’s right. Everything’s a line or a circle.
So she said practice drawing lines and circles over and over and over again until they look like lines and circles.
So I did. And I got good at drawing lines and circles simply by spending hours drawing lines and circles.
Within a year after picking up Preston Blair’s Cartoon Animation and purchasing Toon Boom Studio software, I was producing decent cartoons, drawn by yours truly. One year, folks. From a guy who formerly drew like a little kid. From a guy who thought he was artistically retarded.
A language? It’s a collection of words.
Learn some words, put them together, and you can speak. Observe.
English – I go to the beach.
Spanish – Yo voy a la playa.
Romanian – Eu merge la plaja.
Boom! Just like that, I learned how to say the same sentence in three different languages. And guess what? You don’t need a big ass vocabulary to be conversational. Most people only use the same 1000 words over and over again. Heck, this blog post is probably less than 200 different words.
You don’t even have to speak correctly to get your point across.
For instance, let’s say some guy from another country and you are drinking at a bar and he falls down. Then he tells you “me pain, leg hurt, broken maybe. Please. Call hospital.”
Totally wrong, right? But did he get his point across?
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m learning words and how to put them together somewhat correctly. Doesn’t need to be perfect but close enough to understand what you’re saying and be understood.
You, yes you, can learn a musical instrument. If you already know how to, well, then you don’t need to hear this. But if you don’t, you can too.
As a kid, I just wanted to go outside and play. I didn’t want to practice cello then later piano. That’s boring. Or so I thought at the time.
So I was terrible. And I thought I was musically retarded.
Well you know what? It’s not that I was musically retarded, but I didn’t practice.
Once I got an electric guitar, everything changed. I freaking loved that thing so I put in hours every single day.
I started passing up my peers. They said I was talented. Which is bullshit.
I’m not talented. I just practiced more than they did. That’s why I passed them up.
Now here is how we break it down. Everything is just 12 notes. Yes. That’s it.
You could put those notes into scales. Or you can play two or more notes at the same time and that’s called a chord.
Once you start learning scales and chords, you can learn a musical instrument. Yes. It’s that simple.
With electric guitar, you can do various tricks too like bend notes, vibrate your strings, pick harmonics, palm muting, etc. Do all those things and you can get some pretty cool results. But first, learn scales and chords.
That’s the problem with people
People love to make things harder than they need to be. People are also quick to say “I can’t” or “I suck at this.”
Well, did you break it down then put in the work?