Talking About Music

It is extremely difficult to talk about how something should sound. When we practice we hear different ideas for how the song should progress. You have to reference where in the song you want to try something and give some semblance as to what you are going for. Those that are going to play whatever it is you’re thinking have to have some idea they can internalize and try to actually play. Rarely is the process simple even though it can feel like it should have been extremely simple.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that I usually want to communicate these ideas quickly. Part of the reason is simply because I don’t want to lose the idea. A rhythm or melody can be easy to forget when first write it because your hands haven’t memorized it yet and your ears most definitely haven’t. Another reason I want to try and speak quickly about what I’m thinking is that experimenting takes a very finite amount of time. When you have a song that is 4 minutes and you are practicing for 2 hours, the most you could play the song is 30 times. The reality is you’re going to take a minute or two in between each play and if someone messes something up (which is not uncommon at all), you might have to start over. When you have such a limited time period to work, communicating efficiently is critical.

That last sentence though should speak volumes because trying to say something quickly is rarely going to be the most effective means of saying what you mean. This is especially when you’re talking about music where the concepts can be really abstract and qualities are subjective. I’m coming to the conclusion if you want to communicate some musical idea there is no better way than to just try and play it. Take the time to set a context and emphasize the part(s) you are working on so everyone see when and what you’d like to change. This kind of patience is not something I seem to have, but I’m most definitely going to try and learn how to take my time and become more effective.