One of my "friends I've never met" on FaceBook posted a message for all of his musician friends. I am not a musician but some of my best friends were.
I spent many long days on the road with a band traveling across the mid west. I learned to appreciate and understand the mind of a musician.
As we traveled we would often times come across a music store and when we stopped we would converge on the place like kids to a play ground.
To this day I still get that overwhelming feeling when I visit area stores like "Guitar Center" or "Music Go Round."
"Can I help you?" the clerk will ask.
"No, I just came in to drool!" I always respond.
Again, I don't play an instrument. Well, I'll correct that. In my first ever band I actually belonged to the local 140 Musicians Union. I was the leader of the band so by their regulations I had to be Union.
I'll never forget the day I signed up.
"What instrument do you play?" he asked.
"Tambourine!" I said.
He stopped writing and looked up at me with shock/smile on his face.
"You must be a hell of a tambourine player!"
I thought I was. I explained the reason for joining.
Anyway, a few days ago my Facebook friend, Danny Rantin' Mac posted a comment about learning to play a fret-less bass. One of my friends in an earlier band played one.
If you are not familiar, frets divide the neck into fixed segments at intervals related to a musical framework. On instruments such as guitars, each fret represents one semitone in the standard western system where one octave is divided into twelve semitones.
Removing the frets on a bass guitar means the musician has the freedom to and the skill necessary to find the right notes without markers.
So, Danny's comments were regarding the musical meaning of fretting.
My writer's mind tripped over my old musician life and curiosity took over.
Danny included a link "A Guide to Making the Switch Fret-less Bass" by Damian Erskine I read it but all I could see in it were clear rules for how to accomplish goals and overcome your fears.
Don't worry too much about being in tune perfectly, every second of the song." he wrote.
Such is life. We often struggle with perfection. We think if we are not right-on-the-mark we will be out of tune with the world.
It went on to say, "to slide in and out of notes a little bit, his intonation actually improved because he now heard the slight variations as inflection, rather than "just plain wrong."
The comparison to every step we take on our journey in life is obvious, too. It's okay to side step or "march to the beat of a different drummer," we can slide in and out along the way as much as we desire.
Then the next line wrapped it all up for me: "Clearly, you do want to control when you are in tune, but give yourself the freedom to be human as you develop. That release from anxiety will allow you to perform better and more freely."
A life without fret or one with is a choice we make. Give yourself a chance to feel the freedom of living fret-less. Avoid having to be in tune all the time and slide back and forth, in and out of the path you have chosen.
It not only makes for great music, but it will free your creative mind to truly enjoy your life.
Danny says it all in his own words as he referred to his decision to go with a fret-less bass guitar. See if you can apply it to life, too:
~ Bob Perks ~