Dear Matt,These are all really super valuable approaches and I know a lot of musicians who followed that path. I really do respect you for it, and I agree, you have a truly unique style that I think is really magical so your approach is certainly working and valid.
I followed a similar path for the first 15 years of my own life, too.And then, in the 16th year, for some reason or other, I taught myself how to read
Western rhythmic notation and just became a voracious student. I tookcourses at UCSC and then, Cabrillo College (where I actually learned a lot more) but it just didn't do it for me.........too structured........too fixated on musical forms that I just didn't love, so I struck out on my own again, but this time with the aid of teachers (and my own researching).
In my case, I'm just restless all the time and just had to know about the nuts and bolts.......I suppose the way a magician wants to know how to create the illusion
as opposed to the audience who delights in experiencing it.It could take away from the delight of experiencing the 'magic' trick if it weren't for the fact that there are layers upon layers of understandings about music and the way it effects human beings.
Luckily, for me, learning about music seems never ending. There's always something else to learn.........I find myself at the age of 56, finally starting to understand some really deep principles about how Western harmony works and how to manipulate it in composition...... taking on instruments, as a beginner, that I never dreamed I would play in my lifetime.
I'm a baby again........or rather a precocious baby and it's a turn on. I'm really not saying it's the only way, but it's certainly a way. with respect for everyone's musical diversity, Rick Walker On 2/16/12 10:47 AM, Matt Davignon wrote:
I totally understand it. I was a music major for about a month in college. While learning the theory was good, I also found it was taking out the sense of wonder that's a major appeal of music to me. I decided instead to be "self-taught". Even though: --I never learned to read music, which is like being an American who doesn't know English --I never developed the muscle accuracy that many musicians have --I don't know the chords or advanced theory --I knew I was giving up on the idea of being a professional musician ...I felt that if I knew how it would all worked, it would cease to be interesting to me. So instead, I took one piano class to teach me some nuts and bolts, then went out on my own, so to speak. I'm still glad I did, because: --I still think music is interesting. --I got to spend the same amount of time focusing on the elements of music that fascinated me, like sound color, using different sound generation techniques, saturation, etc. --I don't feel like I'm competing with other musicians on a continuum of best to worst. [Not saying that most people do, but it's something I used to do, and I didn't measure up too well.] :) --In many cases, the things I don't know in music are opportunities to explore at my own pace, and only if I want to. --I like the idea of musicians having different skill sets and areas of specialty. --15 or so years in, I can honestly say I have a unique sound identity. Not good or bad, necessarily, but I definitely sound like me. That's the kind of musician I hoped to be when I got started. (Though younger me thought I'd be more technically proficient.)