I am happy to announce that things in my life have slowed down to a fairly normal pace after the hectic wedding week. Work is back to normal, home is back to normal, and my weekly meetings with my music girls are back to normal as well! WHEW! I was beginning to think that the chaos was going to stick around forever.
Last week, my girls and I went to a favorite restaurant for foodies and live entertainment. One of our friends was performing. He was playing his acoustic guitar, accompanied by the upright bass. Heaven! As we were sitting there eating, our guitar playing friend gave us a shout out as a music group. He saw our video in the park, and thought it was quite humorous. It was suggested that maybe we should come up and do a number with them. Seriously, the coolest. How flattering is that? A song was picked, and off we went. Our lead vocalist sang, while our lyricist (who also has a BEAUTIFUL voice, I might add) and I sang backup… with guitar and bass. Mind you, I didn’t know the song, so I was faking my way through it, BUT WOW… It was one of the best feelings! This has reignited the passion of musical creativity… just one of the many reasons that we started our group in the first place!
One of the things that has come up from all of this is jazz… To be more specific, jazz piano. Sure, I played a little bit in the swing choir in high school… (For those of you keeping track… that would be 30+ years ago!) There wasn’t any theory involved. It was just playing what was on paper, or playing a tune by ear. I love jazz. I find it fascinating, entertaining, and exciting. Why is it I have never learned jazz piano? That’s about to change.
Here’s something you didn’t know about me…Most things music related seem to be pretty easy for me. Yeah, I might need to practice a bit to be actually good at it, but I catch on quick. I started watching YouTube videos earlier this week. This is so much fun! Yes, there will be MUCH practicing needed, but I can do this. I WILL do this! I’m starting to figure it out.
As I’ve been laying in bed every night this week, attempting to fall asleep, my brain has been contemplating the entire jazz genre as a whole. I had an epiphany… If I were to describe myself in a music style, I think jazz just might be it. (I originally thought that classical was it, and maybe, because it secretly mirrors several of the same characteristics, it is also a part of me). Honestly, jazz would probably describe most of us, but, humor me here!
Melodic improvisation – Every minute I’m awake is one big improvisation. I want my day to be harmonious, but I love the thought of not knowing what is going to come next until it reveals itself to me. The chaos that happens throughout my day might be initially a bit displeasing, but I try to embrace it and put a positive spin on it.
Scat singing – Made up words that make no sense. Haha! If you’ve spent any time with me, you know that I don’t make sense a lot of the time.
Walking bass – The bass keeps it all together. It’s methodical… Reliable. I keep my cool. I keep myself in check. I am one of the most reliable, punctual people you will ever meet. I try, ever so hard, to do what I say I’m going to do, and on time.
Varied tempos – Most of us have our high and low points throughout the day, but what you do with it is totally up to you! Like the improvisation, embrace it and own it!
Inventive and creative – Um, yes! I think this one pretty much speaks for itself.
Have you ever really thought about what style of music really defines you? Are you an eighties big hair rock band? Hard hitting, screaming guitar, with a bit of ballad in you? Or maybe you’re a country, boot wearing, dirt road driving, horseback riding, kind of person… Or are you an angry music, fly off the handle, everyone gets on your last nerve, in your face, leave nothing to the imagination kind of person…
Music is in my blood. I am always humming, singing, playing “air” piano, drumming, “air” guitar-ing… I might have a problem.
Think about it. What defines you?
Invite a little jazz into your life. Be proud of your ability to roll with the varied tempos of your day. Feed your creativity. Take time to be spontaneous. Sometimes it’s fun to make no sense at all… do something out of the ordinary!