Cost: Starts at zero, goes to $$$$$ depending on what you want to do
Time Required: Completely up to you
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like at least some kind of music. For me, music can be fun, it can be uplifting, it can be emotional, and it can be a distraction from things that are bothering me. Just listening to some high-tempo music from almost any section of the music store can help cheer me up and get me moving a bit when I’d rather just sit in a chair like a lump.
When I hear a new song, I’ll listen to it normally the first few times. After that, I start to concentrate on the song and see if I can tease out particular melodies or instruments. I used to play trumpet and I “play” the bass guitar and for me, one of my favourite things to figure out is the bass line to a song. Even if I can only hum or whistle or think it to myself, I’ll always try to figure out the bass line first. To be honest, I don’t often pay attention to the lyrics – I just treat the vocals like another instrument and listen to the pitches and progressions. Every song is a multitude of pieces that have to work together to sound right and I find it rewarding to figure out each part.
When I was young, I was raised on country music and 60s rock. I didn’t listen to metal or pop, just the dusties and the oldies. When I moved away from home, I worked in a computer store that was upstairs from a music store. They played music all the time, and that’s where I was exposed to a lot of new genres that I really liked. Then, I met WG and he introduced me to all kinds of new music that I didn’t even know existed. I like everything from classical to punk to EDM. I’m not a huge fan of really, REALLY heavy metal, but I can sit through it without clawing my eyes out.
I’ve probably mentioned it in another post somewhere (possibly more than once) but I’m really into the late-70s/early-80s punk. The Monks, The Undertones, The Bureaucrats, Gorilla Angreb, The Ramones, The Angry Samoans… I like a lot of the stuff from that period. Lots of it is really fast moving so it gets my toes tapping, too.
I’m having a little bit of trouble doing it now because my hands are a little shaky, but something that really helped pass the time was picking up the bass and playing along with a song or figuring out how the bass line went. I find it quite rewarding when I’ve finally figured it out and can play along. It makes me feel good, helps me concentrate, and, like I said, it passes the time. I keep thinking that someday I’ll dig out the trumpet and blow the spiders out of it but it’ll take a lot of TLC to get the trumpet ready to play. It’s been, somewhere around a dozen years since I last took the trumpet out of its case. Maybe I’ll try to make a goal of fixing it up and trying it sometime soon. We’ll see.
For me, music isn’t just music. It’s a tool that often helps me forget the things that are bothering me – if only for just a short while. There’s no shortage of it, and it’s always easy to find. It’s not as good as a therapist, but it helps in a pinch.