Fumbling My Way Through Life Episode 4
by Noise Pollution
Lately I’ve been watching a lot of music videos and covers on Youtube.
Everybody is too perfect.
Watching the ease at which talented musicians perform is not inspiring for someone like me; it’s disheartening. When I see the way their fingers move along a fretboard… It looks so natural; it looks like they belong there. When I put my hands on my guitar, it is a struggle to hit every single note. And I’m not an amature as far as time spent playing goes, not by any stretch of the imagination. Nor am I lacking in the practice department. When I initially started playing, I would go until my fingers bled and then some. My band and I would spend countless hours playing in dire heat or numbing cold, fall-down drunk or stone-cold sober. I still play every single day.
But it doesn’t feel as natural to me as it looks when I see other people play. When I watch other people play, I see a wall that cannot be climbed. These people look like they were born to play the guitar. I look like I’m about to break a goddamn sweat just from thinking too hard.
There’s such a magnificent difference in the way we play that I feel as though I’m doing something fundamentally wrong. I feel like I’m looking at the instrument the wrong way; holding it upside-down or something. Like there’s some mistake I’m making that could be easily corrected were I not mostly self-taught. But I know that’s not it. Maybe I just wasn’t cut out for this. Maybe I learned how to play the guitar against all fucking odds, whe genetics keep trying to tell me know
I guess I can just tell that it’s always going to be a struggle for me. I’m never going to be able to play a song without thinking. I’m always going to be worried about that next note, and unsure as to whether or not I’m even going to successfully hit it. But I love playing. I love singing. I love writing music. I won’t ever put this instrument down, no matter how insignificant everyone else on earth makes me feel. Because they do do that. They do make me feel small and worthless. Perhaps not intentionally. Maybe they aren’t trying to show off. Maybe they aren’t trying to taunt me; maybe they aren’t laughing at me from that ledge I will never be able to climb. It’s so hard not to see it that way. And it’s so hard not to be spiteful. But I love the music, and I love it enough to take the unintended insults and accept the feeling of inferiority for the rest of my life. It’s just not something I’m willing to lose.