Learning Piano, Overcoming Fear

I remember first hearing The Beatles through my parent’s early 90’s Panasonic stereo. The basic speakers of the day were quite large and ours eventually got blown out. Removing the foam grill would reveal a soft and torn fabric cone. This gave it quite a breathy sound. Puhhh!

When I was 4 or 5 years old, my sisters and cousin and I started piano lessons with Karen. She was a psychic that worked on the Queen Mary. One day Karen showed me a bent key from trying to enter a door on the ship, but the spirits would not let her in. After our lesson I switched places with my sisters who were at our next door neighbor’s playing Ouija board. Karen did not approve…

Organ lyfe

When I turned 12 I became interested in drums. I’m sure this was because my much older half brother was a drummer. He bought me a CD of Led Zeppelin IV and thrashed my drum heads while demonstrating When the Levee Breaks. Thanks, bro!

Check out the original compared to Zeppelin’s version.

My brother Darren at his hillside retreat in Hemet

I played drums till I was 18, and then picked up a guitar though I did not make it a priority for many years because I was too caught up in silly social activities. Eventually, I managed to find time by playing late into the night as often as I could, sometimes drunk or half asleep. A friend of mine once told me to play every day for 1 year, regardless if it was 5 minutes or an hour and I would be surprised by the results. I was, and still am! Practice makes ppppppppuhhhhh… erfect?

The first songs I learned on guitar were Blackbird by The Beatles and Over the Hills and Far Away by Led Zeppelin. Why did I choose these not-so-beginner songs to learn? Simple answer: my friend, Mark, shared his Tab music with me and I studied it with intention and focus like nothing before… and so my love for guitar quickly grew from there… I started printing music and for many years kept my songs in a 3-ring binder. Technology or nah?

Nowadays, I play mostly guitar and focus on improving my vocals. Yet I still fall back on piano as a useful guide for learning chord structure and theory as well as songwriting. It’s nice to be able to see the keys visually compared to using fingers on strings facing away from you. Generally, the more instruments you play the more you will learn the relationship of parts that make up the whole shebang of music as sonic energy! Or something like that…

Last year I learned Your Song by Elton John and performed it as the best man at my friend’s Kyle and Molly’s wedding!

Overcoming fear feels like love. Love feels like vulnerability and acceptance. Vulnerability takes courage and acceptance takes empathy. I love, therefore I am…

Annnnddddd here’s some cool pics of general music stuff . . .

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