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Cool Change

It’s more than a change of season


by Dendy Jarrett




Fall represents a time of change, and, at least in the northern hemisphere, cool change. Despite its being the opposite of spring in terms of “renewal,” I often view fall as a time of renewal as well as reflection. But what do leaves dying with the nip in the air have to do with music? More than you might think...


Lately, I’ve been on a 70s kick. I keep my Sirius XM tuned to 70s on 7. For me, the station represents my youth and the teen years when music influenced me the most. I remember hanging in the parking lot at high school prior to marching band practice, and someone always had their car stereo cranked on FM 105 with REO Speedwagon or the Little River Band blasting. The nip of fall would be in the air, so flannel shirts were the rule. And if I close my eyes and go there, I experience all the sights, smells, and sounds associated with those times.


Fall is the time when the days grow shorter, so for many of us that means more available time because there's less need for yard work or outdoor-related chores - which means there's more time for playing music. And while  it's  great to use music as "comfort food for the soul" and play the music you've always enjoyed or that was important in your youth, think about those leaves for a second: you can consider them as dying, but you can also consider them as getting out of the way so that new, young leaves can take their place in the spring. 


So as you play music, consider renewing your love of music the way that trees renew their ability to do photosynthesis: they keep their roots but get rid of the old surface stuff to make way for the new. Listen to music you've never paid attention to before. Practice learning a new instrument - it will make you better at your primary instrument. Get out of melodic, rhythmic, or chordal ruts...and try new ways to record. For example, if you alway start with a chord progression, start with a melody line. If you play drums, use congas. Go ahead, dare to try playing with some loops. If you're a DJ, check out a folksinger at a coffeehouse; and if you're a folksinger, go to a club. If you always play for paying customers, build a campfire and play for your family.


That way, when spring comes, not only will nature be renewed but you will be also. If you haven't been too excited about playing music lately, maybe it's for the same reason you can lose your interest in food if you keep eating the same food over and over again. Watch those leaves fall, and remember it's all part of a cool change...and that some cool changes in your music will make it new and exciting again by the time spring rolls around.  -HC-






Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.


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Mikeo  |  September 26, 2016 at 3:36 pm
Amen to some cooler weather.   I like to sit out in my back yard and do some picking on the guitar or mandolin. It's time to finish up some songs and get them recorded, but that can wait till later fall or winter.
Last week I had the air conditioner on, but the temperature and humidity is now gone for good. 
It's a good time of year, and my wife's favorite time of year. 
Enjoy, play music, get away from TV, or the net. Hang out with some friends and play some music.

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