Making Music - An Affair of the Heart
By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)
Musicians…you know what I’m talking about! The love of music and your instrument isn’t something you “acquire”…rather it is a fundamental part of your DNA. With every fiber of your being, you can’t help but make music.
And let’s face it—music has always had a relationship to the heart, sex, and love. Whether it’s the stereotype of the guy serenading the love of his life with an acoustic guitar, the “they’re playing our song” syndrome, the approximately 76 trillion pop songs dealing with love, or the strings that come up behind the big romantic scene in the movie…music is an affair of the heart.
But can love as we know it extend to a musical instrument, which after all, is an inanimate object? Then again…is it?
Polynesian cultures have a concept called mana, which in a (very simplified) nutshell means an unseen life energy that flows through all things. A guitar, which is made of wood and was once a living being—and still changes over time—could easily be considered as having some kind of energy. B.B. King loved Lucille, and spoke the blues through her…who’s to say Lucille wasn’t a combination of her own energy coupled with what B.B. King poured into her? Or consider Willie Nelson and his guitar Trigger, or any of the other instruments that are iconically and inseparably linked with an artist—Buddy Holly’s Strat, Jimmy Page’s Les Paul, Chris Squire’s Rickenbacker bass, and so on.
Looked at through the lens of romance, those artists may have had affairs with other instruments—but they always came back to their true love. I’ve had musician friends whose instruments were stolen and have literally gone into mourning over the loss, expending exhaustive amounts of time searching for the instrument in music stores, pawn shops, and online. If they can be reunited, it’s a moment of pure joy—but conversely, the realization a magic instrument is gone forever leaves a scar that never quite heals.
Some musicians are fortunate to find the musical instrument equivalent of a soul mate. And just like a human relationship, sometimes being with your favorite instrument brings you comfort, peace, and true happiness. Picking up your well-worn acoustic guitar may be like getting a big bear hug. Using that “special” mic in on stage may be the lifeline that connects you with your audience.
Yes, we like our gear! But as instruments come and go, keep your eye out for that one-in-a-million instrument that becomes your true love. Sure, you can have some fun affairs with a flashy new instrument, and even some wild one-night stands. But when you find the right life partner, it’s transformative…as is finding the instrument that helps you not only make better music, but transforms your soul.
After all, music is an affair of the heart.
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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.
Edited by Dendy Jarrett