Death of a Muso

Over the past week, two particular quotes have been in my mind.

Eugene: "When will you learn to play by ear?"

Good question Eugene. He asked this when he was playing all the Zelda songs he had ever heard, making harmony and improvising a little here and there. This is something I am completely unable to do. Although Eugene has been doing it for years, I should laugh at something so easy, but really I’m as pathetic as someone who’s never played the piano at all when it comes to a song I haven’t learned.

Dad: "You should learn to play more than a few songs. What did we pay all that money for [by giving you piano lessons]?"

Another good question Dad. I’m sorry you decided your sons would be musical. Don’t worry, Eugene’s musician enough for the both of us. Readers, I’m not being modest when I say I cannot consider myself a pianist. In fact, I renounce myself as one. I have never played the piano, have never learned, and have no intention of learning. My so called brilliance is focused entirely on a few key songs I have practiced to death- songs that sound pretty, look complex, but are years old. I cannot be given music, learn it over a half hour, and play it from memory. I cannot hear a song and repeat it. I’m fairly good at aural, but not nearly as good as Eugene. Even without comparing myself to my bravura of a brother, I’m horrendous. If you’ve ever heard me play the piano, know that I practiced that songs for months before I dared perform it.

I’m only good at the piano because I’m dedicated to teaching my fingers routine patterns, which notes to hit and when. I’m not a musical genius, and I’m certainly not talented. I’m just an automaton who doesn’t use music to express his soul. I’m sorry guys, but I’m not. And Dad, I’m sorry you wasted money on me with those lessons, because once I leave school, I’ll just learn my favourite songs, and leave it at that. I’ll do my best to pass TEE Music well, naturally, but after that, I’m going to learn One Winged Angel and consider my journey as a musician over. -sigh- I wonder why it took me so long to realise. Oh, wait, I can answer that. Because people made me believe in something. They were so easily woo’d and impressed that they applauded, just because they hadn’t wasted months learning the songs I did. Well thanks for the support, but really, I don’t deserve faith. It doesn’t bother me that I’m not good at the piano. I’ve accepted that, and I’d rather stop playing altogether. What bothers me is that people want me to continue, even though I’m no good. And so I hate the blindness of those people who urge me on, when really, I’d rather just lay down for a while and have some peace. I like piano, I like music, don’t get me wrong, but having to play songs I don’t like, can’t play, or don’t want to play just…

Yeah, all right. So I will never again call myself a pianist, but merely a young male who, for a while, taught himself some songs. I don’t think I’ll ever be more than that.

PS: A few other quotes come to mind, now that I think about it.
Perry: You have to learn how to trill! It’s not that hard!
Eugene: It’s not something I can teach you! Every musician can just hear [the next note]/[the harmony that sounds good with a note].
Perry: It’s [he taps out a rhythm], not [he taps out another rhythm], which is what you’re doing.
Ben Caddy: Blah blah blah, I’m going to be a brilliant musician some day, and several times a week I play the violin in various orchestras, and simultaneously, the bass guitar for James Redman’s band. Good for you Ben, seriously, I’m glad for you. But if you’re a musician, what am I?
Dad/Eugene: Various scoldings for not playing the piano at church. Well screw you guys! I can’t play, so back off, yeah?


One thought on “Death of a Muso

  1. Ivy says:

    Oh seriously now. You play the piano. You’re a pianist. You may not be a professional one but you could be one at heart. If you’re not, then okay, there’s nothing I will do to argue against it. But what do you think?
    Don’t forget, there are people in the world who can’t even play that piano (i.e. me)
    I think it’s really silly of you to let others’ word define what you think of yourself.
    Have you forgot how you played Ballade Pour Adeline? Is it not a precious gift that you have?

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