For the life of me, I just can’t spell the word “rhythm”. Thank you, spell check, for existing. I just cannot commit the spelling of that word to memory. It makes no sense. There are no vowels. What kind of word is that? I don’t know how people successfully learn English as a second language, with all of its quirks and nuances.
Why am I writing about rhythm? Because I’m struggling with it. Insert your “white man’s overbite” jokes here. No, I’m talking about playing a rhythm pattern on my mandolin for our new song. Here’s the issue. The guitarist is playing one rhythm(no joke, I have to look up at the spelling of the word every single time) and I’m supposed to play another, similar rhythm on the mando. Who the heck has the concentration skills for that? The more I learn and progress with my playing(and it ain’t that much of a progression yet), the more I am staggeringly impressed by real musicians. The sheer brain power it takes to be a proficient player is really not understood by the general public, in my opinion.
And then I think about the very high level players, like Richard Thompson, who are also singing at the same time. I think I finally understand why so many singers close their eyes while playing. I used to think it was a weird, shyness thing. No, I now believe it’s for concentration. Too much visual stimuli while playing an instrument and singing can be a distraction.
I’ll keep at it because it’s fun and I do love it but wow, this is way more of a challenge than I ever thought it would be. Rock on!