How do you get over all the reasons not to make things?
October 21, 2012 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Hope this isn't triggering or anything, but I've got a ton of immediately convincing reasons to never open my mouth or pick up my guitar. Is anyone's up for contributing to my list of less-than-persuasive counterarguments?

Inspired by this recent question. These are kind of related, too.

A1: There is too much fucking stuff out there already. Not every passing thought or melody is worth puking out into the world.

CA1: If you live your life according to the rationale of ends over means, you might as well just end it, because there's no obvious or necessary point to you either. Since you insist on living day after day, may as well make a point of it. The machinations of scale can only be justified through the joys and pains of an individual life. Even committing to ends over means, you can't predict what impact you'll have on things. Maybe some small part of your music will influence something or body 'important' down the line. (It's unlikely, but not impossible; and it's hubris to imagine you can predict your value, or know what it will be in the fullness of time.) Making music feels good, which is arguably good, in itself. Maybe that's what will make a difference, somewhere.

A2: No one wants to hear a guitar anyway. Your tastes and instincts don't matter. While we're at it, neither does your generation. Younger, better people than you churn out culturally relevant material faster, more easily, and more spontaneously, because they haven't interrupted their instinctive, natural growth within their time. Freaking out about catching up is both futile and fraudulent, and a waste of what little energy you have, because if you haven't bothered until now you probably won't stick with it. Effortfully mining your early, accidental likes and dislikes is solipsistic and indulgent. Also, grow up. You're in your mid-thirties.

CA2: ?? See CA1?

A3: You're too tight-assed to be decent at it. You don't even really value music, because it doesn't fix bones or feed people. Good luck shaking that off before you're even less alienated from your culture. Maybe your kids or grandkids will be able to have fewer hang-ups, though, if you do enough therapy and marry up.

CA3: n/a

I feel like I have to open my mouth and pick up my guitar, though, because things are kind of feeling grim, lately, otherwise. Nauseating, overblown melodrama to follow: it's what I used to do, and how I used to define myself, before SSRIs and a crazy relationship and under/unemployment and being old just kind of wore at me.
posted by nelljie to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
'is anyone up' for it, rather.
posted by nelljie at 3:53 PM on October 21, 2012

Does playing music make you happy, energise you, relax you? If so, do it and to hell with the naysayers.
posted by arcticseal at 3:57 PM on October 21, 2012

Making music feels good, which is arguably good, in itself

I'm not sure you need to go beyond this. Just make music; all this time you spend concocting arguments and counterarguments and so on can be better spent making music. Even making bad music, in whatever metric you're using to define "bad" is still time better spent than navel-gazing and philosophizing.
posted by griphus at 3:57 PM on October 21, 2012 [5 favorites]

It doesn't matter if you're good at it. It sounds like singing and playing guitar are good for you.
posted by momus_window at 3:58 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

This reads a bit like a call for help. If it is, please reach out to someone trained to that. It certainly isn't me.

Beyond that, the biggest reason is that it's A-OK to do things for yourself! All your reasons seem to impute that every act of creation must have profound importance on some sort of cosmic, or at least societal scale. I don't agree at all. Creativity is something that comes out of all of us because we need to do it. If it happens to have meaning to anyone else that is a bonus, but neither a means nor an end.

Sometimes you just need to follow your bliss. This is one of those times. Do what is good for you, and leave the devil behind.
posted by meinvt at 3:59 PM on October 21, 2012 [7 favorites]

You need to try some off-the-wall alternate tunings.
posted by mannequito at 3:59 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Do you enjoy making music? I mean, do you like doing it? Does it make you feel better/good or help you deal with sadness or just generally improve your life in any way? If you like it, then you should do it. Not everything we do has to create lasting change in the world. Sometimes, you just have to do things that make you happy.

I realize, that's a sort of a flip answer. But this question isn't really about music. It's about the fact that you seem pretty depressed, and that's making you feel as though you don't deserve the things that make you happy, because making yourself happy isn't an important thing. But really, it is. And if you can't bring yourself to value your own happiness, I think it's time to go back to your medical care providers and let them know that your current regimen isn't cutting it.
posted by decathecting at 3:59 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

OK dude you must seriously have a shot at reading Kenny Werner's "Effortless Mastery" which if you google the search terms +PDF may turn up as a google cache. Answers at least 3/4 of your question extremely convincingly.
posted by yoHighness at 4:00 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Why do I make things? Because if I don't, I die inside.

It really sounds as if you're on the precipice here and I don't know what you need to do to come away from it. Play music? Therapy? More exercise? None of those could hurt.

also, mid-thirties is NOT old. Not even close.
posted by cooker girl at 4:01 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love singing. I am TERRIBLE at singing. But singing immediately lifts my spirits and brings joy to my life. In my case, singing has nothing to do with grand art, and everything to do with being happy.
posted by mollymayhem at 4:06 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

What I've learned to do is reframe the value of art away from the value that it has for other people, to the value that it has for me. I wrote a bunch of novels before I got one published. Those aren't any good to anyone except me. I don't know if even the one I did get published made a difference to anyone except me. But I believe that if I show up to the keyboard as often as I can, I am going to set myself on a path that's good for me. It may be that I get better at writing; it may be that I explore thoughts and emotions that I wouldn't have explored otherwise. If nothing else, I can prove to myself that if I'm persistent enough I can write a bunch of novels.

There's a J-rock song* that goes, "This song that you're singing is the song that knows you better than anyone else, it's the song that's protected you even from the hardest rain." That is the value that I believe art can have, and it's not dependent on anyone else knowing or caring.

You don't have to pass some bar of good enough, young enough, dedicated enough to earn the right to create. You can approach the work with curiosity and playfulness and a spirit of thinking, well, I'm just going to paddle around a little and see what happens.

*"Kanojo to Hoshi no Isu," Bump of Chicken"
posted by Jeanne at 4:10 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

Simple answer - Who cares what everyone else thinks? Do what will damned well make you happy.

That said - If you hope to make a living writing music, then you unfortunately do need to consider what other people want. But if you just do it because you like doing it - Play, play, play 'till your fingers bleed!
posted by pla at 4:11 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Maybe you're right that you have no talent, skill or interesting things to say. These "arguments" have a way of being self-fulfilling prophecies.
posted by rhizome at 4:18 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm reminded of something I heard Bono say in a Joshua Tree-era concert bootleg:

"This song is called 'C'mon Everybody.' It's by Eddie Cochran. We do a really shit version, but we like it."

If it brings you joy, do it!
posted by 4ster at 4:31 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

People who live their lives determined to make sure everyone approves of them and that they're always being productive and grownup frequently find themselves unhappy when they realize nobody is really paying attention to them and all that approval-seeking was essentially wasting time when they could've been doing something that makes them happy.

Furthermore, the people who ARE good at guitar and singing or whatever went through the same stages you're going through. Jimi Hendrix, or whoever you'd consider a guitar god, did go through the phase where he sat in his room and plucked strings and everything sounds terrible.

And let me look at Pollstar's mid-year top-grossing tours list...Roger Waters is almost 70, Van Halen the band started in 1972 (the band is older than you!), Tim McGraw is 45, Kenny Chesney is 44, the members of Lady Antebellum are in their late 20s or early 30s, Springsteen is 63...lotta guitars there, I'm just saying.

Look, you're probably not going to be a rock star, but you can go out and have a good time. And you know how you can DEFINITELY not be a rock star? Never trying anything because you think you're too old for it. But then you won't have a good time.

The argument that music doesn't set bones or feed people? Bullshit. Utter crap. Because even in the most untouched tribe in the world, one that's never even heard of science or modern medicine or agriculture where they still are hunter gatherers and live Stone Age lifestyles...those people have music.

The only person invested in making you happy is you. Do what makes you happy.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 4:36 PM on October 21, 2012 [10 favorites]

Also, Morrissey is 53. So there.
posted by 4ster at 4:47 PM on October 21, 2012

There is a vast difference between playing guitar because you are a professional entertainer and playing guitar because it's fun to make music. Please do not confuse the two; they are completely separate and distinct. If you're going to go down that road, you may as well stop driving (because, Jeff Gordon!), stop scrambling eggs (because, Julia Child!), telling funny stories (because, Louis C.K.!) -- and so on. Also, this is the kind of question that people ask when they're depressed. You mention SSRIs, but maybe you need a re-evaluation.
posted by Wordwoman at 4:53 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

People who live their lives determined to make sure everyone approves of them and that they're always being productive and grownup frequently find themselves unhappy when they realize nobody is really paying attention to them and all that approval-seeking was essentially wasting time when they could've been doing something that makes them happy.

Repeating this for truth. Everything in your question is about how other people value how you spend your time. Stop worrying about other people, do what you want to do with your time.
posted by fshgrl at 4:59 PM on October 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

These are the best counter-arguments I can muster:
Don't worry if it's not good enough for anyone else to hear: Joe Raposo's "Sing!" from Sesame Street, 1971
Singing Henson's favorite songs at his funeral
Sing for the bartender, sing for the janitor, sing for the teachers who told you that you couldn't sing: Amanda Palmer, "Sing."

You sound so sad, like you've got somebody who lives in your head who beats you up every time you decide to try and make yourself feel better. Sing to drown it out. Pick up your guitar and play it because fuck that guy.

We make stuff because it makes us happy to do so and we have such a small time on this Earth and making even something little and fragile matters and means something.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 5:00 PM on October 21, 2012 [5 favorites]

Creating art (or anything) doesn't just feel good for you in the moment, it changes how you perceive other art out in the world. My appreciation of music and visual arts changed a lot when I tried to create those things myself.
posted by kellybird at 5:00 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Why do I play music, when it's not my job, or even real talent to do so? Because I can, and because it is there, and I am there to play it. Mano a mano, just me and the instrument in the room. Beyond that, things get convoluted, and no, I don't know why I'm doing it. But in the room, with me alone, it makes sense, more sense than when I think of anyone else on the street that could hear, or my neighbors or whatever. I've dumbed down my repertoire a bit, so that I can play without disappointing myself continually. But that's only because I've stopped, entirely, caring about the audience. It's me and the music... the end.
Similar to Made of Star Stuff i've got a quote for you, from Charles Ives, which I've got scrawled across the first page of his first sonata's Alcott's movement :
“… under the Concord sky, there still floats the influence of that human faith melody, transcendent and sentimental enough for the enthusiast or the cynic respectively, reflecting an innate hope — a common interest in common things and common men — a tune the Concord bards are ever playing, while they pound away at the immensities with a Beethovenlike sublimity, and with, may we say, a vehemence and perseverance — for that part of greatness is not so difficult to emulate.”

For that part of greatness that is not so difficult to emulate. That is why we play.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 5:20 PM on October 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

There are things we tell ourselves that don't come from ourselves but out of abusive narratives we've absorbed from our culture or our parents or our teachers. I suspect these are things that they told kids to make themselves feel better for their own lack of ambition.

Most of the stuff you're saying here sounds like the narrative that Mr. WanKenobi had for himself for years and years. He told himself it wasn't worth it to try to write because he was too old and it wasn't a real job and he needed to be practical and he couldn't even waste his time doing stuff that he'd once found joyful just for fun because he should have been spending his time On Better Things. On those rare occasions when he tried, it wasn't perfect, and so he'd give up.

On the other hand, I'm stupidly, stubbornly determined. I spent several years churning out Bad Stuff and getting better and I never tried to talk myself out of it because, well, what good was that? If nothing else, it made me happy--and if I saw it through, then at least I could say I tried. Maybe it would help someone, but if it didn't, at least it helped me.

(On a related note, here's a song about that--"Eulogy" by Frank Turner)

Anyway, I'll give you one guess as to who has a writing career and who doesn't. I love my husband, but it kills me to see how much he beats himself up for ever considering trying (he's getting better at that, yay.)

Why be such a jerk to yourself? Why take that joy out of your life? Be good to yourself, get therapy, do things that make you feel good. Cynicism is both overprescribed and overrated. You only get one life, and you might as well spend it making yourself happy. Lord knows no one else is going to do it, capisce?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:31 PM on October 21, 2012 [8 favorites]

One of the really tough things about depression is that it tricks us into rejecting all the best ways to escape it. Do you find that you're always coming up with reasons why you "can't" take advantage of something positive or promising? (Like, if you were in a dark room and stumbling around trying to find things, you'd come up with reasons why you couldn't turn on the lights?) This is a temporary habit of mind - it's not inevitable or a clear-eyed stoicism about bedrock truth, it's just a down habit of mind. You can change it, and things can feel better. (I will link to the ThereIsHelp wiki page -- which begins with hotline numbers, but scroll down for lots of resources about depression.)

You say: Making music feels good

That's really what counts. It sounds like you could use something that buoys you, makes you feel good, takes you out of your head a little, these days. If you've got a readymade feel-good thing like making music, take advantage of that wonderful piece of good fortune! Go make some music so you can feel good!
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:32 PM on October 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yikes! I didn't mean to come across as quite so desperate (or, to make as many typos as I did). I've tried to represent the harshest, most vicious voices* (not actual ones) that stop me from using music to, yes, feel better.

I admit to being situationally depressed. Things didn't work out with the therapist I've been seeing most recently, and I'm actively seeking a new one. I stopped SSRIs many years ago, not least because I've not a doubt they quashed my ability to get to 'flow', or want to. I know lots of people have been helped by meds, but my preference is to use other means .

I suppose I am confusing things, and it's right to call me on outrageously inflating the importance of my messing around. I guess I do feel responsible for making something half-good, and for an audience. I studied voice formally until I was 20 - music was my first major at university, until I switched - but could never successfully reconcile my admittedly crude need to be 'useful' with the notion of singing as a career (immigrant parents; Catholic school; cautious and fearful personality).

Am barely adequate at the guitar, but it's portable, and I'm cheaper & more available than other accompanists.

I need to be more ok with doing this for fun (& sanity).

*But maybe, as rhizome suggests, they're accurate.

Thanks, all, for your kind, thoughtful responses.
posted by nelljie at 5:50 PM on October 21, 2012

What's the alternative to making things? Because in my experience, people without well-defined hobbies watch a lot of TV. And if the choices are learning to play guitar somewhat poorly and then writing drecky songs or catching another season of Honey Boo Boo, I'm pretty sure the world can tolerate an epic crapton more drecky songs than it already has. And hey, maybe you'll be good.

Creating things is pretty much always a good thing, especially as compared to merely consuming them or destroying them. It might not be strictly 'useful' but it's better than many of the lesser alternatives.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:52 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well, the thing is that even making them "accurate" is a creative act, since "talent" is a value judgement outside of "expression." That is, if you think you suck, you do. Otherwise, keep going. I was just trying to goad you into ignoring external validation a little.

What level should one be at before they're allowed to do it for "fun and sanity?"
posted by rhizome at 5:58 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Music has saved my life on many many occasions. Never the Beatles or whatever, but usually some dumb, cheesy amateur garage punk band who recorded a single on the cheap about longing or drugs or werewolves or all three, giving it their all and coming up short, but communicating where they are and who they are perfectly, touching me, making me feel understood. If you can do that for one person once, your life has been worth something. And if you have the ability to do that, or even possess the possibility in you to do it, why would you ever stop?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:58 PM on October 21, 2012 [6 favorites]

You're not talking about quitting your day job, are you? Even if you do have an obligation to contribute to the good of society, you don't need to do every minute of every day. Yes - be useful, that is a good thing but it is not the only thing.

Making music does not taking anything away from anyone else. (Assuming that you haven't tied up your audience and forced them to listen against their will.) So it is really OK to do it just because you want to and for no more reason than that.

What if your voices are right and your music really is worthless? It is still worth doing just because you feel like it so even if you do it badly it still worth doing for your own pleasure.

My advice is to stop thinking and just pick up the guitar and play badly. Force yourself to play for little bit even if your inner critics think it is awful. Just do it and build from there.
posted by metahawk at 6:01 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Having a hard time choosing a single best answer, or even properly absorbing the kindness offered here.

(No day job to quit, unfortunately, since I was laid off over two years ago. I am certainly mixing things up. Will take it to my next therapist.)

Thanks, again.
posted by nelljie at 6:24 PM on October 21, 2012

What PhoBWanKenobi said is the way my wife thinks.

She enjoyed writing but her mother told her it was stupid and childish, so she doesn't do it. She was just trying to tell me she enjoyed singing and I said, "I can't remember a single time I've even heard you sing in front of me and I know you've never really belted one out" and she mentioned the time she sort of sang along to the radio in 2004 (for the record, I'm mauling "Kiss" by Prince for the entertainment of myself as I type this).

But to her way of thinking, what's the point in singing if you're not in a choir or otherwise doing something PRODUCTIVE rather than just mauling His Purpleness for the sheer joy of it? I've taken her to very, very energetic concerts (Flogging Molly, Great Big Sea, etc.) and she's sat very placidly and politely in her seat while the crowd around her went completely insane. She used to play the flute in high school and still has one, but what's the point of just sitting around and playing when you're not in a formal band or orchestra or something PRODUCTIVE?

She's tried things over the years. She tried computer programming and picked it up far faster than I ever could, but what was the point in taking it further when she couldn't get a job with a month of it NOW? (Of course, if she had kept it up, she'd have 10 years of experience and probably a senior/management-level job by now). She tried guitar and picked it up really quick and we currently live in a place years later where someone who could play and sing and show up reliably could make some nice walking around money...but what was the point in that when it wasn't productive NOW? She had a field she worked in when she was a teenager that she really enjoyed and still talks about, but moving up from entry-level would require taking some classes and exams and she didn't know if she could pass them, so what was the point in even trying and being unproductive?

And she also shares your "Well, I'm in my 30s so I'm old and shouldn't even waste my time doing anything ever that younger people might do" mindset. So, now she comes home and does the Responsible and Adult Thing, which is watch her TV shows and read the internet and go to bed at a decent hour. And that's it. She listens to her Inner Dad From Footloose regarding all things fun.

By contrast, I am almost dementedly determined. I decided I wanted to start swimming seriously--I knew how to swim to survive, but not like serious lap swimming and workouts--and spent a good few months figuring out how to breathe and get my strokes down before I didn't feel like a complete idiot in the pool. I play basketball every week and have gotten from Guy Who Airballs Every Shot to Guy Who Camps Under The Rim And Is Kind Of A Dangerous Shooter Up Close, though it took YEARS of looking like an idiot. I'm figuring out how to add martial arts to my schedule despite the fact that I'm fat and really uncoordinated and will look like an idiot for a while. I'm figuring out how I'm going to do that with the rock climbing I want to do once I clear the budget space.

Nobody says, "Wow, your wife is such a Serious And Mature Adult With Her Productive Hobbies and you, sir, are an insane lunatic with delusions unbefitting a man in his 30s." They say, "Wow, she's kind of boring for a guy like you, isn't she?"
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:21 PM on October 21, 2012 [8 favorites]

I picked up the guitar about 15 years ago. I tried to do the open mic circuit, looking for adulation, but but discovered that playing to try and please others (or impress chicks) is ultimately empty-feeling. Now I play for myself, and occasionally for the wife ("Would you please learn a love song, or at least a happy song?") and am so much happier about my playing. Even if I've not progressed much.

I take a lot of landscape photos. I tried, for a while, being a model member of Flickr, all but begging for recognition. I spent a lot of money framing my favorites, and entered into local art exhibit vanity competitions. Got a couple installations in hip restaurants--but no sales. Once the installations expired, I took the framed stuff and had it on a shelf in the basement, where it taunted me every time I did laundry. I felt worthless in that part of my life, and it bled over to other parts of life. Then I gave 'em all away - my sister-in-law and her new husband needed to decorate their apartment. That act of "devaluing" it by giving it away completely freed me from worrying about recognition or remuneration. Now I can shoot without doubt, just for the pure joy of it.

I would suggest you stop trying to infuse too much meaning into playing, and just feckin' enjoy the fingers on the frets.
posted by notsnot at 9:01 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

You guys are amazing, and completely correct. It's not up to me to decide what's relevant - people will take or leave what I add to the heap. The glut's a gift - no one gives a shit.

Lobstermitten, so right, I can talk myself out of anything, and I'll dig into the resources you pointed me to, to learn how to stop. Just the counterarguments, though, to some arguments I made offline: songs, the human voice, storytelling, are not 'over', says who, that's dumb. Figure it out, treat it as a problem to solve. Being a female singer doesn't have to tied up with sexuality and youth, and if you think it does, complicate & explore that. Maybe age is a hindrance in music as far as marketing's concerned, but it's got no bearing on writing, and the money end's dying anyway. Fame is as meaningless as privacy is, which also means your shame and pride are senseless, and you're as free as anyone else to take a stand as a person. Your neuroticism about this is what's outdated.

I am going to listen to everyone and make some maybe-shitty, happy-making songs. Thanks, again.
posted by nelljie at 12:41 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would like to add another thing to everyone's list of good things/points, which is something that only people like myself, I think, can really understand. Or perhaps yourself. : )

Sometimes, you have a desire to create art - whether you would like it to be awesome or not, for yourself only, or not - because you can't help yourself. You HAVE to do it. Without doing it, you just feel like, well, not to get all melodramatic, but like life is not worth living. Perhaps the amount of that desire changes throughout your life, or not. And this is something you must do, no matter what other people think of it.

I am always reminded of Rorschach's quote from Watchmen... of course he's talking about helping people who are in need and fighting evil and whatnot, and not making art or music, but he says: "We do not do this because it is permitted. We do it because we have to. We do it because we are compelled."
posted by bitterkitten at 7:58 AM on October 22, 2012

Have you tried playing louder? Turn it up!

There is, for me, this great authenticizing aspect to playing/singing at a potentially embarrassing volume... and I don't know what the hell I am doing as a musician.

As usual, commitment shows up as the amazing catalyst that it is...

Also, playing with others helped me to drop some of the internal garbage around playing... again it's the validation. And the community... things start making more sense sometimes (for me) that way.
posted by eyesontheroad at 9:41 AM on October 22, 2012

I completely understand how you feel. It might be shades of depression and/or pefectionism but it's also because there's just no recognised place to revel in simple sound-making any more. We live in really weird times, everything 'put out there' can be appropriated and consumed, everything is processed and judged, it's very difficult to find the space to hear yourself - literally and metaphorically - and just enjoy the sheer physical pleasure of it.

I just read David Byrne's brilliant book 'How music works' (highly recommended!) - he talks about how the advent of recorded music basically ruined people's ability to be happy amateurs. Music creation and consumption is an innate drive - for a long, long time music happened spontaneously and/or sparingly. People sang or danced whenever possible, but it didn't happen all that often so any ability with a basic instrument, a few songs and half an ear for rhythym was valued because people had very limited access to music that they did not make themselves. It was also a largely communal process, a way of sharing and connecting, and a way of surrending ego to the wider collective experience.

So now I feel ok to have no further ambition than make music for the glee of it. Singing along with the guitar, even playing a simple melody on the piano, just feeling the shift between tones, directing it this way or that without any regard for the outcome, feels incredibly profound and joyful. It doesn't have to go anywhere, even be heard by anyone else but it makes me happier and more at peace than just about anything else I do. Sometimes I'll sing with friends, or play together for each other, for fun. It doesn't have to be anything more than that. It's a very, very different experience to listening to other people's (recorded) music.

I imagine it's the same way people who enjoy cooking feel - they can experiment with favourite ingredients to make a lovely meal for themselves for the pleasure of developing and exercising a skill. They can also choose to share that ability and enjoyment with friends and loved ones, making it a collective and enriching experience for all. People can appreciate a well-intended piece of music as much as they do a slightly wonky homemade lasagne. It's good, human stuff you're making - and music-as-commerce has nothing to do with it. Go back to basics, see what you find.
posted by freya_lamb at 9:53 AM on October 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

I agree with freya_lamb. The way I see it you make 3 mins of "organic" music in 3 mins. But they make 3 mins of "canned" music with 100's of man hours and push it through a giant infrastructure. Don't worry about people who don't get that?
posted by yoHighness at 4:47 PM on October 22, 2012

I don't know if you're still reading, but I just wanted to throw in that another good reason to play guitar is to quiet those negative voices in your head. When I was practicing guitar for half an hour first thing every morning -- not for any particular goal or with any pressure, but paying attention to playing as well as I could -- I'd come into it with a head buzzing with noise, and go out feeling calm and relaxed. That's a direct, practical benefit that feeds into anything else you want to do with your life.
posted by jhc at 8:49 AM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

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