Has this blog gotten off track?

Dear Readers,

I wish to address what might be thought of as a slight discrepancy regarding the description of this blog and the material contained therein; namely that I describe this site as “rhythm and music explained simply” and yet as of late I have been writing about airplanes, microwaves, and glitter. What does all that have to do with notes, chords, and strumming?

As a music teacher and observer of players of all levels, I have come to realize that the biggest stumbling block we all face in learning something new (particularly music) is to see the “big picture.” Oh, we can study to infinitude the details of music: chords, rhythms, scales; and memorize specific passages of popular songs; but unless we develop a “feel” for music and understand how musicians relate to each other and the music they are creating, our efforts will merely be mechanical at best.

And so, in order to help us see the larger picture of creating music, I employ the generous use of analogies; comparisons of everyday situations we’re likely familiar with, to musical situations – the ones we’ve yet to learn. Of course, as a hobbyist philosopher, I realize that these represent my own opinions and experiences. (Ask another musician how they “think” and you will likely receive another description.)

Moving on – the other, and possibly more insidious, stumbling block to learning is that of the student refusing to accept the possibility that they are on the path to actual learning. “I can’t learn…,” or “I will never be…” are common statements that essentially sabotage success.

So how do I help you with learning to play and appreciate music?

There are countless websites that are full of technical information – all the scales, modes, chords, and theory one would ever need; yet I have seen none that approach the learning of music from the angle I provide. I am hoping that you, dear readers, will take advantage of my writings, musings, and philosophical analogies to supplement your musical aspirations.

Finally, I do encourage you to write me and ask questions, make comments, and participate in the conversation I am initiating.


Rhan Wilson

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5 Responses to “Has this blog gotten off track?”

  1. pT Says:

    Hi Rhan! I appreciate that you are delving into music and the learning process the way you are!

    One aspect of music that has taken me over when it comes to sharing music with others is the musician’s connection and personal investment in the emotional picture the lyrics and music reflect. I think the musicians’ vulnerability and the courage to share truly felt feelings opens up the listener to experience and feel a personal connection with the lyrics and music that touches them deeply.

    Authentic willingness to share the universally shared feelings and truths that bind us humans together is one of the aspects that makes music such a universal communicator between people and helps music touch the insides of the performer and the listener in a way that can connect the two in a common unifying moment.

    So to be more concise, can you explore with us how true emotional connection to music and lyrics is an important component in meaningful and authentic musical expression?
    Thanks for the opportunity to express these thoughts

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      Thank you, PT, for an insightful and thoughtful comment.

      You’ve touched upon a subject that I’ve put much thought into over the years; how, once you’ve learned a few musical “words” to speak – what is it you wish to say?

      My response to your question is that I am now quite encouraged to write about that very subject. Please stay tuned.

      Thank you.
      Rhan Wilson

      • PT Says:

        Hi Rhan!
        I am excited to learn what you have to share about exploring what it is that a person wishes to say with their music!
        I am also looking forward to your article that addresses the opportunity for meaningful communication when a musical presentation includes emotional and honest connection with both of the components of lyrics and music !
        May I ask that you also at some time address how the role of the “performance” aspect of music’s presentation can play a role in communicating what it is that a person is “saying” with their musical presentation?
        Thank you!

  2. keepnformed@aol.com Says:

    Hummm I seem to remember …Do a deer …Re a golden drop of sunMe a name …Fa a long long way to runetc … So I would say “Nope” … you are not heading off the tracks, but merely expanding ones sight line to encompass everything around the tracks as well to have a better understanding of where they were, are presently  and heading for in the future.

    Hope to see you and Rick Sunday ..Michael

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