The Poseur's Approach to Making Music

On Saturday I saw an old co-worker while on the job. First we shook hands but then we hugged. It was good to see him. We were both employees at a factory in Ontario.

He still looks nearly the same as twenty years ago: young-ish dark skin, broad shoulders, wispy goatee, except this time with a few grey hairs. He still has a big smile and even bigger laugh.

We quickly got up to speed and traded contact information. Then I got back to work.

During those factory years he was into positive thinking and law of attraction, although this was before the time of The Secret. He was always scheming up some way to get rich. Now he is rich, thanks to a truck that ran him over and the resulting lawsuit.

He also wanted to be a recording artist. On the factory floor, over the din of machinery and hydraulics, you could occasionally hear him belt out a song he wrote or maybe just made up on the spot. Now he is a recording artist, listed in Spotify and other media-streaming platforms for one single he did not play a note of.

How is that possible? He hired a studio musician to play and record all the instruments. He just sang his lyrics. Well, he also hummed the melody of the song to the musician, who then interpreted it into musical notation. From consultation to final product, the order took less than a week to complete.

I heard the single. The recording sounds professional but the song isn't to my taste. What's interesting is that his approach to making music was similar to mine when I was a nu metal poseur. Like him, I skipped the training and technique. I grabbed a bass guitar and just started jamming. Never during my five year stint as bass player did I deliberately learn chords or notes. I just kind of manifested the music through sheer willpower. I'm both amazed and embarrassed at this younger headstrong self.

My approach today is different. Making music isn’t my primary goal. Apparently there’s a super-abundance music anyway, and much of it has never been listened to. Shouldn't we finish what's on our plate first?

This project is more about self-improvement. Creating a less ignorant, more creative and clear-thinking me. And unlike my former co-worker's professionally-produced single, there won’t be a final product. Learning is never finished.