The Music in my Mind

I can’t wait for spring. I really need a new diversion. This winter I’ve spent a lot of time in front of the keyboard. Not this one typing out these missives. The musical one. It’s a diversion that I’ve spent more time with than I have in years. But then, I have more time now than I’ve had in years. I have to do something with it.

I fiddled with the piano for the first time about 55 years ago. You’d think with all that time I’d be pretty good at it. Honestly I’m just ok. I know how to play the notes but that’s not the same as how to make the music. It must have been about 54 years ago that I said to myself, “Self,” I said, “you should take up the tuba where you only have to play one note at a time to be good.” Even back then I recognized the limitation of my short and uncoordinated fingers.

Instead of seeking out a used tuba to practice on (which in hindsight was a good thing I didn’t since most of the helicon style tuba are larger than me) I gravitated to musical styles that didn’t require 14 notes played to be played in unison.

Over the years I got very good at plinking out one or two notes with my right hand and running scales with my left, all the while filling in three or four other instruments’ parts in my mind. And as long as I was alone I was pretty darn good. So good that all I needed was the melody to a song and some time to noodle around until I was able to figure out what chords went with it. Then I could amuse myself for hours rarely ever striking more than 2 or 3 keys at once.

But then I came across that song in my head that try as I might I couldn’t find the right tones on my own. So I broke down and bought sheet music for it. And there they were. The notes that I was looking for. Lots and lots of notes. More of them on ledger lines than on the staff proper. Written in the key of A Flat. In 6/8 time. Allegretto. And that’s just how it sounded in my mind.

It was just that my body wanted to play it in the Key of C in common time and a bit more ritardando. Just like me. <Sigh> I can’t wait for spring.

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?


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