To be honest there is a degree of snobbery in the music field. Especially so if you go to music school like we both did. There is competition and comparisons at every turn. “Oh, you’re heard the London Phil play that? I think the New York is so much better” or “I got here at 5 am for the good practice room, I decided to skip breakfast to practice more” are thing you things you’d hear or even say when in music school and there’s often an air of arrogance to it. Now this isn’t a bad thing. You need to be aware of the amazing art in the world and have something to strive for. It also can breed some pretty negative feelings and insecurities.
I used to be really concerned with listening to the “right” music and learning only what was considered impressive and important literature. I was also told the electric bass wasn’t a “legitimate” instrument and I almost felt guilty for playing it! But these feelings are silly. One mindset I’ve developed over the years is not being ashamed to play what I like and love what I do. I try teach it to my students too. There is no “right” music. If it speaks to you and you feel it, it’s right! There is no “right” chord progression, or “right” instrument to play. We all have our own path and we should follow it (assuming it doesn’t hinder anyone else’s path that is!). Music is freedom and how sweet it is when you just let it take you places!
I started uploading to my YouTube channel two years where I decided to just upload music that I loved. I wasn’t going to only post transcriptions of solos or videos from concerts where I felt like I played “good enough”. I wouldn’t be happy with that. So there really is a mash up of many different things on the channel but the one thing in common with them all? I only upload things that bring me joy!
I like to combine three passions of mine in many of the videos on there. Composing/arranging, the bass guitar, and video game music! It’s something I grew up with and has significance with me.
There was an online contest recently to create a jazz inspired arrangement of any game song. Right up my alley! So I created a submission for it.
Now this involved listening to a track, figuring out the structure, chords and melody by ear, deciding a style to play it in, creating an arrangement, recording the individual tracks (all on different basses too!), improvising a solo to it, recording video, editing the video and posting it. I won’t let a “proper” musician tell me that’s not legitimate work! Regardless if it’s someone’s cup of tea it was fun for me!
Here is the arrangement I made if you’d like to see it or play it.
At the posting of this blog I don’t know the results of the contest (and I don’t mind either way). I wanted to enter for the motivation to create, not to win or lose.