Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Death By Contentment

I've seen it too many times.... a musician who has been playing for many years who has not grown beyond the skill level of a beginner. What happens to cause this?

Many times as the person is learning their instrument, they get to a point where they can play some songs and become content.... TOO content. Furthermore, they lack the curiosity and creativity to "question their instrument". For instance, on a guitar, they don't think to ask, "What if I were to tune the guitar to an alternative tuning and learn to play it?" or "What if I learned a new scale shape a month?", etc...

The benefits of contentment are obvious. But these are its detriments. Beyond them, notice the lack of questioning that comes from it. Has life itself dulled you into such a sense that you are content with your perceptions of the world? Or do you have a natural curiosity that comes from a sense of awe and wonder, coupled with the humility to realize that because of human frailty, you must always question at least yourself?

Such questioning not only makes for a great musician, but for a great human being. Don't be content with the answers. They are often times disguised questions waiting to be discovered by someone not content with anything less than the depth of truth.

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