There was a skit I saw years back; it revolved around a K-Tel style album ad (think Now That’s What I Call Music if you’re slightly younger). The tracks were the opening riffs of various rock songs, played by a guy who had only learned the first parts of songs; the album was called something like “Kyle’s Beginnings” (I may have the guy’s name wrong – it was a long time ago!).
That is kind of a thing with new guitarists – they tend to learn the cool opening riff and lose interest as the song gets deeper in. Most songs, when you break them down, have one or two musical passages that create the instrumental theme and then repeat it, maybe with some slight variation. For the guitarist who just wants to play cool tunes, it gets boring to play the in-between parts, and a lot of them move on to the next cool riff. Then they end up like Kyle – they can play a bunch of beginnings but no complete songs.
Alright, I bet I know where he’s going with this one…
Yeah, you probably do, but let’s find out, okay?
In The End
How many people do you know who (or how many times have you…) started a diet, a workout plan, something like that, and then it just petered out. Yeah, it’s a lot like Kyle and his beginnings. They jump into something shiny and new and they are gonna make it happen. This time for sure!
Only it doesn’t work out. Why is that? There’s more than one answer, of course. Sometimes it’s that they lose their mojo and move on to the next cool riff, the next fad diet or exercise. That’s the thing about fads – if you build your plan on a shaky base, it’s not going to hold up.
Sometimes they didn’t have a full plan to start with. Much like the underpants gnomes (all rights owned by Southpark, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker – not me! Oh, and totally different Kyle by the way!), they had a beginning, and they knew their end goal.
But the plan to get from Phase 1 to Phase 3, the steps to take in the middle to get there? No idea! So the plan struggles and founders and falls apart.
So look, let me be clear: I’m being a little silly with these images, yes, but it’s not to make fun of anyone. I’ve done the same things myself. It takes a lot to hold it together and make it to your goal – only to find out that the plan can’t end there.
In the end, that’s really why these fads and master plans and “one crazy thing that will change your life” don’t work. There IS no end to the journey. You have to keep plugging away and change your life, change your lifestyle – and change them for good – to see real and lasting differences in your fitness and wellness.
A lot of times life happens along the way and messes with your plans, too.
This shit is hard sometimes.
The Silence Between
There’s a quote I’ve seen attributed to Mozart, Claude Debussy, Aaron Copeland – hell, just about every composer at some point:
The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.– Who said it? Who knows.
Kyle just wanted to play cool songs. The truth of it is, the artist makes the song special. I love live music, and I love a good cover song; my favorite part of both is when the artist takes something you know inside and out, and makes it into something completely new. Transform a song, change the rhythm, change the style, and you can turn a happy melody into a dirge, or a sad song into one of hope.
Here’s the catch: Kyle was learning to play those beginnings note for note, but not exploring his own music and finding his own way to interpret it. Check it, Kyle, I can play the Smoke on the Water riff too. But what if I take the notes and the silence and create something that’s just me? I can open up a whole new world, a whole new idea. After all, it’s the in-between parts that make it your own.
Make your life sing. Put a message out there to others and let them sing their song back to you.
Yes, it’s scary.
Yes, it’s hard.
But it is so worth it!
Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash