What if I Don’t Want to Play by the Rules?

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1404388 by Andreas Krappweis http://www.sxc.hu/profile/KrappweisWhen my middle daughter was taking an interest in music, I tried to teach her some piano basics, and a bit about music theory. Nothing elaborate. Things like chord patterns that work well, melodic structure, lyric writing.

She dismissed it all. “I know what I want to do, and I don’t need all that stuff.” To me, her playing sounded like she was just picking two keys at a time, stringing pairs of sounds together, vaguely timed against some clock that didn’t exist.

No lyrics. She was a poet, and I guess the lyrics were going to stay in her head, not come out of her mouth.

Fast forward 5 years. I mentioned that, at the time, it sure seemed like all she wanted was to “let her genius flow unhindered” rather than learning a few basics that could turn her meandering into real songs.

She said, “Yeah, I was just being lazy and pretentious. I need all that stuff. Will you teach me now?”

Her lyrics never fail to make me cry or laugh out loud. Her melodies are mature. She’s a decent piano player. And one of the finest singers I’ve ever known.

Lateral arabesque to a location somewhere in my head.
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