I was reminded of this fact this week cuz I, for the first time in a very long time, sat down to write a song. Here's a few things I re-learned, and the reasons why I'm not a professional musician. You know, beyond I'm just not very good.
- Writing lyrics is a pain in the ass - Dude, trying to put your feelings into words... Not my strong suit. Especially when you wanna keep to a specific rhythmic flow and you have to make everything rhyme. I should stick to the A,A,A,A rhyme scheme. At least that's a little easier.
- Singing is hard - You may not believe me, but I used to have a pretty decent singing voice. I cut my teeth singing along to Harry Connick, Jr. and Queen in my buddy's old orange Subaru (Code name: The Rock N' Roll Pumpkin). I got pretty good singing along with Weezer and Nerf Herder and Fountains of Wayne. Of course, back then I had no idea there was so much cool metal out there. Once I found bands like Lamb of God, In Flames, and Children of Bodom, I pretty much stopped listening to bands I could sing along with. Therefore, my voice fell out of practice and now it just sucks.
- Singing while playing guitar is a challenge - It just is. Playing your guitar parts while trying to remember your lyrics and sing on key... I mean, there are plenty of people who can do it, no sweat. Rivers Cuomo, Dave Mustaine, Brian Setzer. Those guys can pull it off. I can't. Not without copious amounts of work. And I have to wonder if it's worth it.
- Ripping off your musical heroes is way too easy - There's a reason so much of the music I write sounds like Weezer and why all my metal riffs sound like something rejected from a Killswitch Engage record. It's cuz I tend to regurgitate the music I love, without changing it too much. It's just so much simpler to paraphrase something some band you love created.
- Stagefright - I am incredibly shy and I don't do well in front of a crowd, even a one-person crowd. So even if I somehow navigate the gauntlet of songwriting and get to the point where I can play it and sing it at the same time, I can't play it in front of anyone without pissing my pants.
Still, when I get it together and actually play my stuff for people, it feels pretty damn amazing. So I should just suck it up and get on with it. \m/ \m/