The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Doing as Opposed to Non-Doing

I started playing the guitar when I was six years old. Like many a young child of my generation, I was influenced by the rock n’ roll of the era and I hoped to become one of those people who took to the stage to play their music. My parents sent me to music lesson and all of that kind of stuff. Each day I had to sit down and practice the sheet music I was given at my lessons. It was very tedious and not very inspiring. So many people have lived that same tale via various means and methods. When I was a young teenager, however, I began to find my own voice within the instrument. It was then that my love for playing truly took hold. I would play for hours upon hours. This held true well into my adulthood. But, who heard all those notes I played?
 
When I was in my later teens, I had traveled up to the Santa Monica Mountains to be on the staff of a spiritual retreat with my teacher, Swami Satchidananda. Always being punctual, I was the first to arrive. I noticed that there was a piano in the meeting room. Though I had never played the piano before, and with nothing else really to do, I sat down at the key and was amazed that I could actually play music on it. Inspired by this revelation, I first purchased a Wurlitzer 200 electric piano and later a Fender Rhodes Eighty-Eight. I wish I still owned those instruments. But, in any case, I played them for hours upon hours. But, who heard me? 
 
Around this same time period, I finally got my first synthesizer, a Roland SH-3. Again, I so wish I still had that instrument. Like the guitar and the piano, I worked with it for hours upon hours.
 
The thing is, and a sign of the times, recording music was not easy back then. In fact, at least until my later teens, recording your music could only truly be effectively accomplished in a studio environment. Which, of course, cost a lot of money. So, those thousands of hours of my playing music, what did it equal? Again, so many people have lived that same tale via various means and methods.
 
I was early into the game of home recording. I purchased a 4-track reel-to-reel when they first hit the marketplace. Though home recording became possible, it was not that easy to lay down tracks, nor was it that cheap, as audio tapes had to be purchased and the like. Nonetheless, I did my fair share of recording music to tape in my bedroom studio.
 
This being stated, and as I just stated, it was not that easy to record, so I still spent a lot of time simply playing music to no one’s ears but my own. Again, what did that playing of music equal?
 
I don’t know if you’re a musician or not, but, one way or the other, think about how much time, throughout the millennia, musicians have played their instruments but no one else heard them. Think how much music has been lost when no one but the musician heard it?
 
Throughout my life, times and the means of capturing sound have continued to evolve. Now, all you need is your computer. Plus, you can record what you play very easily and virtually for free. But, how many people do?
 
Me, though, of course, I do still spend time simply playing my instruments to no one’s ears but my own, what I find so much more beneficial is to record whatever it is I play and then, perhaps, I can use it to create some greater piece of music later down the line.
 
What I am saying/questioning here is what are you doing with what you are doing? Are you simply allowing what you do to fade into the abyss? Or, are you capturing whatever it is you are doing in order for it to be recorded for the annals of eternity?
 
Your life is here and then it is gone. In the blink of an eye, you will be no more. When you are gone, what will be left of your life? You should think about this as you do what you do. What will your doing have meant if no one else can hear the songs you played?