The Friday Pickle: Do Our Instruments Hold Us Back?

Posted by Craig Borlase on 23 January 2015

Not that long ago I was in a small service where the kid playing drums was younger than my plectrum. He didn't always find the beat, rarely played the same thing for more than a couple of bars and would go whole songs without even touching his snare. And you know what? It was glorious. The whole room seemed to get a boost from what came from the 8 year old behind the kit.

It wasn't out of sympathy or curiosity either. That evening's worship - though at times it sounded as though we were being accompanied by a saucepan salesman - was one of the best I can remember. Unhampered by his ability to stick to the orthodox drum parts, our little drummer boy approached the songs with a single, simple purpose; to play whatever his instincts told him to.

Skill, experience and expertise are all great tools, but there's a reason why we often swap instruments when the rehearsal session is on pause - the same reason we started in the first place; because somewhere inside of us there's a desire to release these sounds that we have barely any idea how to make.

So, this weekend or next, how about putting yourself back in that place where your fingers and feet aren't choreographed by muscle memory? How about you turn the clocks back a little and remind yourself what it felt like to be dependent on something far more exciting that skill and familiarity?

After all, like the man says, "who needs to buy a guitar?"

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