The Universal Language

 

When I originally conceived this blog, the plan was to quite literally write about “life, the universe and everything”! Being extraverted and quite nerdy (not to mention a Trekkie), I’d figured it would be logical to write from my not-inconsiderable topics of interest, to give wings to my passions and let them soar, farther and higher than I had ever given vein.

Naturally, one of the topics I started blogging about was one of the closest to my heart and soul – music. Henry Longfellow said, “Music is the universal language of mankind” and I could totally understand that, being this part-extravert and part-geek during my formative years (that I have since tried very hard to forget). I started with what seemed to be easier topics to write – my favourite test tracks and top 10 music – which, I suppose, my reading audience also identifed as a lack of truly inspired topics, and my blog’s popularity went downhill, and so went my spirits too.

I nearly gave up, and I’m sorry.

I might have in fact, truly given up until my wife decided that as the person who inspired her to start her blog in the first place*, it wasn’t in my best interests to watch TV shows while she resolutely went on with writing and researching material for her blog. It was disappointing, she said, and my favourite TV show distracted her too much.

I decided on what I wanted to do, which was to restart the blog, but at the same time, keeping with the “life, the universe and everything” motto, I wanted to introduce something I’ve never done before.

I have been teaching the budding musicians at dad’s church in Madurai how to play songs, and since it is a regional church (services are in Tamil, unless I’m guest speaker for the day in which case, I speak in English and dad enjoys translating), the music is very different from what people going to an English service are used to – the song structure and the music, not to mention the musical ability expected, are all different. Additionally, a typical regional church** does not have a proper, full band to speak of (a rock band did not originate in the basement of homes in India to the best of my knowledge) and musical exposure is usually woefully poor.

This gave me an idea. There are several hundreds and thousands of tutorial videos online that teach how to play every musical instrument known to man, demo videos of new instruments, how to play most artist and praise & worship songs, and my personal favourite as a musician, artist master classes. What there aren’t enough of, are lessons for regional praise & worship songs (where the style of the song is also usually that little bit different from that of western songs), and since regional songs are always studio arranged and not really recorded in the traditional band-holed-up-in-a-studio sense, there aren’t any master classes to speak of that I have come across…

And here’s where I thought I could make a difference; if I could somehow link these ideas – (1) share my ideas on how to play regional songs (2) in a typical regional church based scenario, one involving fewer instruments than with a band format music group, (3) while doing what a musician does best, communicate in this universal language of music that serves as the medium or communication link between the pastor / worship leader and the congregation, which includes (4) showing little tips and tricks that elevate the musicianship and in turn, the musical experience for everyone.

Accordingly, I shall start posting a series of tutorial videos on the subject, and get it progressing to something akin to drumeo. I would dearly love your ideas and comments on the subject, so please, please feel free, no, obliged to comment below! 

* A blog post on Jesusforkidz is definitely coming soon

** Apologies in order, of course, if your church is regional but has a full fledged band. You know most don’t.

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