Music therapy

Regular Contributor

Re: Music therapy

Who needs talent when you have a musical instrument and cancer? When your family and friends reach that point of going "I'm getting a little sick of you playing the cancer card", you can torture them with noise, followed up with a sincere "I love you".


Damn! I must be in a mood this morning. Firstly cutting sick on Wagga; and now... loved ones. Maybe I'm just bitter about losing daylight savings.


take it easy S

Regular Contributor

Re: Music therapy

Hi Sean


I had to post this. This is great therapy.




This guy is one of the world's greatest artists and performers to ever live. This video is a riot.



Super Contributor

Re: Music therapy

Hi Phil,

I watched the whole thing and I really enjoyed it. I've watched a few of those carpool Karaoke and they've always been great. Some are better than others. That was easily one of the better ones! Thanks for sharing.









0 Kudos
Regular Contributor

Re: Music therapy

As a person who has had to deal with a potentially fatal cancer, I highly recommend picking up a musical instrument during or after treatment.


"I'm not musical" is really just hogwash, I promise it's a technical skill.  A proficiency.  Anyone can learn to play, and once you have the techniques you might find that you are capable of inspiration when making music and you're "musical" after all.  But anyone can learn the techniques.


As a cancer sufferer, I think it's a sincere and obvious way to say "Fuck you cancer.  I am taking up a fruitless hobby that will take me hours and hours to get BAD at.  I intend to thrive and survive, and come hell or high water I will progress from BAD to BELOW AVERAGE and maybe even take it further !!!"


Cancer tries to rob you of hope and your forward vision, your sense of 'a future', and I think starting to learn a new skill or hobby is a wonderful way of defying that, allowing yourself to move past the cancer and slowly start forgetting it and moving on.  Life in limbo sucks.


And personally, I find it hugely rewarding.


I picked up an acoustic guitar about a year and a half ago, fitfully mucking around with it (about 2 years after cancer treatment when I was kind of meandering around spiritually).  It's helped me to have a sense of focus and direction even if it's just in one area of my life.


And I've gone from sounding like a cat experiencing severe diarrhea to actually being able to play a half dozen songs to the point where you can actually RECOGNISE the songs.


And yeah, I'm not musical.


At first, you can't reconcile the musicality of the instrument and your mind's idea of the song.  If you try and sing and play the guitar at the same time, it all falls into a shambles and feels really frustrating.  It's like trying to concurrently think in French while speaking in English.  BUT .. after a few months of effort, you reach a point where the playing and chord changes become an unconscious skill.  You are able to start to sing along and make songs that people can hear and recognise and sing along with.

It's good, but above all else it's an investment in your future, a way of saying "I intend to live.  My life doesn't have a set expiry date.  I'm going to develop this skill, and impress and torture my loved ones in equal measure"

Regular Contributor

Re: Music therapy


0 Kudos
Regular Contributor

Re: Music therapy

Hi Cap


Sorry. I had to follow-up your long, long post with something really short. Succeeded. But ditto... same learning curve as me and I guess the majority of people learning to play an instrument. 


I shall impart some important tips to help you on your journey. 


1. Warm up before you play. Massage, stretch and wiggle your wrists, hand and fingers. Athletes warm up before performing, practice and exercise. Musicians should do the same. Let your mind warm up and get in the zone. Warm up your instrument before you try anything serious. You will perform better when your mind, hands and instrument are zoned in as a unit. Once warmed up you must Exercise, Practice and Play. In that order.


2. Tune your instrument. Continuous tune it as you play. Tune in your voice to match the guitar. When your instrument sounds good, you are more inspired than when it sounds out of tune. When you sing along, it will help improve your singing in key. if either sound bad, you will be less enthusiastic about playing.


3. Music has rules. Timing, tuning, harmony, playing in key, sitting position, holding position, hand position, fingering position, etc. When you practice, keep a strong discipline. Stick to the rules... ALWAYS. 


4. Rules were made to be broken. When you are playing music, break any rule that makes it sound right. But never break rules for practice or exercise. Practice with your mind. Play with your soul.


5. ALWAYS tap your foot when you play. Tommy Emanuel's #1 rule.


6. Learn your fret board. This is hard, but learning to count or the alphabet is harder. It seems hard at first and difficult to remember. Practice 5 minutes every day to memorise where notes are. Test yourself daily. Before too long, muscle memory will find the locations before you consciousness tells you where the notes are. A good tip... it's a number of repeating patterns. You learn how to find it, not where to find it.


7. Practice scales and chord structure 5 minutes every day. understand where to find notes in key by a pattern. Learn the different keys, their origin and where they are used. Learn basic chord structures and understand what makes different chords such as 6s, 7s, add 9, 9s, 11s etc. Understand when chords are in certain keys.


8. Practice techniques. Playing in tempo, finger picking, up and down pick methods, forming chords, chord changes, coordinating left and right hands, numbing strings, playing scales, etc. Practice techniques very slowly and accurately. Focus on achieving the desired goal without mistakes. Try to learn the right way only. Try to not learn the mistakes. Speed will increase naturally.


9. When practising playing in tempo, keep temp always. if you make a mistake, don't break tempo. Just keep playing. the mistake is in the past. focus on getting the next part in the correct timing. Use a metronome or backing track when you practice. it will vastly increase you ability. keep tapping your foot the whole time to zone your body into the tempo.


10. Leaning to play a song is not practice. but treat it like practice. take it slow and stick to the rules. Focus on playing well before fast. speed will come naturally. Always learn to play music you like which you enjoy playing. When you can play it, break the rules and make it your own.


11. When playing, find a song that matches your mood. It will resonate. If you don't like the mood you're in. Play something in the mood you want to be in.


12. People who make fun of you or criticise your sound. Ask them to be constructive and not make fun. if it doesn't work, play and sing louder and don't let anyone silence you. Sing and play with confidence. Catch 22. If you play without confidence, you won't sound as good. People won't enjoy hearing you. Play with confidence, you may be embarrassed but you will sound better. You should be embarrassed to play without confidence.


You will never stop learning, but one day you'll know you are not a student. You've become a musician. I am currently learning blues techniques played by Robert Johnson and Johnny Shines. I'm struggling and I've felt like a musician for twenty years. There is always something new to learn. Practice every day and the learning will happen quickly. Practice once a week and it will take much longer.




Portly Phil



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