Illustration: The Magazine of Yoga
Real Life is Real Yoga
If I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution
- Emma Goldman
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST EMMANUELLE LAMBERT
When I was sixteen I was a rebel. I wanted to dye a streak of hair blue (yes, just a streak, way cooler right ?) wear only black, get my belly button pierced, and play the bass guitar.
I got two out of four: black was my uniform, and I got a ring in my navel (when I was 21, staying in the UK, with no mum around to tell me not to – that was how rebel I was).
Just kicking round
The bass guitar was my favorite instrument by far, I loved how it grounded a tune and gave it warmth and coziness, I could distinguish a bass line in every song I would listen.
A good bass line is the spine of a song, it has to be supportive without being overpowering. If it’s non existent, your song will be all over the place. If it’s too loud, it will kill the tune.
As an indie-rock chick primarily into UK bands, I loved tunes such as Ride’s Leave Them All Behind, starting with a powerful bass line, and The Boo Radleys ‘ Lazarus, a long song with a reggae-like introduction and heavy bass line, exploding into a pop rock jewel supported by a brass band trumpet.
To this day, these two numbers still make the top 5 of my all-time favorite songs.
I never got to play the bass guitar and start my all-girls-give-me-some-indie-rock band. I was a bit discouraged, to be perfectly honest : I am short, and so are my fingers, and more often than not I was told that I could never play, chords are as thick as cables, I would never be able to reach, let alone move, the last chord.
Also, my ego being what is was, I could not bear the thought of learning as a long process. I wanted to be a bass genius from day one.
Somehow I buried this wish under a pile of other things, you know, the kind of things that happen in life: studies, boys, graduating, getting a job, moving and moving again and changing jobs and boyfriends. I figured that there were more important things, like paying bills and developing a career.
And I forgot about bass guitar.
Eat your veggies and play your bass
However, lately, as I’ve deepened my yoga practice, I have been pondering about my life and what is really important, and after all, why does everything we do has to have a practical application?
Why not just have a little bit of fun ? Doing something you love for the sake of it is not wasting one’s time, on the contrary I believe it is necessary for your mental health and a balanced life!
I’ve never been to much of a creative person, however this little teenage dream of mine, playing the bass guitar, has been lurking around more and more lately.
I find myself stopping in front of music stores and pondering how much I should transfer from my savings account to my current account while staring at the black shiny little 4-chord guitar that is obviously waiting for me in that window display. And in true « Wayne’s World »’s Wayne manner, I whisper to myself «one day it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine ».
Wait for you on the other side
I find myself still reacting with my guts to powerful bass lines. The first time I heard Bloc Party’s Banquet a few years ago I felt shivers running down my spine. Lately Kasabian, another UK band, fits my bass bill perfectly (not to mention running with their music in my ears makes me fly, but that’s a whole other story).
I definitely want to learn, for no reason at all, just because I like it.
I may not be the greatest bass player around, but really it doesn’t matter. I want to give it a try, either by going to a class or studying at home, there are thousands of methods out there.
I will, oh yes I will
That said, I will not do this now. Right now my plate is already full, what with yoga teacher training and training for a race, not to mention my full-time job, but I will make it a proper project, and not bury it under the pile of things we call life. I’ll make sure not to forget it, and I promise, one day, I will play the bass, oh yes, I will play the bass.
If you ever thought of taking a music class or singing in a choir, why not do it? It could also be a drawing or painting class, ballet or salsa dancing, anything. Just because you feel like it, no need for an excuse or a practical application.
When you walked in your first yoga class ever, you didn’t know where this would take you. Who knows, it could be the same when you unleash your artistic self!
Find Emmanuelle here on The Magazine every month in Music Matters. But don’t lose touch with her great style of living real – read her smart, hip and honest blog Plans on a Comet.
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Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.