Grenacia Gem Green (grenacia) wrote,
Grenacia Gem Green

Musical thoughts - the ease of performing something you wrote yourself vs. someone else's work

Something I realized a long time ago is that I find it much easier to dance a dance routine that I choreographed myself than one someone else has choreographed, even if they are otherwise equal in challenge and quality. Because my own choreography feels right to me and makes sense to me in my mind in ways that someone else's doesn't, even if it is no way superior or easier for anyone else to understand. When I was a senior in high school I was chosen to do movement in a theater piece based on an audition that never tested my ability to learn someone else's choreography, to less than ideal results. Though I could choreograph and dance a complex piece, I sucked at learning to dance someone else's choreography, because it will always full of choices that are not the choices I would have made.

I'm starting to find myself in a similar place with guitar playing, though I've been trying to get past it. Lately I've been writing songs and trying to learn to play them well, and I find it a lot easier than trying to play other people's songs (or, at least, to play them anything like the original). But I want to be able to play other people's songs and to play them like the original, both to learn things from them and also just to be able to play songs I like.

Part of it is that when it is my song, I can say what the right way to play it is, I don't have any outer thing to compare it to. But that's not all it is. There's a song I'm trying to learn. All the chords in it are familiar to me, but getting the chord changes down feels oddly tricky. There's a spot where I need to go quickly from C to A minor, which is just moving one finger but it feels awkward to me, even though in a song I wrote I go quickly from A minor to C. The reverse is harder, for no particular reason, just because it's not a musical decision I made myself.

I'm sure I can get past it with practice though. There are other things that will be harder, though - the big challenge ahead will be syncing up my singing to this strumming pattern that lines up with the singing differently than I would have done.

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