First off let me preface this with some facts about my family. Well, the whole community I grew up in.
My mom, Peggy, was a singer. Even though totally deaf in her left ear she could sing like a bird. She was requested to sing for about anything church related. Funerals, weddings, homecomings, and events of most kinds where she met quite a few bigger named gospel singers.
My brother Danny, played with Dwight and me in the very beginning. These two taught themselves how to play guitar. I lost track of Dwight after I married, but I know Danny went on to eventually play in a Country band, till his health got too bad to continue. He eventually played bass most of the time on a fret-less version. He sang as well.
Timmy, next to youngest, was a percussionist and singer, who is the only one I know of us that actually went into a recording studio with a group from New Bern called the Gabriel’s and cut an album, which I still have a copy of on vinyl. He played with the band Danny was in for a bit, but had health issues as well being primarily why he stopped.
Jamie, the youngest, was just learning to walk when I left for the Army, so I didn’t know a whole lot about him till our later years, but by the time he was in high school, the school had a band. He learned wood-winds and keyboards. I got to hear him play once in Edward Christian Church in the 80’s, when I led our churches worship team in an evening service there.
My dad played the auto harp. I still have it in my possession, but it is in very bad shape.
I have to throw in this on tidbit. Way back when, a cousin of mine was lead singer for the well known east coast shag, beach band, The Embers. Jackie Gore. I never have met him, but a couple of my brothers and mom met up with him on occasion after I went off to the military. Jackie is still singing and has always done well with his talent.
I had a brush with a famous musician and singer, Wayne Cochran some years ago. He played in a group called the C.C. Riders. Look him up. I enjoyed playing behind him in a church service. You can only imagine what that was like unless you were there.
This leads to me. I taught myself to play drums. I played for over 30 years, 25 of which were in a church worship team at Praise Tabernacle and a couple of years in First Christian. About three years Danny, Dwight and myself played garage parties and a couple of club dates, and just plain jam sessions with other groups.
In all those years I was always open to the idea of playing another instrument of some kind. I watch guys and girls who are so talented in music play one instrument and jump up and pick up something else and play that. I am amazed at such talent. I wanted to be versatile like that. I live in music. It’s playing a large portion of my day. It plays on a small bluetooth speaker next to my pillow all night. Contemporary Christian music is the staple music I listen to and if any of these musician’s are in the area Lib and I try to attend.
So, what am I getting at? I was in the worship service in our new home church one Sunday and for some reason I could hear a saxophone hitting riffs in my head. Then God spoke to me. He asked would I be interested in learning. I said most definitely. He then told me to get a saxophone and I would be gifted to play. I went like, how? Just do it and you’ll learn to play. I take God at His Word, so this past week I rented an Alto saxophone and I’m walking through that open door. Two days in, this being the third and I’m am actually excited about it. You have to know me, to know I don’t get excited about much of anything. The task has proven daunting when I hit the lesson on where ALL the notes are on an Alto saxophone. I want to get proficient on all of them like. . . today, but I figure this will be an extended time frame, since there are a lot of them and it will be a slow process at first.
Even so, it doesn’t deter me from the desire to learn. Mouthing the reed end and fingering the right keys are all a part of the learning process. The instructor I’m listening to is my kind of guy. He’s more into learning how to meld the person to the instrument so the two become one in a way that the instrument performs to the wishes of the person. If reading music is to be done, basics only. The more intricate knowledge of playing by sheet music is more like something down the road somewhere. Pardon me if I sound crazy, but the instrument becomes like a partner more than an object to be tackled and brought into submission. You have to learn to woo the instrument with the knowledge that it will do what you want, so long as you learn how it likes to be treated and it will deliver the sounds from the soul of the person as the two get to know each other. Music is a true sound from the soul of people in tune with themselves. What’s inside of them will tell others a lot about what is inside. Music doesn’t lie. It expresses the core nature of a person. The instrument becomes the expression of that soul. Learning how to play it involves this part of the process more so than reading music.
I express myself through the music I listen to and play. The most free that I’ve ever felt in life involved, on many occasions, was when I was playing drums. I could let myself go and forget the world around me. Now with this new instrument, I hope to find a new avenue of release. That’s why God has given me this nudge to play. He has something for me in it. That’s the “why” in it all.