Music 101: Patience

One of the essential elements of music is timing. The space between the notes is as important as the notes themselves and most songs can benefit from a little silence here and there.

There are thousands of great actors for every great playwright, or screenwriter. There are thousands of great guitarists for every great drummer. Anyone who is in a band will tell you that the drummer is the hardest piece to find. You can get away with sloppy musicianship, singing, and even songwriting, but you cannot get away with sloppy drumming. A great drummer – and I’ve worked with a couple – elevates a band. The first thing to go when a musician become accustomed to practicing on their own, is their sense of timing.

Timing isn’t just about keeping the beat in a song. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with music, but with a musician’s approach to music.

Inspiration has to come to the writer, not the other way around. I will sometimes force myself to write just to keep the mechanics in working order. Like priming a pump, what comes out first is sludge and gunk but eventually, with a steady hand and a lot of patience, something like cool, clear water might come out.

Timing is everything. And if, like me, you are going to release your debut album at the age of 58, you are going to need a lot of patience.

I can't make it on time
I can't make it on time
I keep on tryin' and tryin'
I can't make it on time

I can't hurry and you can't wait
It doesn't matter 'cause we're already late
I can't get off the telephone
It always rings when I'm alone

You gotta wait wait
'Cause you don't need no one
Wait wait
'Cause you know that I'm the one
You gotta wait
Hey, hey, hey

Published by mikepowernyc

New album "Observations" available now. A veteran of NYC’s underground music scene, Mike Power played on the stages of such beloved lost venues as CBGB’s and Kenny’s Castaways, as well as stalwart surviving ones like Arlene’s Grocery and the Bitter End as singer/songwriter/bassist with Late Model Humans. In 2020, quarantining from the global pandemic he worked remotely with other artists to record a collection of new music called Observations, that infuses his punk roots with introspective acoustic pieces.

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