I’ve taken an unexpected interest in instrumental music lately. I’m thinking this stems largely from the fact that I like to hear instrumental solos, which no one seems to take anymore in rock and pop music. Aside from that, though, I believe it has something to do with the concept of finding a voice and using it.

Just as some comedians were never meant to act, some musicians were simply never meant to sing. I think this is difficult for many of us to understand sometimes, as it seems sometimes as if everyone who plays an instrument is actually hiding a great singing voice out of fear or shyness. While that can be the case, there are many other instances where the great guitarist or pianist really can’t sing, but they’ve managed to find their musical voice through their instrument.

I used to attend a church that had this strange fascination with everyone being comfortable speaking in front of a microphone. I never quite understood that. I mean, this was church, not Public Speaking 101. Still, there was this insistence that speaking comfortably in front of a crowed was a skill everyone there needed to possess. As someone who never quite bought into that philosophy, it should come as no surprise I don’t attend that church anymore.

Some people speak through their writing. Some people speak through painting or sculpture. Whatever the case may be, the voice that someone finds to speak to this world will be unique and irreplaceable. I used to think a song wasn’t a song unless someone was singing, but I’ve revised that belief significantly over the years. Just take a look at the video I’ve linked to with guitarists Tommy Emmanuel and Jerry Douglas. You want to tell me those guys aren’t communicating musically?

I’m still partial to music with vocals, but I say God bless all the musicians out there who have found their voices and project them loud and strong. I may not always know what you’re saying, but I hear you loud and clear.

Leave a Reply