Playing and Time

 I am a counselor, Philosopher, and a musician. I don’t consider myself “playing” when I am a counselor. When I am a philosopher, sometimes I am “playing” with words and concepts and meaning.

Then so far as I might be a musician: I don’t really think of myself as a musician. I play guitar.

Yes, I am a musician, because I’ve been playing music since I was four. While I indeed can play multiple instruments, really I play guitar Primarily. I’m a guitar player. I’m not really a musician from that standpoint.

And I’d like to tell you about it.

I literally play around on the guitar. Music to me is about playing; it’s not about being an artist, or intentionally creating “good music” or something like that.  I never really approached Guitar as some thing that I wanted to master. When I play music I literally am playing, like little kids play, like we’re supposed to do in order to be mentally healthy; we can’t work all the time, we got to make time and play around. It’s good for you.

I think with most people that play any instrument, The word “play” is kind of like a colloquialism, because they aren’t really playing in the sense of “playing around”. I might be overgeneralizing, but I think most people who play music or not really “playing around” on their instrument, I think that they’ve become quite skilled and that they’re implementing a skill set and it makes them feel good, but I don’t think that they’re playing. “Play” is more like a word we just use when it comes to music; we “play music”. But at no time, really in most cases, are we to figure that anyone’s just playing around. Playing music, ironically, is most often very serious and probably as far from playing around as anyone could get if you are the musician on stage.

Quite literally, the reason why I play music is because I’m exploring, I am improvising, I’m making shit up, I’m seeing what fun game I can come up with in the moment, im playing woth sound and life. Like we used to do when we were kids, this is what I do when I play guitar.

This could be why I have such a difficulty in finding other musicians to play with: because, to my mind and musical sense, they’re not really playing. I mean, sure we get together and we have fun — its fun — but I don’t think that they’re really considering that what we’re doing as playing, again, except kind of as a loose colloquialism for doing something really serious and we need to get this shit together so we can sound good, approach to music. 

Another approach to music which I think is different than most people think, is the idea of time.

If you don’t know, in music musicians have to keep time. That’s what they call it; and it’s usually it’s the drummer that keeps time, if we have to assign a roll, but everyone keeps time. Again this is very serious.

I look at music as involving “having time”. If I was to say to most musicians that “you got to have time” they would think that I was talking about that I have to have a sense of four beats in every measure, and I have to have a sense of when four bars go by, and I have to have a sense of accuracy when I play Notes on specific beats, and I have to have a sense of community time in so much as we’re all synced in together and we’re really tight band, and then ultimately our songs have to have a beginning and an end and they probably can’t be much longer than five or six minutes.


I like jazz, but specifically the jazz that came out of the 50s and 60s, when everyone was on heroin. Oddly enough, my favorite music is was made by people who are on drugs, but specifically, people who take LSD, smoke weed, and do heroin. For whatever reason, I’m not really into the music that people made while they were doing cocaine or smoking crack or doing meth or speed or just getting drunk.

It is not that I don’t like music just in general. I’m not saying that I only like music that is drug-induced. I like all sorts of music, classical, jazz, hip-hop etc. What I am saying, though, is that some music has a different idea of time than other music. And this sense of time seems to be affected by what drugs you took or take while you’re playing the music. Not just that I smoke weed and then I write a song but then actually I can’t have any beers when I play on stage because I’ll get drunk and play sloppy, so much. A person doesn’t have to be high on intoxicants for this to happen, but it seems like people who do certain types of drugs gain the benefit of a sense of having enough time to make good music. 

I see that the real quality music, the real good musical explorations and talent is evidenced by the apparent sense of time – or, maybe what I’m really talking about is a different sense of experiential space – in which the music takes place.

And so when I say “having time”, what I mean is that Music opens one up into a sense of timelessness such that we have plenty of time to explore sound and everything else. I have plenty of time to experience this moment.

Songs that are three or four minutes, I just really don’t have enough time to experience them. Sure, I can like those radio hits. I can sing along with them and I can like them.

The music that I really appreciate is the music that has time for me, and when I play music I like to have time to play. Unfortunately, it seems like most musicians that I play with just don’t have time in this way. They get bored if a song lasts longer than three or four minutes, and their sense of fun really is not gained through a sense of true play. It’s fun, yes, we have fun…

To me it just seems like, often enough, we do not have time to play.


If your interested in an example of what playing music sounds like, search The Covert Sound Philosophy.

CLAUSAL PROOF – The Covert Sound Philosophy








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