When you’re playing a fretless instrument, such as a fretless bass guitar or a violin, it’s easy to be slightly sharp or flat as the note depends on the exact placement of your fingers. While musicians are careful to play with as much precision as they can, it can be fun to play off the note a bit, whether it be in a vibrato (the rapid pulsing or wavering of a tone), in a glissando (a slide upward and downward between notes), or through an intentional (or unintentional) departure from playing exactly on the note. With a fretted instrument, the fret bars keep your playing to those specific notes for that fret. They are certainly easier to play and provide more precision, but they limit the player to only those specific notes.
I recently bought a fretless bass and am having a great time playing with these dynamics. The ability to play expressively when I’m not limited by frets has given me a newfound sense of freedom and has allowed me to play in a way I’ve never played before. It has also made me think about the continuous range of tones being symbolic of how people live their lives.
Life is full of transitions. Some are big, life-altering changes, others are small changes in habits or activities, but transitions happen all the time. The more you’re conscious of them, the more intentional you can be. Try to notice any changes in your routine and ask yourself if they are intentional or just convenient. If you can be intentional about the little transitions, the decisions about big transitions will be easier to make.
It can be hard to let things run their natural course, especially when it means letting go of something very precious to you.
It is a very natural thing to move in and out of people’s lives. For workmates, teammates, or even friends, this can happen regularly, and while these transitions can be difficult, there are other circumstances that are way more intense. There are those in your life that are truly a part of you—literally and figuratively. You see a big part of them in you and you in them. You’ve given enough of yourself to them and to their growth and evolution that their lives and yours literally merge. At least for a time.
Some of these may seem overwhelming and carry repercussions that can have impacts for years to come. You may obsess and worry over them and struggle mightily to come up with the “correct” choice. But ultimately, there is no incorrect choice, as everything you experience becomes part of your story and gives you insights into your journey and your path. Something positive comes from every decision you make—you just have to be open to it and allow it to become part of your experience. Regrets can also be part of a decision, but they are also part of the experience and can result in positive outcomes.
I’ve given notice at my job, but I have to be honest—moving on scares me. When I find circumstances or people that feel special to me, I feel like I want to hold onto that forever. Part of me thinks that if I have something good, I shouldn’t make any changes in my life. But there comes a time when I feel I have given all the energy I’m able to give and have explored everything I’m able to explore and need some new or different challenges. That involves coming to terms with the fact that I won’t be an expert in the next thing I try. I won’t have a day-to-day presence in the lives of the people I’ve worked with for many years.
This is all true, but I’ll also have the opportunity to become an expert at something else and become part of other people’s lives, even if I become a memory to the people in my life right now. We all experience changes in our lives—big changes and little changes. The effects of some of these are hard to anticipate and can be challenging to fully comprehend and assimilate.