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Bands and Bonds: Music and Friendship

(Vernon Keeve III) When I was growing up, I used to bob my head to TLC’s “What About Your Friends”. I took a verdant approach to the song—listening to the beat and only the beat. Then one day it dawned on me—not with this song, but another—if I would have just listened to the words of that damn song when I was younger, then

some of that shit I went through would have been fertilizer and not just shit.

I mean, sometimes I get this same feeling with things I remember my parents telling me, but let’s be honest. Our parents planted us, watered us and fertilized us at times, but the media is where we gleaned lessons from the creative works of artists—our initial language is art. Oftentimes, we just notice the sensual aspects of it before we analyze the true message.

So, let’s get back on course with this. This article is about friendship and growing up. The two are parallel lines that grow alongside one another—think of friends as being parallel, too, like STRINGS ON A GUITAR!

Growing up in a small town and going through a fairly small public school system has introduced me to the microcosm of friendship. There are people you meet and their lines will remain parallel with your own, their lines will extend to where ever yours will extend. Life will take both of you places and life will separate you, but a time will never come when that friend will ask you to stop playing your music—even when you and your strings play different notes it is part of the grander scheme of life—you and your friends are part of an instrument that creates the music. And, I used the word friend with the meaning that a friend is someone that you CHOOSE to play music with—a person you choose to give and devote your time to. CHOOSE WISELY.

As far as we know, we only have this one life to live, so why spend your time around people who make you feel bad about the sound you are strummin’?

Along with the other guitar strings that you will meet, you will also meet notes and chords.

-Notes resonate for a moment and they may sounds good now, but they may not work out later on in the song. They may clash with the chords you create in college and beyond.

-You may have thought a person was a string at one time, but with age come wisdom and you may realize that that string was just a bad note, a bad moment you let last for longer than it should have.

Take note: I am giving you power over your instrument and song that you are creating.

Notice what the people you CHOOSE to spend your time with are doing.

Are they helping you build yourself up—challenging the you you want to be? Or, leading you to repetitive ruckus?

There comes a moment in your life where the light just comes on and you will ask yourself: why do I spend my time with this person and that person, when they only bring me down—they only introduce me to feelings that I don’t associate with FEELING GOOD—they aren’t harmonizing with my tune. I’m not saying these notes aren’t good, but they aren’t good for the song you are trying to create.

You will strum the blues for some time, but it is best to let these notes go.

We grow beyond the grounds where our parents’ initially planted our seeds. We meet new people. We go to college, we go into the workforce, we just go and we meet new people and some are people that we feel a resonation with because their note is one that we want to hear for as long as we can hear it—it harmonizes with our own. Whether it be for a mere moment, or for as long as you song is playing. Just remember their song is playing, too; when you remember that their song is also playing—that makes you a good friend. Are your friends remembering that your song plays, too, or are they playing over you?

If only I had listened to that TLC song back in the nineties, oh, the mistakes I would not have made.

“What about your friends?
Will they stand their ground?
Will they let you down again?
What about your friends,
are they gonna be low down?
Will they ever be around,
or will they turn their backs on you? (TLC)”

There is a whole moment in my song where the notes, the chords, just everything was all off—true cacophony. I am only human, so I’m still trying to pull good notes from bad, still trying to get chords right. Just trying to find the harmony where I, too, am looked at as a note amongst someone’s chord, or a piece of someone’s instrument, and not just a bad note on a sheet of music. My song plays alongside yours and either we are going to make some good music or I’m going to have to keep it moving.

No bad notes, no off strings, no abrasive chords, no faulty instruments, and no bad music.

TLC What About Your Friends ~ Official Video

by Vernon Keeve III | Bright Futura Columnist

3 Comments on “Bands and Bonds: Music and Friendship

  1. Superb! I love your post. I just like to say-
    Sing me a song,
    A song that will help me forget about you,
    A song that will heal my heart,
    A song of forgiveness,
    Just sing a song,
    A song that can not be forgotten,
    A song so memorable,
    Only a memory…….
    Best Wishes~ Wayne Williams

  2. Writing a song about friends can take you on an emotional journey. The song will draw upon experiences and emotions shared and triggered by your friends. There are no rules to follow, except to honestly express what you feel for your friends. You do not need any experience in music composition, although it may help if instruments will be used to accompany the lyrics.

  3. You can be a musician. haha, but seriously, you can be a music educator. My high school band director is probably the best teacher I've ever had. Although I'm a Criminal Justice major, a lot of my friends are music majors. A good friend of mine is a jazz preformance major and makes money playing gigs around town to help pay for school. Thanks.

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