It’s never too late to feel like an idiot.

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It’s Britt the bassist again and I wanted to give you guys the history behind me playing music. Most of you already know I’ve been playing bass guitar for two years. I didn’t really pick it up until I was 25. Most people usually start in their early to mid-teens, but not this girl! So, the background on me and music…

My first instrument, and you’re allowed to laugh, was the recorder. I’m sure almost everyone has played the recorder at least once in their life. I remember sitting in my elementary school music class, chairs around the outer border of the room to form some semblance of a circle. My heart rate sky rocketed when the teacher took out the box of recorders. I knew that this was big time stuff. I knew I was going to be playing Hot Cross Buns until my fingers bled and I talked like a 60-year-old smoker. I was very excited to say the least. This was my first real taste of playing a musical instrument beyond shaking an occasional maraca.

Fast forward to beginning of middle school (6th grade), and I knew right away I wanted to be in band. My grandmother and mother had been in their school bands, so that meant that I needed to be as well. I remember walking into the band room and being introduced to all the instruments available to be played. We were allowed to try out different ones and make a decision based on what felt the most comfortable. Instead of making an informed decision about what felt the most right to play, I made up my mind to play clarinet because it ran in the family.

For the next 8 years I played clarinet throughout middle school and jumped at the opportunity to join marching band in high school. Did I mention that we were one of the best and biggest bands in the state? We even did a half time show at a Tampa Bay Bucs vs. Eagles game! I think my favorite memory overall had to be the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington DC. I still think of the memories I had in band and playing clarinet. I really enjoyed playing music and it encouraged me to pick up guitar when I was right around 15 years old. I wanted to be in a rock band, of course I would talk among my friends about us all starting one, but nothing ever came of it. I learned a few chords on my red Fender but ultimately gave up when I really didn’t know where to go for direction.

Anyway, onto what got me back into music. So, in my previous post, I mentioned that I left Orlando after a violent relationship ended. I started writing songs and poetry to get my mind off things. I really started thinking again about going back into music. I saw an ad looking for female band mates on craigslist and decided to respond as a vocalist. I don’t really know what I was thinking as I am pretty shy and don’t sing very much, but I figured this would get me out of my shell and meeting people. We had some band practices and line up switches, and eventually the band didn’t work out.

There was a light at the end of this tunnel, though. The drummer from the project and I started dating, and as it turned out, he’s a music teacher. I had this bass guitar I bought years ago and a tiny practice amp and told him I wanted to learn. First thing he did was take me to a book store, pulled out a book on music theory, and had me read it for hours. Jeremy (the guitarist/vocalist of The Time Framed) wanted to make sure I had a basic understanding of WHAT I was going to be doing first, then once things sort of made sense, he started teaching me basic things on bass. From that, The Time Framed was born. Two years later, we’re playing shows all over the place and have met amazing people.

To tie back to this post’s title, being 25 and learning an instrument comes with a lot of stress and beating myself up. It definitely wasn’t, and isn’t, easy to pick up a new instrument at my age and I was frustrated a lot of the time. Most of the I was playing with musicians that have decades on me. It was embarrassing to not be able to keep up. There were many times I felt like an idiot and just wanted to quit. I’m glad I didn’t. I love playing the bass, it’s a part of me now.  Don’t ever feel like you’re too old to learn an instrument. You will get frustrated and will feel dumb at times, but you WILL get it and you WILL be able to play the instrument you want.

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