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The Cody Blog: How I Became a Musician

Monday, September 26, 2005

How I Became a Musician

It was May 1992, and I was talking to this sexy classmate of mine at Blinn College, where I'd gone to play basketball as I tried to break into a D-1 program (I later made the team at UNM, a D-1 school, no thanks to that experience at Blinn though). This girl -- I can't remember her name -- had a boyfriend back home and I had a girlfriend back home, but we'd hang out sometimes. Looking back, I think she'd wanted to hook up, but I was a faithful guy, and never let it go there. Why I had a long distance relationship with a woman I knew I wouldn't be spending my life with is a topic for another day though. Alas, once again, I digress.

So I'm talking to this tall, blond, athletic hottie and she's like, "What'd you do last night?"

And I'm like, "Ah, I won my 100th straight game of Super Tecmo Bowl [the game's actually called Tecmo Super Bowl, but we always got it backwards] at Buc Hall [the basketball team's dormitory]".

Upon saying those words, I had an epiphany and went on, before she could answer. I said, "You know what? That has to be the single stupidest thing that I can think of to have accomplished. 100 games of a stupid video game in a basketball dormitory? Hmm, I think it's time to put that energy elsewhere."

So I went out the next day, much to the chagrin of my teammates who loved that Nintendo (we had another one in the dorm, but we'd always have two tournaments going on simultaneously), and took my Nintendo to the pawn shop. I sold it for a couple score of bucks and took that money and a little other money I'd saved up working for a real estate appraiser in my hometown the summer before and bought an accoustic guitar and a Beatles' chord book.

My mom had tried to get me to take piano lessons growing up, but I'd hated it from the start and had quit soon after. What I lacked in musical background, I made up for in effort and brains, and I taught myself all the songs in that book. I'd noticed that there were some recurring ratios in most of the songs. Checking out a music book from the library and discussing these ratios with my mom, it became clear -- ah, the I, IV, V chord sequence. And the minor parallel to the major chord. And then you go on and read about the frequencies of each note and you realize that the physics and math of music is rather beautiful in its own right.

And I was addicted. And I've been playing guitar and writing music for more than a decade now.

Rock on.

As an aside, I got this email from my best friend at Blinn College out of the blue last night. Ah the wonders of the Internet! How cool! (and maybe he'll remember the name of that blond):

I was sitting here at the computer thinking about the old days and people I’d lost track of and in your case still mention in the retelling of a story or when referencing a six foot white kid who could put it down from a standing jump (and wouldn’t doubt if he still can) when I thought to type your name, hit search and lo and behold what I found. It’s great to see you so active and that it appears you’ve found a real niche. It would be great to catch up – it’s been 6 or 7 years I think. I still have Celeste by my side and added two little girls (Eva – almost 6 and Audrey is 2). I have a commercial painting company that, coupled with the family, doesn’t allow for much else. But it’s fun and challenging and always something new.

Give me a call and maybe we can attempt to begin to catch up!

All the best,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9/26/2005 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a site on depression treatment. It pretty much covers depression treatment related stuff.

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9/26/2005 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous JP Laqueur said...


What's up with these idiots throwing out a comment about how cool your site is and then dropping a link/ad in about their own site? It's gotta be a search engine optimization strategy. How annoying!

- Songs are sweet baby. Keep up the work. I just picked up a PowerBook myself this weekend and have started to play around with GarageBand. If only I had more time...



9/26/2005 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

Yup, I'm sick of SEOs. They are the bane of the Net.

And rock on, JP. Post a song sometime.

9/27/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous ss said...

Interesting point about the math and physics of music. As a "math geek" with a lifelong interest in music, my music theory and composition classes in college became much easier when it was pointed out to me that scales and chords are based on Fibonacci numbers...

9/27/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Barry Ritholtz said...

I say delete them with extreme prejudice and then have them banned from blogger.

I do the same with tyepad -- I hired two kids from India to monitor my trackbacks and comments, delete the spam, file a typepad complaint.

8/26/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

It's funny what made me start playing guitar. I mean, I was 15 and my two younger sisters both received cheap (no...REALLY cheap!) guitars, and showed no inclination to play them. One day I picked one up and tried to play....ouch. Thick strings out of tune. I really think it was the geek in me figuring out how to make things work that made me quest out how to tune one. Now 30 years later...I'm pretty good, but wished one of my sisters had got a piano, as I would have loved to be able to play one now!

4/10/2007 12:58:00 PM  

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