The Joy Of Being A Professional Musician...
Six hours later, I'd pretty much given up, and it was actually over a relatively minor point. (That's a double entendre, which you'll figure out in a minute.) See, I'm a self-taught musician; never had a lesson. I can play keyboards pretty well, and can get by on several other instruments enough to where it sounds like I can play 'em with a little editing/quantizing/Autotune/etc. However, today I ran in to a brick wall, and learned my limits. You see, the piece of music that was required was in a major key.
Now, that doesn't sound like a big deal, really. I mean, just hit the white ones, right? The problem is that I've been doing this (whatever the hell that is) for nigh-on 20 years now, and I've just figured out that every single one of the couple hundred songs I've penned, published, and put on wax are in minor keys. Today, inexplicably, is the first time I've ever tried to write in a major. And it wasn't just any major, but C Major, the Key Of Victory. The People's Key. A Worker's Paradise.
The first album I ever bought was Joe Jackson's "Look Sharp." I'm a child of post-punk. I don't like or listen to pop music. My two favorite bands are Neubauten and Underworld. I just have no fucking experience with C Major. It's outside my realm of expertise. An alien world, where men run around in fields of daisies with no shirts on, rubbing honey on their nipples and singing happy songs, while the women hang out the wash and have children simultaneously. It is, to not put too fine a point on it, fucking played.
So, I had to give this job up, because I couldn't come up with a leitmotif that I could stand to play for the client without shuffling around the room in mute embarassment. I'm sure some people (hell, lots of people) have a knack for this sort of thing, but I'm not too proud to admit that I'm not one of them. The moral of the story? It's never too late to say you just can't pull something off. I'm not saying that you should think you have limits; I'm just saying that it's a bit shocking when you hit them, and a little fucking weird.
(Before you post, I know that Neubauten has one song in C Major; I don't care for it, so put that in your pipe and fire up.)