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As a musician you want only one thing – to buy one more guitar, one more effect, a bigger pedalboard and a better amp.  | Photo: Unsplash
As a musician you want only one thing – to buy one more guitar, one more effect, a bigger pedalboard and a better amp. | Photo: Unsplash
Anna Marie Hradecká -

TOP 5 Musicians’ Quirks That "Normal" Mortals Don’t Understand

There are all sorts of mental diagnoses – and sometimes musicianship seems to be one of them. People who live a "regular life" with a "normal" nine-to-five job and weekends off, people who enjoy music as an atmospheric background and only sometimes go for a spin at a disco or attend a concert for social reasons, those people have a hard time understanding certain peculiar habits and manners that are quite normal among musicians. So let's see – which points from the following list apply to you?

1. Where they walk, they sing

James Harries, a singer-songwriter based in Prague, once told me that he often pulls out his mobile phone somewhere, for example, while he is waiting at the traffic lights taking his child back from kindergarten, and starts to mumble a melodic motif that has just occurred to him. Do you also find musical inspiration in the middle of the most inappropriate situations? Of course, the looks of people around you can be overwhelming. But it's better to be considered a freak than to let go of perhaps the most brilliant idea of your musical career.

For some individuals, the humming fetish may go beyond the need for immediate recording. There are people (and not only singers, I know a few instrumentalists) who sing semi-loudly all the time. Yes, all the time. No matter what they are doing. They seem to be constantly maintaining some kind of musical cloud around them that makes them feel safe and at ease. And then there are tappers – they tap their feet or their fingers on anything and anyone around them to the rhythm of the music in their headphones. If you also like to create your personal soundscape around you, you might enjoy enough room in crowded public transport. And they say that music is not profitable...

2. Wait a minute! What's that song?!

Classic situation: you're on a date, in an important meeting or at a job interview... Suddenly, somewhere in the distance, your favourite song starts playing – or, conversely, a song you hate with all your heart. Or music that you don't know at all, but has a great rhythm. No matter what you or your counterpart have just said, you get stuck at the moment, completely out of the dialogue and unable to concentrate on anything but the music you're hearing. If you're assertive enough, you might even request silence so you can listen to the song undisturbed.

Non-musicians will never understand this. They might even think you're a rude lout. They don't know that once you've listened to the ultimate guitar solo, you'll naturally come back to the conversation.

3. Twisted lifestyle

While "normal" people are sleeping or slowly getting up for work, exhausted musicians with instruments on their backs are trudging home from jam sessions and gigs. While the same "normal" people are returning from their lunch break and sitting down at their computers behind the windows of corporate buildings, many musicians are heading out to earn some money at music schools. And when "normal" people are home from work, musicians are heading to rehearsals or gigs. The institution of a weekend or public holiday doesn't exist either – in addition to gigs, they also sometimes have to compose new music or (but shhh!) practise. Where to put relationships and family in this messed-up routine is a topic for a separate article.

4. Pockets full of musical treasures

Other people's pockets contain lighters, chewing gums or coins for supermarket trolleys. You, as a musician, normally carry picks – or saxophone reeds, rosin, tuner or even a capo if you have large pockets. All these things tend to fall out of your pockets while you are looking for your keys or the above-mentioned lighter. They also appear mysteriously in freshly washed trousers (which makes the reeds play great afterwards).

Similar treasures can be found at the bottom of your backpack, in your coat pockets, in your wallet among your change and receipts, on the kitchen shelf among your mugs, in the bathroom by your toothbrushes and in bed under your pillow. It isn't worth putting these items away – you'll miss them when you need them most. This is one of those moments when only a fellow musician will understand you – a "normal" person has no idea why that little piece of plastic or that disgustingly drool-stained flat wood is so precious to you.

5. Car? House? Seaside holiday? No, I'd rather buy a guitar!

"Normal" people cannot understand this attitude – they even find it irresponsible and childish. While others think of material goods, pay their mortgages and enjoy expensive holidays and big polished cars, you are willing to cut down on these expenses because as a musician you want only one thing – to buy one more guitar, one more effect, a bigger pedalboard and a better amp. You're saving up for your dream Nord Stage 3 keyboards and alternately buying and selling all sorts of synths, noisemakers and loopers... All for one purpose: to finally find "your" pure and original sound.

So, does any of this sound familiar? Or would you like to add some more examples of musical eccentricity? Let us know in the comments!

Tagy just for fun

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Anna Marie Hradecká