In my opinion, there are artists and there are musicians. Musicians play for perfection, wanting to hit every right note and strum every chord imaginable. While musicians are great at their playing and are talented in that realm, they seem to lack much creativity when it comes to making original music.

Let's take blues musicians. Most musicians that I've heard that play blues, play the generic blues formula with very little variation. I'm not trying to downplay their ability to create music that is perfect and nearly without flaw. I'm just saying and this is my opinion, that it just doesn't make for interesting listening.

I'm also not trying to downplay the blues influence on rock, pop, and other genres of music of today. It definitely has its place in that it helped shape the great artists that we know and love. And one last disclaimer. I have not heard every blues record out there. What I have heard though, leaves much to be desired.

Most of the music that has changed the scene of pop music has been played by people who, haven't been necessarily known for their musician ability. They weren't bad players, but their musicianship didn't stand out. Examples are Elvis, The Beatles, Sex Pistols, Nirvana, Michael Jackson. With the Sex Pistols, it was just the opposite with their musicianship being some of the worst many people had ever heard. But they helped revolutionize music and brought a whole new genre to the scene.

There are a few exceptions. Jimi Hendrix and Rush are two examples of artists who created some interesting music, but could also play their instruments well. Stepping outside the rock and pop worlds for a second, jazz can sometimes have an interesting listen. Even though I could never fully embrace jazz, for the same reasons that I could not really embrace blues, I do occasionally enjoy listening to it and will say that it can offer some inspiration.

I'm definitely not saying that I don't enjoy some great guitar playing every once in a while. But, a band like Van Halen will never top my favorite bands list simply because, the music gets dull after a while. It is more focused on dazzling guitar licks and less on breaking the mold and experimenting.

I consider myself an artist. I will not blow someone away with my amazing craft. All I want to do is to experiment and have my own sound. If I can say that I've created something interesting, I'm happy. It depends on your musical tastes whether it sounds new or not. If you are the type of person that listens to top40, classic rock stations that play the same thing over and over, or even a lot of the so-called modern rock radio stations, this will be different. If not, my music will hopefully be another interesting musical addition to your collection.

Bottom line? You do not have to be a superb musician to be a great artist. As long as that basic musical understanding is there, the rest is up to you. Expand the mind's ear.

Education and life, what is the meaning of it all?

Who knows?! I approach life about like I do music. Always wanting to be a bit different from the rest. The majority of people get out of high school, go through college, get a degree and get some stale day-job. That has never been something that I have been interested in. Being blind, I of course have to depend on the state rehabilitation agency for assistance. My ears were filled with all the great things a standard college education could do for me. In fact, while it was not said outright, the theme was always college or a life of dead ends. That was pretty much it. So, feeling that I needed to give in, I signed up for that first semester of college. If a person isn't up for that cold routine of college, they just aren't. It took a semester of me not holding up to the task however, to prove that.

Education is a great thing. I just think that more people should go about it in different ways. Vocational schools, community colleges, apprenticeship-type learning. Even community colleges, however, try to fill their pockets with the money for courses a person doesn't need for their ultimate educational goal. If a person's main focus is on being a writer, why would they need advanced math? Oh yes, colleges will have that line of, needing a well-rounded education. Well, hate to break it to you but I got that "well-rounded" education in high school and am now ready to pursue my career goal, not waste hours and hours, not to mention mine or someone else's money taking pointless courses.

I know what I know about recording through a paid tutor. It's a great setup and is something like an apprenticeship-like situation. I pay this tutor $12 an hour for this training. Do you see a professor taking that kind of salary, even if the tutor and professor have the same amount of knowledge? Absolutely not! A professor demands big bucks simply because said professor has that magical piece of paper called a degree and in some cases, must pay back loans for the education that they received. Half that education, being pointless classes, being unnecessary in the first place.

The point is that a person shouldn't have to prove their intelligence based on the level of degree, or the university that they attended. A person can obtain the knowledge they need via lower-priced tutoring, teaching themselves, taking classes at technical schools, etc. Most people are afraid to break the mold however. This is the reason for the current situation.

I once tried to get training at some local radio stations. It would be a thing where I would come in, sit and observe the person that was employed there, possibly actually doing some hands-on work myself. The answer I got from the stations that did offer such internships was that they needed some sort of recommendation from the college that I attended to do something of that nature. Everything is tied back to the university in some way. Well of course, I wasn't attending a university so that option was out for me. That is unless I wanted to bow down and play that game. That's pathetic. A person should have that ability to be interested in a field and want to learn from professionals in that field without having to align themselves to a college to gain favor.

Then there are the dull and never-ending until you die jobs. Having a job is necessary. However, too many people have jobs they hate and say, oh well, that's life. They never try to go outside the lines and find something they enjoy or possibly work doing things that are outside the norm. If more people did that, as well as finding alternative educational outlets, it wouldn't be so tough for people who wanted to take those avenues to do so. Until more people try to make life interesting instead of conforming, the life of the majority of society will continue to be standard.

If you are a writer? Focus on your work. If you are a musician, play, record, and display your music wherever possible. If you enjoy food, become a restaurant critic. If you're not interested in the whole money idea, live off of nature. Anything to avoid becoming just another person who gets up in the morning, hurries off to work and back home again in the evening, just to do it all again tomorrow.

Through years of trying to avoid the boring routine, I have learned that the world isn't kind to those that don't wish to invest their future in worn-out standards of living. Often, you are accused of being lazy, following silly ideas, or being childish. I will happily accept those tags over living a life of emptyness. While I now am one of the millions that sit in an office on a daily basis, I hope to not be one of them for the rest of my life. The pursuit to be a person that is really "living" will continue.