So, I have a confession to make, I have slightly poor taste in music (according to most). Most of the music in my iPod is probably no older than the last decade. I have never listened to the Beatles, the Stones, or any other major influential band or artist. I do not say this in a sense of pride or concern, but merely as a factual occurrence.
My household provided me with many wonderful things and experiences, but access to culture at large was not one of them. I know for a fact that my family, immediate and extended, has listened to only Gospel, Hymn, and Christian music with the occasional Christmas compilation. The first time that I actively listened to anything that did not fall under those categories was in high school when my friend lent me his mp3 player to hear the latest Eminem song. Admittedly, I do enjoy a good rap album to this day, particularly if it is a bit ‘off’ in some way.
Suffice to say, my musical background is limited at best and it is something that I have always wanted to expand, but the task seems so daunting. After all, do I prefer rock or rap? Am I fan of folk or is jazz more my style? Also, what is the difference between country and bluegrass? What the hell does pop and indie mean? How does one begin to develop their musical background when they really do not have any preference or prejudice and want to be exposed to it all? Except for polka. Screw that noise. Not really, maybe a little.
While I may not have a developed taste in music, I am not completely ignorant of its pleasures. Second confession, I was a band nerd. In some ways, I still am. I played the saxophone from the beginning of middle school to the end of high school. For those not familiar with the American public school system, it was roughly seven years. During this time, I learned about musical theory, structure, and developed an appreciation for how music is created and performed. More importantly, I began to understand the effects that an assortment of sounds set to a specified rhythm and meter can have on the human soul.
I think that is the main reason, more than anything else, that I want to expand my ear. For years, I have heard friends and strangers speak about their favorite bands, both past and present, with a reverence and awe that is nothing short of inspiring. I do not know if I will have the same connection that they do, but their enthusiasm makes me want to expand my musical pallet. The problem, as with most things, is where to start.
So, with so much available, where should I start? Should I just open up Pandora or Spotify and just see how far the rabbit hole I fall? Or is there a particular artist or genre I should begin with? Hopefully, I am not just throwing this out into the ether because I would actually love some suggestions. Come on, people, what you got for me?