Out of all the types of people in the world, musicians must be the most fascinating breed. MPSs – or musicians pur sang -, like firefighters, have some kind of quality that makes you look up to them, leaves you with a feeling of awe, like they have a superpower only they know how to control. For this reason, or just for kicks, some are determined to become an MPS’s other half, but they tend to forget that you don’t just become one: you choose to be one. However professional, semi-professional or amateurish your MPS is, one thing’s definite: beware of what you’re getting into.
Rule number one is to never get in between or mess with an MPS and their equipment. Just to be clear: equipment is not an ambiguous phrase here, it merely means the actual musical instrument. The equipment is their first love and always will be whereas you will be the lover, or other (wo)man. Like anyone else with a passion for a craft, however, it’s a deal breaker to stand in between or worse: take it away.
When dating or dealing with an MPS it all comes down to understanding the personality inherent to the kind of equipment. Yes, there’s a unique profile for each musical instrument available. Brass players tend to be extroverts and brash, whereas string and woodwind players tend to be more introvert and drummers are considered to be impulsive and rebellious. In overall, musicians –like artists in general- can be depicted as dreamy, passionate and sensitive, yet perfectionistic and selfish. The first three characteristics may sound like music to your ears, but the last one usually causes annoyance, hence the yet. The point with musicians is, like mentioned before, as long as they have their first love at hand they like –not need – the presence of a second love but whatever happens they can live without it if necessary. Music and practicing music is all, the holy grail almost, with just a little or no room to spare for distractions. And yes, you are a distraction as well. The interesting part of it all: they’re not afraid or ashamed to admit it.
So how does the dreamy part has a role in it all? Musicians are constantly thinking about and looking for ways to improve themselves, leaving them daydreaming about how they can play that high note better, or change chords more smoothly, or to perfect a one-handed drum roll. Or rock the stage at the next performance. You have no part in these thoughts, and it’s best to leave an MPS alone when they’re in this state of mind.
In order to improve themselves, MPSs look at and hope to learn from other MPSs, which makes them vulnerable, sensitive and maybe even a tad insecure. After all, there’s always someone who plays a little bit better and they should be able to do so as well. In their minds, their own performance will never be good enough and here’s where perfectionism comes along. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing but sometimes personal perfectionism is reflected on how others should behave or act, hence the yet mentioned earlier. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch an MPS with a strong sense of perfectionism that only reflects on himself.
Musicians are a passionate breed, and the passion for their equipment often extends to other aspects in a relationship, if you know what I mean. It’s almost as if they feel like when they’re on stage: uninhibited, ruler of the world, powerful and in a certain rush, and draw you into it. There’s a catch, though: passion often comes with a temper, or the so-called short fuse. Musicians are dynamite, which you may want to be careful to light.
If you type in ‘date a musician’ on Google, you will find dozens of lists that add up reasons to date or not to date one, with helpful tips and stories from experience experts. As I’m reading a few of those lists and writing this piece, it almost strikes me as an action plan for how to prepare yourself for a big project that takes up three quarters of your emotional and physical energy – if you haven’t already lost it just by reading it – and it has some sort of negative energy about it. It is true that an MPS comes with a manual and it is true that you really need to be content with the fact that you’ll never come first, but if you look at all the typical characteristics, aren’t we all musicians in a way? We all have a passion for something that no one must mess with, whether you’re aware of it or not. Or you could say we’re all just human, and humans come with manuals.
Truth be told, this piece might be far from original and yet another way of summing up the pros and cons of having liaisons with musical virtuosi, but most stories and lists are written from only one perspective, a one-sided point of view. The story of the MPS is not always told – let alone understood – which is a shame since they are interesting, profound and definitely worth reading into. Sure, do take all of the above into consideration before or when you date or deal with a musician.
How do I know both sides of the story and all the inside info? Well, I tickle the ivories passionately and I, too, am dating a musician.