Hello new readers! Welcome to the new site of Rhythmic Zero! I'm Tyler Coil, but I also frequently go by the online aliases Kamori and Kamorigoat. This blog is to help document my journey into learning about music. To be honest, I'm not great at music, nor am I a good writer. But, if I'm on a journey to improve my music abilities, maybe I can use that interest to improve my writing too!
Me and My Music History
As I said, my name is Tyler, but I generally go by Kamori. You'll likely see me refer to myself as Kamori most frequently. I'm a 30-year-old who works in the Tech industry. I grew up in rural Illinois, but now I live in a city in Texas. I'm married, and I had a baby boy in November of 2022.
In elementary school and a couple of years in middle school, I did take some music classes. But I wasn't perfect lol.
Starting at the beginning, or as close to the beginning as I can remember, my first adventure into music learning was either in 2nd or 3rd grade. It was a combination of both singing and dancing, but mainly singing. We didn't do much of anything impressive, but we were taught the minimum required skills to do a school recital.
I don't know if school recitals of young kids singing, dancing, and acting are common in other parts of the world. But, here in America, especially rural midwest America, it was.
We were loosely taught the notes present in western music, and we frequently used the do-re-mi scale for practice and warmups. But music theory wasn't part of my early education. Instead, the goal was to teach us to change the pitch of our singing roughly in the right direction as a group. A select few singers were singled out as having talent, and the teacher fostered that talent and provided extra education. But, I was not one of those students.
Around 4th grade, or maybe 5th, I finally got a band class where we each got interviewed by the band teacher and got to choose our instruments. Going into it, I knew what I wanted to play. I wanted to play the drums!
I thought it was going to be so cool to play the drums like I saw other large bands do. But, the reality was this band class wasn't going to teach me how to play the drumset. Instead, there were about 12 to 13 of us in the percussion section. And the only equipment we really had were 3 snare drums that could be converted into toms. And a standing bass drum. Also, a few cowbells if the song called for it. If you do the math, it becomes clear that not everyone got to play every song, even if we doubled up people on the snare drums.
Now in this style of playing music, you really didn't learn anything about music when you were in that percussion section. You got to learn to count beats, but nothing more extensive than that. We'd practice whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and sixteenth notes, and that was about it. Just slap the drum on the right count and you were doing your part.
Looking back, this wasn't very challenging to me, so it's no wonder I never really got invested. But again, looking back, I wish I had. When I got to middle school we had more people in an orchestra and we actually got to play recitals as an entire school rather than as a class. This huge increase was actually a ton of fun when it came to band class. Our chorus class, not so much.
You see, as I reached middle school my attitude toward school started changing. School stopped being fun and it started becoming work. So being the stereotypical middle schooler I was, I thought it was cool to not try and work hard, especially when it came to stuff boring or not "boyish." Chorus was no exception. This really stunted my music learning. Mix my lack of trying in chorus and band class becoming boring because I wasn't getting challenged, it's no wonder that I lost any interest in trying to make music. When high school came time and all the music classes became elective, I elected not to partake. And I think I regret that.
Not much really happened in terms of my music education after high school, however, in my later high school years when I really started liking girls, I wanted to play guitar because that's what I saw cool people do. And I wanted to be cool. I don't know how I did it, but I convinced my parents to get me a guitar, an electric guitar. But I never learned how to play it lol.
Fast forward a couple of decades and find a more recent version of me. I've got pent-up anxiety from constantly planning my life, I'm working way too many hours in the day, and I'm depressed because of life events that I took too long to learn to cope with. I realized I needed to start a hobby. I needed a hobby that wasn't just playing video games. I needed to be away from my computer because I had a major computer addiction. I decided I would try to learn music again, and I'm so glad I did.
Around 2020 when covid hit, peak anxiety and depression time, I picked up that old guitar my parents gifted me, and I tried to learn. But, in all honesty, I didn't really try to learn how to play. I just had a strong want to know how to play. So while I did pick up my guitar more frequently, and did learn how to restring it, I didn't ever actually make any music with it. I just strummed poorly and got frustrated that I wasn't a guitar god yet.
Fast forward again about a year and a half, my depression and anxiety are being handled much much more effectively, I decide I want to take music learning more seriously.
So I bought an electric keyboard because that's what people who are serious about music do lol. And honestly, I don't regret that one bit. When I got that keyboard, I may not have started to learn effectively, but I spent a lot more time researching music theory. I wasn't following a steady curriculum, but I was investing heavily in learning anything I could. Learning notes, learning scales, learning rhythm, learning the circle of 5ths and 4th, and more. I can't say I knew how to put these ideas into practice, but I was learning. And it felt good. I was on the right path.
At the end of 2022, I decided all my efforts in the past in regard to music were not wasted. But instead just misguided. It was time to take things seriously. So I started the Justin Guitar Curriculum. I'm nearly reaching the end of beginner grade 1, and while I'm not great, I feel more musical than I ever did. I don't have a ton of time to practice now that I've got a kid, but when I do practice, it feels like I'm working on a life skill, instead of just fiddling around. And that feels great. I'm excited about what this musical journey brings.
Why Rhythmic Zero?
So with my life story above, you might wonder why this site is named Rhythmic Zero. Well, honestly it's because I have terrible musical rhythm.
After being away from music for so long, I can't keep a beat to save my life. And as someone who is prone to a lot of anxiety, anytime I got in a position where I should try to keep a beat; whether to show off or to accomplish a task, I'd get paranoid that people were judging me just for losing rhythm.
I really thought for a long time that it was impossible for me to keep a rhythm or be good at music. But I've since learned that a lot of people gain talent through practice, and I'm convinced I can too.
But that doesn't change the fact that I have terrible rhythm now :P
So that's my life story. I was forced to do music in elementary school, I slowly thought I was too cool to try in jr high, and then ultimately quit in high school. But now I have a new desire to learn music as a hobby. So here we are!
I've got a long way to go, but I don't plan on giving up, so I'm excited to see where it takes me.
Ultimately in this blog, you're going see me document my progress, talk about my gear and hopefully reach a point where I learn lessons I can share with other newcomers too!
I hope you enjoy the ride and feel free to sign up if you want to hear more about my journey! Or leave a comment if you have any advice or questions about how things are going!
PS: I mentioned being depressed and having intense anxiety in my story, but it's worth noting that I'm not suffering from them as deeply as I was before. Life is working out and I'm exactly where I need to be. So if you're worried about my health, be reassured, you don't need to. But I'm forever grateful that you do! Love you.