After you finish asking your questions the man in greasy coveralls and a brand new Stetson takes a deep pull from his beer and leans back on his stool

Well the first thing you gotta understand is that the Music isn’t meant for us. Well, not meant for us to hear, anyway. Not in the way you think of when you hear the word “Music”. It’s more like…like the engine that keeps things running behind the scenes. Most folks just turn the crank on their model T, hop in, and head on out for a whirl. Living their life, heading wherever they are set to go. If they hear they rattle and roar of the engine at all, they quickly tune it out as background noise. Incidental to their hopes and dreams.

But is isn’t, is it? The pitch of an engine can tell you everything you need to know about the health of an automobile, whether you should get in it or not, whether you stand a chance in hell of outrunning it. Anyone that’s ever heard a straight six can tell you it is a whole different world.

The Music is like that a bit. If you’ve got the ear and if someone’s taught you what to listen for, you have a chance of knowing a bit about what is going on underneath the hood without having to pop it up and take a look. If you want to do something about it, though, you gotta get in there and get your hands dirty. And you’re going to need tools. I’ve heard rumors that some of the Shining Ones or other crossroads folk that can just hum and coax the engine around that way, but you and me have to get about it the hard way. Like I said, Music isn’t rightly meant for us.

So you’ve got your engine and you’ve got the tune you want it to play, the pitch you want it rattling at. How you get them to come together is where the tool comes in. You wouldn’t use a ball peen to tighten up the breaks. Gotta find something that matches your purpose. Your intention.

That’s really all an instrument is. Just a tool you pick out to help you match your song to your intention. Could be just about anything, long as it picks up a bit of the rattle of the world. I’ve seen everything from banjos and trumpets to candles and books. Even saw a gat once. It’s song scared me stiff.

Simple in concept, though. Just find what works for you and start tuning. Easy as pie, as long as you’ve got the ear for it. And the wherewithal to deal with what happens if you break something monkeying around in someone else’s engine.