Re-Examining My Metronomophobia

Recently, a conservative GOP U.S. Senator from Ohio reversed his opposition to Marriage Equality.  The catalyst was that his son came out of the closet.  Funny how positions change when fear, dogma, political litmus test, or Biblical interpretation requires a person to hate somebody who is a family member or whom he or she personally knows.

Saying “I hate you” or “you’re an abomination” to a loved one out of homophobia must be exceedingly difficult to anybody who has a modicum of intelligence or compassion.  Maybe some politicians are not automatons who care only about votes and money.

When you hear of changes like the Senator from Ohio made, do you reconsider any of your “phobias” or other life views?

I recently had cause to re-examine my metronomophobia.  Okay, I hear the chorus now:  “Aha, gotcha!  You should title post this ‘60s Berkeley liberal inspired by a conservative GOP Senator.’  See, Bill, you never are too old to learn.”  Before conceding, a little background might help.

Metronomophobia  (met∙ro∙nom∙o∙pho∙bi∙a)  is an "abnormal fear of metronomes" (metronome + phobia).  That phobia probably is not recognized by the mental health community or found in the DSM.  Many students or wannabe musicians know that the fear of metronomes is real.
Of course, this begs the question of whether my fear of metronomes was “abnormal.”  As long as I have been taking guitar lessons, some teacher has said, “Make the metronome your friend.”  Probably teachers have said that since the metronome was invented or commercially available.

I know real musicians who will not practice without a metronome.  When asked about how they overcame metronomophobia, they replied, “Just make the metronome your friend.”  They clearly had bought into what the music-teaching lobby, union, community, or conspiracy advocated.

To my knowledge, nobody in my family was a metronome.  My sister, Sue, however, might be described as metronomic in that she can play rhythm with the best.  None of my friends is a metronome.  Then again, like Sue, Glenn and Robert -- and Don and Paul before them -- can be relentless in maintaining a beat.  Yes, they too are metronomic.

Was that cause to re-examine my metronomophobia?  Is the chorus of ahas and gotchas correct?

Well, not exactly.  When I presented my two new songs at practice, my bandmates asked, “What is the timing?”  I replied, “Four-four.”  The unanimous response upon hearing what I had in mind was resounding, “No, it isn’t!”  Me:  “Want to try five-four for some jazz-surf?”  Bandmates:  “It isn’t that either!  Go back, play it to the metronome and figure out your timing.”

Epiphany!  Metronomophobia is an obstacle to writing songs to be played with or by others.   No 12-step program required.  To do something that I love, I cannot be a metronomophobic.  Maybe, a 60s liberal learned something from a conservative GOP Senator after all!

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