Paul McCartney cannot read or write music

In a 2018 interview in the American television program “60 Minutes” the ex-Beatle Paul McCartney said:

“…it is embarrassing I do not read music or write music … I do not see music like that … I do not see music as dots on a page, is something in my head that goes on…”

(He says it was the same for the other Beatles)

This came to me and many on this planet as a quite unexpected admission. Now, I could easily take it as a confirmation that he is a musical genius and stop there; but wait.

Perhaps too many of us were brought up in a system to believe that we need to learn the stuff first; hopefully in a very prestigious and expensive school. Then, we prove we learned it well by scoring good grades.

Then we find a place to apply what we learned (a job in a good paying firm would be a good start) and lastly, maybe, we will be picked as one of the few with a lot of talent; and life will be great.

It seems McCartney did not get fully on board with the program and just started to play.

I do not have anything against formal learning or education. I would not want my surgeon to be self-educated with YouTube videos.

And still, there is something to be gleaned from McCartney’s story. We should consider just picking up our guitar and start playing some of the “songs” in our head. This is not to say we should fully abandon ourselves to follow a “dream” and the “universe” will take care of us. We face the realities of needing to stay alive.

But, if we really have in us a song to sing, we must start. Now. And we do it by starting. Duh.