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Posts Tagged ‘developing style

Finding your style

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When writing music, its obvious that you will start out wanting to sound like someone else (can anyone hear the mf doom/aphex twin/boards of canada in my music?). Today I will talk a little on developing your own style.

We always start in a similar way. We get inspired by someone to make our own music. As artists, we crave to find our own way of doing things. Innovation is what drives us to be the best we can. It becomes easy to get trapped in thinking that if something doesn’t sound like (insert record/artist) then it isn’t up to scratch. So the first thing you need to do is to acknowledge that in order to be the best musician you can, you need to separate yourself from your influences.

This can be achieved in a simple way in my opinion. Vary your influences to a level where you no longer see a narrow view of what the musical possibilities are, but rather the full spectrum. Listen to classical music, jazz, blues, rock, metal, pop, michael jackson (yes, he gets a genre of his own).. everything. NO DISCRIMINATION.
At the end of the day, in western music, there are only 12 notes. Yet, there are millions of combinations. So get as much music into your system as possible

Secondly, you need to make as much music as possible. I mean so much that it will make your head spin. Make music all day every day if you can. By the act of creating, as you learn new things, you will become bored of doing things the same way. True innovation doesn’t just come out of nowhere, it needs to be achieved by hours of hard work. It won’t be easy. As you incorporate different elements into your music, you’ll add things that nobody will have ever thought of before, and explore realities which were never heard before.

Lastly, you can not give up. If you want to sound like Skrillex, great. There are tutorials on youtube that will have you making derivative crap in a few days. But you shouldn’t strive to sound like anyone else, because you have a voice of your own. Let it be heard.


Written by majorshake

June 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Why listening to different music will make you a better musician

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Today I’m going to talk a little about the importance of having varied influences. Sure, we all like a certain kind of music, and everything else just seems inferior. I want to convince you that you should go listen to some music that has nothing to do with your usual taste, because it will make you a better musician.

Firstly, by listening only to one particular set of artists (because talking about genres is bullshit) you limit yourself to only a certain set of musical ideas. Even if you listen to the most innovative artists, they are still only going to have a certain way of processing musical ideas. That’s what we refer to as their “style”.

When you think of any truly great artist, they will always have been innovative and game changing in some way. Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, Bjork and Michael Jackson. They have all made music that nobody has EVER even thought of making before. Sure it’s all similar to this or that, but its never exactly easy to figure out where those ideas have come from. That’s because they have melded their influences in a way nobody has ever before.

As an artist, you need to expand your influences to keep growing. You HAVE to expose yourself to as much music as you can so that you can find your own voice. This way you won’t copy trends like 9 of the top 10 items on any music chart. You’ll set them.

Other than setting you apart from the pack, listening to a wide range of music has other benefits. Assuming you have any professional aspirations, and I know we all do, a wide range of influences can benefit you with some additional opportunities. If you are tuned into various music communities where you live, you will beyond any doubt hear about musicians wanting to collaborate and wanting sidemen for gigs. Any opportunity like that is something you should try, because you never really know whose listening.

So today, go find some music you’ve never heard, in a style you have never listened to. It won’t hurt.

Written by majorshake

June 1, 2011 at 11:12 am