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Emotion= good music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TheVoiceless, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    I was having an internal debate about how much the roll of emotion plays into a bands/artists success. The most common thread I can see between successful acts is that they deliver the goods, so to speak. Meaning when they sing a sad song they deliver that emotion through their voice or instrument. And I think that may be a major factor to other musicians lack of success. I think the people who make it dig a little deeper. Whether it be in lyrical content or how much emotion they put into their recorded or live performance.

    Based on my own personal experience, I can say one of my bands worse note for note performance was the best received live showing of the band. And I think that is because we made up in emotion. So I think I can say sometimes your attitude/emotion can trump your ability/performance as a musician. I also can say that one of the singers I've played with could nail "Streets Have No Name" by U2, but could not bring the same passion to his own music. Which seemed weird at the time. Maybe he was scared of what he was really feeling inside.

    So I was wondering, how much time during the songwriting process does your band put into conveying emotion? Or is it just something that comes natural for the ones that have "it"? I am far from a pro level songwriter, but I would think that the emotion of the song is everything, but I can say that none of the original acts I've played with really dealt with this subject.

    I just wanted to open up a conversation on this subject and see where some of you were at. Is it something that you learned or is it a new concept to a younger player? I think this also may address the issue some bands have with not connecting with their crowd. I've read it here and have heard it before, about the band that played flawlessly but bored the crap out of you.

    So what are some of your thoughts?
  2. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    It's like the difference between standing there, reading from a script, & acting. In fact, I use method acting as an example when coaching other musicians. Especially for singers, but it applies to all: Don't just recite the lyrics. Don't just memorize them, either (let's not get into music stands!). "Own" the song! For that 3-1/2 minutes, or however long it is, this is your song, your story! Live it! Feel it! Be it! Convince the audience. Even if you don't sing a lick, ownership applies.

    That said, emotion doesn't always equate to "good" music ("good" being open to interpretation & subject to everybody's tastes). However, lack of emotion definitely leads to lifeless, bland, boring music which in my book at least is bad.
  3. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    Sometimes I can detect a lack of emotion when a singer whose native language isn't English sings in a way which seems detached. The pronunciation may be good, but sometimes that alone isn't enough. You've got to feel it.
  4. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    so miley cyrus's success stems from her emotional sincerity, right?

    'good' music (ignoring whether it's successful or not) is good from many angles, one of which could be emotional conveyance.
  5. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
  6. baalroo


    Mar 24, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    It's certainly not the only important ingredient, but I do have to say that if it doesn't feel like it's coming from a "real place" I lose interest almost immediately. I see 4-12 live performances a week (all original) and it's ALWAYS the bands that seem to be "feeling it" that I remember and that the crowd seems to enjoy. I've seen so many technically proficient bands doing really impressive things, but if they aren't connecting with anyone then what's the point? Might as well be playing guitar hero if all you're interested in is technical proficiency.

    However, it's important to remember that with most types of music, the best way to be able to "feel" a song and really emote when playing it is to be proficient enough to not have to focus too hard on the actual act of playing the song. So, a lot of people balk at this, but I always tell my band that we should find our proficiency "limit" and then back it off just a little bit... basically play slightly below your ability. That way you can focus on the music, the emotional content, and really live inside the songs.

    on a related note: How much does this correlate to musicians LISTENING to each other on stage? It seems to have a connection in my mind. I'm in a sort of progressive psych rock group, and we have a few sections where our two guitarists trade solos back and forth and as I was standing there looking back and forth between the drummer and the guy soloing I noticed that when one was soloing, the other would be looking down at the neck of his guitar (presumably thinking about what they were gonna play next)... I immediately stopped the rehearsal and pointed out how difficult it is to properly communicate (musically) if you aren't listen to the rest of the conversation. I think I may have really shook up their worlds, we'll see if they revert back or not within the next few weeks.
  7. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Exactly right. She portrays the emotional capacity of a child and that comes across well to many many people. Happy!
  8. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Madonna, and Britney were marketed to the hilt. Emotion was not required, nor do I believe that it played a significant factor except when checks were being deposited from sales/shows, and the dollar signs stirred their emotional side.

    To my way of thinking, there's the two extremes: highly proficient technicians lacking emotion, and those with great feeling and emotion in their playing. Then, there's most of us that fall somewhere in-between, with various mixes of those. I would garner much less respect, and appreciation if our lead gui**** played with little emotion. But, I would still enjoy the money paid after the performance.
  9. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    People bereft of subtlety often mistake great wallowing in melodrama or extreme shows of something or another as a sign of deep emotion. later, as they mature, if they do, some of that stuff begins to look pretty pretentious and shallow, contrived to sucker in saps.
  10. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    I have to highly disagree. I don't expect you to connect with these artists (modanna, Brittany etc) but these people are trying to connect with teenage females. I used to share your same opinion about successful musicians, like they are pawns put into place. But as I got older I realized that these are just the lucky few who have "it" and worked their butts off to get to where they are at. Nickelback went broke funding their band, and lucky for them it paid off. Just because you don't like an artist or their music does not always mean they got their success handed to them.

    But I can honestly say that Brittany and Madonna know how to sell it. When I hear Brittany I feel the sex in her voice. Sorry but that's hot. Not that I listen to Brittney purposely.
  11. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    Well good is subjective, so is successful. But the next time you turn the radio on find one successful artist that's faking in. Sorry but Lil Wayne is not huge because he is a phony. Or 50 Cent for that matter. Look at Emenim, his songs bring you into his messed up house in the gehetto of Detroit with his lyrics and emotion. Because its all real.

    I think that its true to some point, you need to suffer for you art to find success in it.

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