Is the music you make "you"?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    As I sit in front of my computer bashing out music, I find I can never truly get the sound that's coming out of my speakers to sound like the music in my head. I sometimes wonder if I'm misrepresenting my music somehow when it doesn't come out quite the way I envision it - other times I am pleasantly surprised by the result. I think, "Does this song represent me?", "Was the song in my head better or worse than how it ended up?" "If I could hook some speaker wires up to my brain, how would the music be different?"

    I guess what I'm getting at is I'm wondering if you songwriters out there actually feel that your music is really you? Do you feel that you are able to articulate what you hear in your head into actual sounds? Have you ever made a song that perfectly encapsulates what you are about?

    I for one have never been happy with anything I've done - I feel that it doesn't sound like me at all. Yet I can't say that it's not me either. Most times I'm surprised with the end result, but I'm only happy with it for about a week or so. I have yet to make a song that is representative of me; nothing even close really.

    Songwriters, what say you?
  2. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    You just have to really sit down and focus on it. Just get whatever is in your head, and try to copy it onto your guitar. If you have a really good ear for music you'll get it man.
  3. I feel similarly, my externalized music has taken on a certain style that I guess is sort of "me" but isn't close to what I want to do. Often it is dictated more by my experience than by my inner musical ideas. I've only been doing this a few years, though. I really wonder if successful, brilliant musicians feel that they've truly been able to externalize their ideas.
  4. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Songwriting is weird for me. I'll often have a general idea of the mood I want in a song, but I end up writing in bits and pieces: a riff here, a chord progression there... I guess I have some sort of ADD when writing. ;) Things go through a constant evolution, and bits I write for one song will often end up in a different one.

    Once in a while I'll have a clear vision of a song, and write out the charts for everything in one swoop. I think I need to try to work on that more, to help me focus a little better.
  5. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    NO, definitely not. I probably wouldnt listen to the music i make if i hadnt made it :)
  6. Not exactly, but when I hear recordings of myself speaking I don't hear what I expect. When it comes to music, I can generally get what I'm imagining, but often times I don't because I tend to get in over my head. But I've only been playing for three years, and I'm getting better all the time.
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    At first, no. Now a days... yes.

    I love to sit down at the computer with no preconcieved idea of a song and just let it flow. That's why my early attempts were so choppy. Not to say my new ideas are great, but my song I added to the TB sampler kinda sucks in comparison. It all depends on my mood, I'm so emo.

    The other day, I made a song that could easily have been a Cure song in the 80s... I'm worried.

    *busts out the hairspray*
  8. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    Wow - those are a lot of questions Benjamin!

    Notes and melodies? Yes. Sounds? Hardly.

    Of course - sometimes the "sounds" in my brain are just General Midi sounds and I don't really pay too much attention to that - focusing more on the melody or harmony I hear.

    Whereas - when I compose on the bass - and it's effected a certain way - the parts will write themselves into that sound. Or - that sound will allow parts to be written that I would not have arrived at before. Make sense?

    To the other questions about whether it's "me" or not. I have trouble with the question. I guess I don't demand anything of what comes through me as music. It's there. I like it - or I don't. But I don't make it into ME - or NOT ME. I don't attach or derive identity from the music that comes thru me. It's an expression of me - but it's not me. Like the words I speak or write. They are expressions - but ultimately - they are not ME. Is that too Zen?