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How can I really determine my own taste in music?

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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby RichardT » Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:33 pm

I think the main thing is to get going and see what comes out. I definitely think you have something to say!

Don’t worry too much about the quality to start with - in order to get good at something you have to be prepared to be bad at it. Apart from rare geniuses, that’s unavoidable.

But you need to enjoy the process of writing for its own sake.
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby Watchmaker » Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:45 pm

^ ^ this ^ ^

Don't be afraid to suck. Success teaches nothing!
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby The Culprit » Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:08 am

What an excellent idea for a thread and some of the replies are very interesting.

I would imagine most if not all have similar stories in our musical journeys. For me I was never a great writer, either musically or lyrically, in terms of the amount of material I've created. But the stuff I have done is actually really good.

This lack of productivity led me to moving into a niche of gigging other people's songs in Irish bars, so that I could earn a bit of cash and gain some experience outside the safety of my home studio (loose term).

Since discovering this amazing forum though, I've rediscovered my desire to write original music, and will be revisiting some old ideas I did over the years. Even just reading other people's stories and struggles is a big help and a source of inspiration, and I really hope the OP thinks so too.

What a place 8-)
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby paul tha other » Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:09 am

genres are for when you are finished the tracks..i write 2 distinct types of genres.i love the good old country tunes from "the band" and creedence etc..i also love space rock and psycadellia ..i produce both types of tunes myself..whats started to happen is the 2 genres are starting to merge together in my songwriting..i used to release the tracks from 2 seperate bands
i once read in a book,if you are trying for comercial success , take 2 or 3 of the top sellling singles,pinch the verse from the 1st song then the bridge for the 2nd song and the chorus from the 3rd song and merge them all together to make "your" song and hopfully enough of your personality will come across that it will start to sound like something you came up with..im talking about the music here,not vocals..thats what ive been trying this year and its been educational
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby DarthPaul » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:11 pm

desmond wrote:However, for people who *make* music, though, there is another, different factor, and that's your "voice". That is something that happens when you merge and blend your influences, your likes, dislikes, tastes, and abilities, and make music, write songs and so on. It's a result of your brain using it's experience and taste to be creative and make something new, while drawing on those influences.

This can take a while to emerge - it something that really only happens over time. And your voice is influenced by the people you work with. Your voice in a band might be different to your voice doing solo material. And a band itself has an emergent property of this voice of the band that will arise when you work together enough.

So maybe the problem you're touching on is not so much what your taste is, and how to categorise what you like to listen to, but whether you've found, or have yet to find, your "voice"...? (Also a common problem with people who have spent a lot of time playing other peoples' music.)

You will only find it by doing it, and if your need to categorise interferes or paralyses with the ability to create, then you're either not in the right mindset, or in the right environment to make music. Changing those things might help.

Desmond, this is the most perceptive and pertinent thing for musicians that I've read in decades. Absolutely spot on. Superb advice. Well said, thanks.
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:43 pm

I like this one:

blinddrew wrote:2) What do you have to say?

Without this there is nothing, with this in place the rest is craft.
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:40 pm

Yea desmond, that post was wisdom!
Watchmaker wrote:I know what the truth is in my case however. That is I am afraid of expressing the core truth of my self. It scares the shit out of me in a way that my youthful self did not know. Until I get over that, I ain't gonna write anything worth listening to.
First: I admire your honesty and self awareness. Took me years to get to that! Second: I think it's this that desmond suggests changes over time. That is my experience anyway. The inner judge is useful but not when it prevents you from ever starting!

It's why we have the books "The Inner Game of Tennis" and I think there is a music one as well.

Apart from seeing a counselling psychologist (which I personally think everyone should do, like servicing your car) I'd highly recommend this book:
https://www.amazon.com/Art-Fear-Observa ... 561&sr=8-1

If nothing else, you'll find all artists, at all levels of the profession, in all mediums, have this exact problem!
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby average joey » Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:21 pm

Don't know can't say for you.

I listened to music on the radio and then decided which type I liked as different stations focused on different genres which helped.

Later I heard something better at a friend's house and totally changed my mind. It was hard finding any stations with that sort of music depending where you lived. So It was mostly LPs back then, and later CDs to have it for myself to playback.
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby Alba » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:32 pm

Perhaps to determine your own taste in music do a Desert Island Discs selection and then see what's on it.
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby awjoe » Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:43 pm

Dolmetscher007 wrote:Anyway... does anyone of you guys have any kind of online course, or book, or any other kind of solid resource for helping a guy like me with genre overload, tap into what he really wants to create when it comes to writing songs?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there seems to be an assumption in your question that if you could figure out the type of music you like, you'd be able to actually create that kind of music. If that's the case, here's an alternate approach: get your instrument of choice and start writing with one filter and one goal guiding the process. The filter: don't copy anybody, not overtly anyway - don't pinch a chord progression or a melody or a song idea. Yes, I know - it's impossible to come up with something absolutely unique - but that's still different from going out and pinching stuff. The goal: look for music and lyrics that m-o-v-e you. Use rhythms and chords and sounds that your body and ear like. Write words that excite you, that go places other people either wouldn't imagine or wouldn't dare. You don't get stuff like 'crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess, boy you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down' by playing it safe inside a genre. I hope I don't upset anybody with this sentiment, but I see genres as a trap - they're known and familiar, and they limit you to the known and familiar, and that means that anything you come up with stands a very good chance of being met with :: yawn :: 'Yeah, I recognize that - I've heard it a thousand times before. Good reiteration, though.'
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby Arpangel » Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:31 am

We are all a giant soup of musical experiences, and those of us that go on to make our own music hopefully add a new flavour to this giant soup, you can’t separate, or put you’re own output into little boxes, or a box.
Everything we do is a product of everything we’ve heard, it’s our chance to turn it into something new, something that also fulfills our own listening needs simply because there wasn’t anything there to do that in the first place.
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby merlyn » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:49 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:It's why we have the books "The Inner Game of Tennis" and I think there is a music one as well.

There is indeed :

Image

I read it a while ago and still remember some of it. For the general gist of it a quote from the tennis version comes to mind :

Watch the seams of the ball.

That's a way of distracting yourself from the internal monologue of "Am I hope holding the racket right? Geez I'll never beat this guy ... " and the other distracting stuff that gets in the way. You're not really ever supposed to see the seams of the ball -- it's just a way of focusing on something other than a negative internal monologue.
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:49 pm

I can't do much about your mid-life crisis. Buy a motor-bike. Try different drugs. If you want to try something REALLY dangerous, find a new woman/man.

Let go of 'what music do I like?'. Try 'what music can I sell?' You're at the most productive time of your life. You've had time to train your skills, you haven't yet run out of energy. This is when you go full ahead at earning. If music's just a hobby, and it isn't satisfying you, do something productive instead. Music will still be there later on.
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont bore us with beefing about it. Go fishing instead.

Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby ManFromGlass » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:20 pm

As a person with bad knees and back I can definitely say one can get down without getting down!
Ultimately though there comes a time when you just have to jump into the writing waters. I’ve been following the guy who used to write the music for Family Guy - Ron Jones. Brilliant composer who spent his career writing music fo others. A few years back he said enough and quit it all to find his voice. It’s been a real slog but now he says he is really happy and still works hard writing for himself. I’m not describing his process very well but if you can find anything online by him you might be inspired and encouraged.
Imagine quitting one of the best gigs in Hollywood to go do your own thing because you needed to find out what that is.
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Re: How can I really determine my own taste in music?

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:27 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:Try 'what music can I sell?' You're at the most productive time of your life. You've had time to train your skills, you haven't yet run out of energy. This is when you go full ahead at earning. If music's just a hobby, and it isn't satisfying you, do something productive instead. Music will still be there later on.

With respect, this approach is likely to minimize the relevant content from the psyche, and result in something of inherently diminished meaning. My question is why bother? Why not just go buy the Brittany Spears songbook, sample it, transpose it all, sing through an auto-tune, quantize it, and have a mastering plugin make it sound great for you?

One of the great failings, imo, of "modern man" is that we've mistaken value for price, to paraphrase Paul Simon. Very few things of true value can be commodified. The learning, the process, is what counts. Otherwise all the greats would settle on something they knew would sell and we'd not have anyone worth admiring. Just my tuppence. We all have our individual journey's so if that works for you, gwonandget'erdone.
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