Trying to fit in.

Hmmmmm,my,my,m,m,,.....
I'm thinking about the title....fuck it.......

Do you, or should you try and make your music so that it fits somewhere ?

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Comments

  • @AndyPlankton said:
    Hmmmmm,my,my,m,m,,.....
    I'm thinking about the title....fuck it.......

    Do you, or should you try and make your music so that it fits somewhere ?

    For me, No. My visual art has been ruined for me already in this way. Why ruin my music too?

  • edited February 14

    No. That's the worst way of doing music. You must love what you do.
    Even if you love shitty Eurodance, there's no arms, if you love that, you'll produce it well. Even if I won't listen to it, but who cares, if you enjoy it ? :)

    On the other hand, don't be silly, if a record label wants to sign you, and ask for a 3"30 radio version of your 10 minutes track, make an effort...(I know that Pink Floyd lovers will scream, but hey, it's a different time here...)

  • @AndyPlankton said:
    Hmmmmm,my,my,m,m,,.....
    I'm thinking about the title....fuck it.......

    Do you, or should you try and make your music so that it fits somewhere ?

    Need more information. What kind of fitting in are you talking about?

  • It depends on what your goals are. I try to make music that fits my taste.

    If you're looking for mass appeal, I've heard/read advice that you shouldn't try to emulate whatever is popular at the time because of the time it takes for something to catch on (the trend will have passed).

  • edited February 14

    I was just thinking about this yesterday, it's an intriguing question. A friend of mind once told me to pick out my favorite album and only try to sell something of my own to somebody else that I feel that good about..... I think the gist she was getting at was don't try to pass off garbage to other people, and only offer up something for sale that you would buy yourself.
    to this day I think it was some of the best advice I've ever gotten and I often think of it when I see post of music that are prefaced with phrases like ' this is really nothing but check it out', this took me ten minutes check it out, sorry about the sound quality check it out, and my favorite of all time 'I was just playin around nothing serious but check it out.....

    her advice stopped me from posting music I wasn't taking seriously and also gave me a new appreciation for people who take their valuable time to listen to other peoples music, but most of all the music that I sell I take extremely serious and try to reach for how my favorite album makes me feel.

    the other side of the coin is knowing who the people who appreciate your music enough to buy it are, if you're trying to sell your music to people who only care about the groove and your music is acapellas then that's a problem, point being to care about your music enough to qualify the customer is very important.

  • My personality has always been one of an outsider ("At a slight angle to the universe" to borrow a phrase from Peter Cook) and I don't see why whatever noise I make shouldn't be either. My musical church is a broad one so if I feel like busting out some sweet country house techno folk I shall do so with no thought for others.

    The fact I am never likely to want to make any $ from it probably helps. ;)

  • yep, making music for self, and making music for other people are two completely different things.

  • Fat bottom girls make the rockin' world go 'round. The answer to every philosophical question, ever.

  • @kobamoto said:
    to this day I think it was some of the best advice I've ever gotten and I often think of it when I see post of music that are prefaced with phrases like ' this is really nothing but check it out', this took me ten minutes check it out, sorry about the sound quality check it out, and my favorite of all time 'I was just playin around nothing serious but check it out.....

    Good stuff, @kobamoto. Whenever I see phrases like this it screams low self-esteem and trying to head off criticism at the pass.

  • edited February 18

    deleted

  • @telecharge said:
    It depends on what your goals are. I try to make music that fits my taste.

    If you're looking for mass appeal, I've heard/read advice that you shouldn't try to emulate whatever is popular at the time because of the time it takes for something to catch on (the trend will have passed).

    I know people who make a living emulating what is popular all the time.

  • Funny, I have emulated what is popular in lots of things and been successful at it. I can tune into a product's or a personality's frequency, but not with my writing and not with music. That's why I love both those things so.

  • @kobamoto said:
    I was just thinking about this yesterday, it's an intriguing question. A friend of mind once told me to pick out my favorite album and only try to sell something of my own to somebody else that I feel that good about..... I think the gist she was getting at was don't try to pass off garbage to other people, and only offer up something for sale that you would buy yourself.
    to this day I think it was some of the best advice I've ever gotten and I often think of it when I see post of music that are prefaced with phrases like ' this is really nothing but check it out', this took me ten minutes check it out, sorry about the sound quality check it out, and my favorite of all time 'I was just playin around nothing serious but check it out.....

    her advice stopped me from posting music I wasn't taking seriously and also gave me a new appreciation for people who take their valuable time to listen to other peoples music, but most of all the music that I sell I take extremely serious and try to reach for how my favorite album makes me feel.

    the other side of the coin is knowing who the people who appreciate your music enough to buy it are, if you're trying to sell your music to people who only care about the groove and your music is acapellas then that's a problem, point being to care about your music enough to qualify the customer is very important.

    This is an excellent post.

  • By all means cook food that you like to eat...but if the goal is to make make money, cook food that other people will pay for.

  • I spent years trying to be successful writing fiction. I loved writing, but that desire to be successful ruined it for me. When I was younger, playing in a band, we were told we needed to sound like Bachman Turner Overdrive, because that was the big Canadian rock band at the time. We said no. Whether I would have actually been able to make a living if we had, I don't know, but that was not what we wanted.

    But if something serious had come along, would we have compromised? Not sure. I don't know that anyone can say what they would do in any situation, until it comes along. I'm not going to write techno dance music, because I have no interest. If someone with money told me I could and should, I just might.

  • @AndyPlankton said:
    Trying to fit in.
    Hmmmmm,my,my,m,m,,.....
    I'm thinking about the title....fuck it.......

    Do you, or should you try and make your music so that it fits somewhere ?

    As to what you or anybody else should or should not try to do, I can't say.

    Do I try to make my audio fit anywhere? No.

    My audio either is something and fits somwhere, or it's something else and fits somewhere else. I can only make it what it already is when the idea is born. If I need it to be something different, then I start a new work to fulfill that purpose.

    When I create it is always for a reason, either the music is to fulfill a particular function in a context, e.g. for
    dancing of whatever kind
    calm relaxation
    REM-sleep-inducement
    celebration
    cuteness
    humour
    uplifting religious serenity
    WAKE UP alertness
    meaningless cacophony
    empty sweet random pleasant sounds

    ... or to express a specific sentiment whether on my own behalf or another's, e.g.
    anger
    humour
    introspection
    celebration
    misery
    cuteness
    life change
    happy buy stuff at this shopping centre
    something I made when I was bored

    So not to fit the audio in, but for the audio to be something and do something. As you can see, sometimes the message is also the function, and vice versa. Overlap, it rocks. :)

    My approach seems to express a message/function, and then members of a demographic may or may not respond to it (people generally have responded to my work so far).

    Your approach sounds to me like you are first looking for a demographic/function, and only THEN trying to work out what your creation is supposed to be, and struggling with this because how can anybody respond to something its own creator doesn't respond to, or know what it's for, or does, or anything?

    I figure that whatever you create, if you respond to it, then others will too. And if they don't, so what? You expressed something, which is what this is all supposed to be about anyway.

    Isn't it? :)

  • Here's a musical work I found quite entertaining, and also an excellent example of a work's built-in purpose being evident front and centre, whilst conceivably in a more polished presentation attracting a demographic broader than its initial intention:

    Enjoy! :)

    https://youtu.be/bUG9otd1J2Q

  • Personally I've trying my hardest not to sound like anyone else, but actually coming up with a compelling new sound is very difficult, and I haven't succeeded.

    It's tricky reconciling the avant-guarde with the need to connect with an audience. There's plenty of formless and meandering experimental music around, but most of it lacks a tune, and an audience needs a tune to connect with the music (generally anyway). I believe that it's harmony and melody, along with a little dissonance, that creates the emotion in music with musical tension and release, which is why a tune is the gateway to emotional connection.

    So the perfect blend is avant-guarde experimentation married with the emotion of a tune. Perfect embodiment of that would be Hendrix, or the Beatles in their weirded moments (Day In The Life for example). Bowie, Pink Floyd, Punk, Techno were all successful marriages of art and melody.

    But it takes vision and creativity to create something truly new, and it's difficult. It's been a long time since heard anything that qualifies. And everything that I do is always compared to some indie sound from yesteryear because I haven't got the imagination to sound like anything else.

  • I wouldnt belong to any band that would have me as a member

  • For me, a good song must have a reason to exist. Unfortunately this makes me the opposite of prolific. It's like the perpetual argument we always engaged in back at art college - the difference between art and design. I'm now definitely a designer, no longer an artist.

  • I'm guessing some of you have heard my iOS muck, so know my answer to this one. But it depends - my iOS stuff is pure, self-indulgent play. Art noise soundscapes for the fun of it. Experimental noise that sometimes yields a harvest for use in other projects. With no attempts to fit in.

    But I'm also in a 'proper' band, and though we're going to use some of my 'bits' live and in new recordings, we have a style and an audience, and so there's an expected framework we work within. Other bands I've been in have been even more style specific, and I'd have been kicked out if I'd started up an experimental soundscape mid set.

    So despite my reputation of being a half-mad avant gardist, I can play a tune if I have to, but it really depends on the target audience. For me the non-conformist stuff is important - it's how I learn, in secret, to do new things that might one day find a home in front of an audience.

  • If you have something to say, then to say it you have to please yourself first regardless of what anyone else might think. That’s where great art comes from. But having to produce to please others is also a reality for many of us mortals.

  • edited February 14

    The general rule of thumb for artists is that you are to learn your craft first, then branch out from there. I learned this getting my degree in Fine Arts from a four year university in the West, but also found the same principle even across culture and time in The Manual of the Mustard Seed Garden, which dates back to 17th century China. The idea being if you just jump in without any sort of foundation the structure usually falls apart.

    I also developed the personal belief that there has to be some appeal to the person creating, some sense of satisfaction. If you don't have that return, then why do it? This appeal or satisfaction can be derived from a number of things: emotional expression, the challenge of composition, the exploration of possibility, the excitement of performance, the compensation of vocation, or some combination of all of the above.

    I do not see what satisfaction can be found in trying to fit, if trying to fit means concern about what others may think, as that approach is rooted in worry. To that point be your own judge, and realize deficiencies aren't necessarily roadblocks, to either output or the ability to grow and find something new.

    It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight. Risin' up to the challenge of our rival, and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night, and he's watchin' us all with the eye... Of the tiger.

  • @MonzoPro the non-conformist stuff is important, otherwise there is no progress. Art is a continual battle between classicism and avant-guardism and progress comes where the two somehow meet.

  • Life is a process. Wait until you have the "perfect" song for the "right" moment is like carrying an umbrella everyday waiting for rain. Just make your best and show it when the opportunity hits you and continue growing... or just keep yourself pursuing perfection until you realize how many chances are gone and blame others (music industry, those fake producers, fashion, my parents...)

    Jm2c

  • Why copy someone else's style/genre unless you want to make money. The music/art/words you produce is your personal take on things. If it proves popular that reason comes second. Our one-hit wonder group stayed just that as fashion changed and we didn't want to play any differently. Do you get your kicks out of being truely creative or being a top musician/composer copying other peoples styles. Depends on whether you need food on the table!

  • Never. It's like a few of the other questions I've seen about "What's the best BPM for music?" , etc. The reason, in my opinion, the quality of music today doesn't compare to the music of 30, 40+ years ago is there's too much homogenized sameness to everything.

    Lot of EDM, dubstep, hip hop, indie rock, etc. sound very safe & "same-ie" because everyone is trying to fit their little box, their lable. And AutoTune, ProTools, etc. as wonderful as they are has certainly taken some of the life & soul out of some records. And when those records catch fire (Cher's "Believe", Ricky Martin, even Daft Punk's "Around The World") many look to mine that well for their success too, totally missing the point of why those records may have been hits: they were different.

    I don't want to come off like some bitter old fuck, but it's just my view and record sales & critical reception & opinion seem to bear it out. I knew at 16 I was going to write songs & create for the rest of my life, I love it that much. But I knew music & entertainment are some of the most difficult businesses to attain success in and resigned to myself that even if living under a bridge I'd still do music.

    Am I saying record loops of flatulence and sleighbells just to be different? No. Just saying with everything based on image, 5000 different entertainment choices and the record business in free fall we have to be different than any previous era if you want a level of success. Success to me is not having to work some shitty day job I hate & make a living off music. If more comes great, if it doesn't great. But deep down the ambition is to be different and have quality songs. i think the rest will sort itself out.

    Keep on the goodfoot.


  • Here is my reminder of my journey on my forearms.

    Keeps things in check for most things.

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