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Compose Your Self

In these days of automation-belt music production — click The Big Red Button to generate a perfectly “correct” (and soul-less) dance track, ambient track, drum and bass track, etc. — it is more important than ever that you master the art of composing yourself.

Do you have a deep love of 50s sci-fi soundtracks? Reach for the sine-wave generators and plate reverb. Are you a classic pop-song afficionado? Sprinkle your tracks with singable hooks. Did you cut your musical teeth listening to the Sex Pistols? Make machine-gun drum tracks and raging vocals. Is your iPod an encyclopedia of hip-hop? Gate everything and compress like mad.

Is Henry Mancini a guilty pleasure? Weave catchy movie melodies into your pieces. Do marching-band drum grooves set your heart a flutter? Build your drum parts around paradiddles. Heavy metal? Bring on the power chords! Ragtime? (I know, it’s a stretch.) Incorporate Scott Joplin tunes into your latest IDM tracks. Noise? Turn up the feedback. Silence? Leave gaping holes in your grooves.

Spending years (a lifetime, perhaps) learning how to create clones of what tens of thousands of others are creating is a profound waste of individual human spirit. I would go so far as to call it tragic, a snuffing out of the precious spark of unique personal vision. Don’t let this happen to you and your music! Instead, identify and celebrate the one-of-a-kind hodgepodge of musical proclivities, quirks, and talents that is you … and absolutely no one else. Learn how to compose your self.

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm by rachmiel · Permalink

3 Responses

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  1. Written by mr. tunes
    on December 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    damn skippy!

    the only problem is that some of these genres are what compromised pop music in their time.

    so we could’ve said the same thing to people who were working on heavy metal in the 80s, except these people wanted to become a part of a movement.

  2. Written by Craig
    on December 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Wow I needed to hear that!

    Recently (in the past couple of years) I’ve went from composing whatever tickled my fancy to trying to ‘dumb it down’ and get ‘some fans’ .. I’m rather dissatisfied with that, so now I’m bringing my vision back into that, its an ardous process fraught with much self questioning, but worth it.

  3. Written by Bernardina
    on January 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Useful article, I am viewing back regularly to look for posts.

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