Why 'Keep It Simple' Is Bad Advice

author: KevinGoetz date: 03/26/2014 category: songwriting & lyrics
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Why 'Keep It Simple' Is Bad Advice
When you started getting into songwriting, were you told, perhaps by your teacher or your more advanced peers, to "Keep It Simple, Stupid"? It is a very common adage given to beginning songwriters, most likely in an admittedly well-meaning effort to make the process less intimidating. Start with something simple, don't worry too much about how complex your arrangements are. 

That's all well and good, but there's a point at which the student should begin to explore more complicated ideas, and all too often, the teacher fails to recognize that the student has reached said point. When this happens, the student begins to limit themselves, still striving to take their teacher's advice and "keep it simple," without recognizing that the time for such advice has passed.

This is the danger in "Keep It Simple, Stupid," and in the following video, I intend to present an alternative view with which the student can gauge for themselves their readiness to expand their songwriting complexity, rather than relying on the approval of a teacher who may not be particularly in tune with their needs. After all, in many cases, the best instructor is our own self-awareness. Enjoy!

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