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#1
(Sorry, I really don't know under which subforum this topic falls under. Songwriting/Lyrics seems more appropriate, but that also feels more directed towards lyric criticism instead. Feel free to move it if need be.)

Hello. I am writing a fairly extensive paper for my writing class and I need to conduct some interviews. My paper focuses on the musician; the songwriter; the person who creates his own material. If you could take the time to help me out a little and answer my questions, I would really appreciate it. The only other thing I need is your name and where you are from (your state and city if you are in the USA, or just the name of your town if you are from another country). This is kind of lengthy - my apologies, I am a very wordy person - but if you could fill this out, it would really help me.

1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

Again, you would be helping me out greatly. Thank you.
#2
1) my first instrument was the clarinet back in 5th grade.
2) i wasnt forced into music, i just though it would be cool, and then i fell in love with music.
3) it actually comes really quick to me, and sometimes its in my mind, or ill imagine the fret board.
4) about a year ago i thought of making my own stuff.
5) no i just write it down when it comes to me, ive trying forcing songs out, and it sucked so bad.
6) it takes me about a week to perfect a song. no im not a perfectionist.
7) actually the feedback was very good. some girl literally almost started crying cause my voice was really good. (idk, shes a weirdo)
8) yes i do believe its worth it. if you love music, youll do anything for it.
9) write music from the heart. thats it.
10) music is my life. if i didnt have music i dont know what i would do. seriously its like love. im a little obsessed
=]
my 6 best friends:
Ibanez Artcore AF75
Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
LTD H-207 7 string
Ibanez Acoustic
#3
Kyle

Hartsgrove, Ohio

1) 9 years old, Violin
2) I chose
3) Its easy to understand, more difficult to actually understand and apply
4) Just Recently
5) I right best when there intense emotional difficulties. I play whenever, i really like not being distracted.
6) I'm never fully satisfied
7) Nope, i've recorded stuff tho
8) I think its all worth it in the end.. as long as you love what your doing
9) Never give up
10) Being able to find, release, and gain emotion.
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
Last edited by victoryaloy at Dec 2, 2008,
#4
Keith

Minneapolis, Minnesota

1) I've been studying music in some form for about 10 years now. I started playing clarinet in the 5th grade.
2) My parents sort of forced me into music.
3) I find music theory to be fairly straight forward, I can't really say as to music theory on different instruments, but I think it would be all the same. All the theory I have learned has been on guitar or piano.
4) When I started playing guitar. I would screw up riffs or licks or even scales, and then go hey that sounds cool. After a while I started to write lyrics.
5) I do have to be in a certain mood to write. When the mood strikes I can write, when its not there, I can't. Most of my writing happens after I listen to one of my influences, or something that gets me excited about music.
6) I just work until its done. So yeah I'm a bit of a perfectionist. Some songs come together right away, others I work on for a while, then set aside and come back to a few months later.
7) I've preformed live several times. The first time I played live I played an instrumental acoustic guitar piece that I had written. It was at a school conference and there were about a couple hundred people there. I started sweating and almost dropped my pick. But everyone seemed to enjoy it.
8) I think that a career as a recording artist is ideal, even with piracy. If people are pirating my music, at least they're listening to me. For me that's the ultimate goal, being able to share my music with people. I, personally, don't believe that the record is the perfect version of a song, I think the live performance is where music truly lives.
9) Just sit down and play. Listen to whatever you can get your hands on and enjoy yourself. Don't worry about being unique, because at first you'll write like other people, but your style will develop.
10) Music is the thing that gets me the most excited. When I hear a song on the radio and it gets my heart racing is the greatest feeling for me. To me music is that feeling, that tingling that makes me want to make great music.
My Gear:

MIM Fat Strat
Ibanez V70CE
Epiphone S-210
Danelectro '59 Factory Spec Reissue
Godin 5th Ave Kingpin

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (x2)
Crybaby 535Q Wah
Marshall Regenerator
EHX Little Big Muff
BBE "Supa-Charger" Power Supply
#5
1) About 5 years. My first instrument was an alto saxophone
2) It was all choice
3) It comes pretty easily. I'm taking AP Music Theory right now, and I've had no formal music education or teachers prior to the class. Just books. It's going very well.
4) As long as I can remember. Before I even had an instrument, I would dream about making songs just like the people I heard on the radio.
5) My mood affects how I write. Different moods make different songs. No distractions. My singer and I try to make lyrics together, but we can't. I have to be completely alone, and then I come up with great stuff. I can't work well with distractions.
6) I'm a huge perfectionist. I spend hours on one 8 bar solo just to get the timing perfect. I always use a metronome. I obsess over small details, etc.
7) Yes, I play at basketball/football games for my school. I also have my first real gig coming up later in the month. Exciting.
8) I'd prefer doing something I enjoy and being happy despite a low income rather than doing something I hate but getting paid a lot. Unfortunately, my parents disagree.
9) Take as many classes and read as much as you can. There's always more to be learned. Work with other musicians, play/write with as many different people with different background as possible. Don't limit your horizon...
10) Music is a very misunderstood art, even by some of those who consider themselves "musicians". To me, music is emotional self expression through sound and time. I write music because I desire to show others how I feel and think without having to say a word.


Hope that helped you out.
#6
Perfect, thank you. Though only one of you has given me your info, haha. I'll just use your username @ Ultimate-Guitar if all else fails. Keep them coming.
#7
1. For about 2 years, and it was the guitar.
2. I chose to play guitar.
3. I find music theory very easy to grasp. I enjoy learning about difficult to apply composition techniques, and I love applying it to my own music.
4. About a year and a half ago.
5. I set about an hour or more a day to focus on writing/rehearsing my own music. This doesn't include practicing technical parts, nor does it include learning a part. This is solely devoted to creating and practicing MY parts.
6. I usually have songs on my desk for several months before I'm satisfied. However, I do come up with parts I never change because I like them so much. It's the flow and linking that I focus on the most.
7. I performed several gigs, all of which I received high praise for my material (In front of strangers and in front of a hundred peers).
8. Absolutely. I wouldn't want anything else in the world.
9. Never, ever, ever, ever give up. There's absolutely no reason you can't become the next big thing.
10. Music is a common human connection that can invoke the deepest emotions and trigger the best euphoria.

I live in East Brunswick, New Jersey.
#8
1) I have been studying music since I was about 7, playing the Piano. I took a long break from Music when my teacher left, but picked it up again when I was 11, playing drums. I then moved to guitar, and immediately fell in love with music.

2) At first I suppose I was somewhat forced into music by social pressure and my parents at first, but when I began playing drums it was my own choice, and my parents had nothing to do with it. In fact, nowadays my parents wish I would do something else with my life.

3) I am lucky, as music theory comes naturally, a lot of theory I know was self-postulated, and self-taught. Only after discovering the internet did I have the means to learn theory from an outside source, but I had already taught myself most of the things I saw. When I started thinking about theory, It was all visualized on the fretboard of a guitar, or less frequently a piano. I think these to instruments are the best aids to theory, as one can visualize the relationships between the notes, scales, chords etc. better than with say, a saxophone. As time goes on though, It began to be engraved in my mind, and so now thats where it is.

4) Ever since I was a 3 year old tike with my granddad's old harmonica I have been writing music. Even just slamming all the black keys on a keyboard is writing music. But I first started writing down my music about 5 years ago, when I realised that it was possible. I dont know why I decided to write music, I just did.

5) I could create something on a whim, but my music is not nearly as good when I do. As for distractions...Nothing can distract me from writing music, for music is my distraction. Ill be sitting there on sibelius for hours and hours without realising, and next thing I know it's 4AM. When I write music, I am locked into a trance that nothing, except maybe food, can break me out of.

6) I believe it was Leonardo da Vinci who said "Art is never finished, only abandoned." This statement, I believe, is true. When one decides that they are done with a piece of music, there is always room for improvement, it is just that they are perfectly satisfied with their music as it is, which is perfectly acceptable. The best piece that I've ever written took me 3 days only to write, even I was astonished. The worst, maybe about a week. The longest I've ever taken to write a piece of music would be 4 weeks, when I was arranging "The Final Countdown" for my school's orchestra. This shows that a great piece of music does not have to take a long time to create. "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath was written in maybe an hour. I am by no means a perfectionist, because it is impossible to write a "perfect" piece of music. Music is too subjective to be able to do so. What is perfect to one may be completely and utterly awful to another. I write a piece of music until I believe I am done and then I abandon it.

7) I have never performed my music live, mainly because I (almost) never write for my own instrument. My school's orchestra is going to perform my arrangement of The Final Countdown later though, and I will be drumming for them. When i show people the music I have written, they usually have a lot of questions to ask. They usually have positive feedback, and so that is quite encouraging.

8) A career In music would only be worth it if one truly loves it. If you start thinking about it in terms of payment and income, then I dont think that one doesnt care enough about the music they are making. Piracy will not cease to be a problem, but that is something that a musician is just going to have to deal with. You may lose a couple bucks, but at least someone else is out there listening to your music.

9) Think about music. Dont just play it, think about it. I have a friend who is a phenominal guitar player, I can only hope to be as good as he is, but he is still lacking in overall understanding of music. Think about how things relate to eachother. some simple examples: Why is a G minor 7 chord the sam as a Bb Major? Why does the VI Dim chord play the same role as the V7 chord. What is it that make the resolution of V7-I so strong? I was mainly self taught for a long time, all you need to do is keep questioning yourself.

10) Music is so beautiful to me because anybody can appreciate music, even when they have no musical skill. You can show your music to anyone and they can give helpful feedback. Music is my only real skill, and so I put more of my effort into it than anything else.
One can always gain recognition from being able to write music, one can always be able to impress with it. I find it beautiful, and extremely elegant how notes, and chords can correlate and be interwoven with one another. I also find it extremely elegant how one can cause emotions to be brought out of another human with music: often times I'd see my girlfriend be brought to tears by a song, and I would just marvel at it. I love music more than I have loved any human, and that is the way I like it. For Music never argues, never hates, never kills, never cheats, and is never disagreeable when you have the right attitude about it.

My name is James Fantom, and I currently live in Bethesda, MD, USA, though I am by no means American. I was born in Botswana, where I lived for about a year and a half, when I moved to scotland, where i lived for about 2 and a half years. After Scotland I moved to Luxembourg, and I lived there for maybe 3 years. Then I moved down to Malawi, where most of my best childhood memories occured. when I was 10 I moved to the USA, and have stayed there ever since. I am a Great Britain Citezen, and nothing else.
My sig used to be so awesome it got me banned
Last edited by Your_Dad at Dec 1, 2008,
#9
John. Wales, UK. You won't be able to pronounce the town.

1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?

9 years. Piano.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?

Chose. I heard Chopin's Ballade No.1, Op. 23 and tried to learn the intro arpeggio on my big sister's keyboard. None of my immediate family are musical.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?

Generally takes me a while to understand a particular concept. I think most people who study theory are content with just reading it and not playing it as they learn it.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?

As soon as I figured out my hands wouldn't stretch the Ab - Eb - Bb in Chopin's intro. I honestly don't know and can't pin point it.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?

No particular mood, no. I try not to define any specific emotional state of mind as a requisite for making or playing music. I'm sure if it was my occupation, I would set aside time and make sure there were no distractions, but I have no specific place and or time that I reserve to write.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?

If you'll excuse the cliche, as long as it takes. I am not bound by any deadline to produce, so whatever.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?

I've never performed a complete piece of my own writing live at a gig. But I would say that there is a natural incorporation of my own material and things I've written that will be played during improvisation. So this is a yes and no.

I don't see why the response of other people should be relevant to you if your essay is about the writer.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?

This question doesn't concern me.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?

None.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

I have absolutely no idea.
____________

You're not going to find many people who write music professionally on UG; I hope that isn't what you are looking for. There are two people I know of on here who do, neither of them are active anymore. So if you want to pick the brains of someone who actually does this for a living, you're in the wrong place.
#10
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
I have been studying music for about 1 year and 10 months. My first instrument was a piano but I had no interest in which my interest turned on guitar.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
I not forced into it. I choose to become a guitarist.


3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
Music theory doesn't take me long to understand but sometimes it clicks and somethings it doesn't. I think that learning on a piano is the easiest because it is just laid out to you.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
I just recently started composing.


5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
Sometime I can and sometimes I can't create something on a whim. I like to work in quiet so I can hear my ideas. I never tried working with distractions so.


6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
I wouldn't say I'm a perfectionist but I like to get a piece down to the best of my ability.


7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
I did a musical and a performance with my guitar class. I never really performed anything of my liking though.


8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
No answer. I don't really know.


9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
Be free and write from the voice of the soul.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

The freedom and the knowledge of true love. Music is my mind, body, and spirit.


Marshan Beals from Toronto, Canada.
#11
1. About a year. A bass
2. Nope. Guitar Hero got me into music.
3. It comes pretty easy I think.
4. This past summer.
5. The music i usually write is usually pretty creative. So it depends on whether I'm feeling creative or not. And I guess it depends on what my mood is too.
6. I'm not really a perfectionist, so I usually spend maybe an hour or so on each piece I write. And then go back to it maybe the next day and see If there's any way I can make it better. I've probably done that with all the music I've written.
7. I've only performed for my family. And of course they said it was great.
8. I don't really think about that stuff cuz music is what I want to do for a living, so I don't really care.
9. Well, just spend a lot of time on the music you write, and try to make it better in any way you can if it's lyrics or music.
10. I wouldn't give up my music for anything. Well I guess the main thing that attracts me to WRITE music is how much music I LISTEN to, so i guess all the bands I listen to.
#12
Farley
Victoria, Canada

1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument? I started learning the guitar in July 2004, and have been learning music ever since. I started taking classical guitar lessons last year, but I didn't feel myself progressing

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art? I chose to take up the guitar, however both my parents were heavily involved with music, as were my friends, peers, and their friends.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind? I wouldn't say it's hard for me to understand, but it's not really easy. I reflect a lot upon theory, so it's easy for me to apply complicated concepts to other instruments in the family of western tonal harmony.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music? I started trying to write songs when I began playing guitar, maybe a year after I started. They weren't really any good of course, but they helped me develop as a composer. Only recently (the beginning of this summer) I really started to take writing my own music seriously.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music? I believe that a writer should be prepared to write at all times, if inspiration strikes them at an odd time. Therefore, I find myself writing songs and music at odd times sometimes, times I never would have expected to write anything. I usually listen to music when I write songs, but occasionally I write in cars or when there are people speaking loudly. I most often find myself writing in bed at night, it's my "comfort area" I guess.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist? I not a perfectionist, in fact I believe that after I've created a song, I should leave it be because it reflects my ideas and thoughts at that particular time, therefore it couldn't and shouldn't be changed later, because I could be influenced by different emotions than what I was feeling at the time I originally wrote the song.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response? I have played for several friends, and on one occasion a roomfull of peers. The general consensus was favorable.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy? Absolutely, the idea of giving music to people who enjoy it is quite a reward for me. Things evolve and adapt regularly, if you can't adapt with a changing entity then you really shouldn't be participating with it. I believe the entire way music is distributed and discovered should be changed completely, and you'll see me leading the charge.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living? Learn music theory, as much as you can, whether you take lessons or not. I live by a mantra, "learn as much theory as you can, then play like you don't know any of it." Also, don't ever doubt yourself.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music? Writing and music are how I personally release my emotions and feelings, it also allows me to get in touch with myself. What attracts me to writing and playing music is the thought of different people hearing and enjoying my ideas, enjoying what I've written and what I've played.
#13
1) 11-12 years (Age 7 or 8). Piano
2) I chose to take piano lessons
3) I pick up theory fairly easily, like most things I study. I think it's easier to use piano as an aid to learning theory.
4) My piano teacher asked my to write things when I was around ten, but I didn't really like it. After that, I wanted to write my own music when i picked up guitar 3 years ago
5) I write when I want to write, if that answers the question. I try not to have distractions, but I don't set aside time for writing.
6) There's some quote I remember - "A work of art is never finished, only abandoned", so I generally don't think any of my songs are completely perfect or couldn't be improved. I'm becoming less of a perfectionist over time
7) Yes. I was in a band and we had one original song, we played three gigs. Good response, though I don't like the song much.
8) I kinda like what bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead are doing, abandoning publishers in order to get the music out to more people. If I have the opportunity to make a living from music I'll happily do it, but I'm not relying on that day to come.
9) Write music that sells well
10) Music is something that never stops presenting challenges or something new. It never gets boring. Aside from that, I find writing, playing, and listening to music to be very therapeutic.

EDIT: I'm Andrew Davenport, from Australia
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
Last edited by Ænimus Prime at Dec 2, 2008,
#14
1) Since I was 8, but only took it seriously in grade 10. Piano.
2) At first forced, but then began to like it.
3) All in your mind. It's just applied differently to each instrument in terms of the actual practice.
4) A year ago.
5) I like to work in the evenings. No distractions.
6) I'm a perfectionist. My first and only (so far) composition took three months
7) Nope. It's fairly recent. It's on youtube, however, and I've gotten good reviews so it motivates me to keep composing.
8) Defintly. I'd rather have my music heard. But I'm not striving to be a recording artist right now. It's more of an obsessive and serious hobby.
9) You won't succeed unless you love it. You have to be willing to work hard and sacrifice a lot of time. The result is worth it.
10) Music is the only place I can express myself and I love it. If it wasn't for music, I'd just be a guy with a silly haircut.
#15
NAME- Tim Grey (Yes, Tim is short for Timothy but don't call me that. EVER.)
LOCATION- Blue Mountains, Australia


1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
I started learning the piano at age 7 (I'm 13 now). I started learning guitar when I was 9.
2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
I wanted to learn guitar because of britpop bands like Blur but my mother, who is very musical, knew that it would probably just be a fad and I would give up in a few months, so she made me learn piano for two years before learning guitar. I'm glad she did it because this gave me a great passion for music at a young age.
3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
I learn theory on guitar, and I find it fairly easy.
4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
At the start of this year.
5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
I need to be feeling inspired, otherwise it sounds like crap. I compose all the time, often in my head, and at school in classes too where I am fairly distracted. I prefer working quietly though.
6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
I am an extreme perfectionist, it takes me months.
7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
I'm playing an abridged version of Glasgow Kiss by John Petrucci at a school concert this Friday. In terms of originals, I often show people my stuff on GP5 and people really like it.
8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
Well playing concerts brings in income too but I'd rather satisfy my creative urges and be poor than be rich and unsatisfied.
9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
Take it easy, and have fun! That's why you started playing, right? Just experiment and enjoy yourself.
10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music
It's legal crack, lol. Its an escape from the frustrations of the real world. Its a form of expression, a place to vent.
Last edited by Myung-trucci at Dec 3, 2008,
#16
1) How long have you been studying music? Not sure on the exact time, but a number of years.
What was your first instrument? The guitar
2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art? It was a choice.
3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind? Never had much problems with theory, I always jsut applied it to my instrument to see how it worked and practice with it, so understanding came quick. (guess that answers both parts)
4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music? When I started. first piece I wrote involved an Asus2 even though I didn't know it was called that at the time, and also a Cmaj7 crepped in quick.
5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music? Any circumstance really, understanding the theory and devotion to music enables you to make music on a whim.
6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist? I feel people who claim to be perfectionists are a bit silly... Who is going to play a tune he sucks at? You are done when you are done, it's the same for everyone.
7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response? Yes and always a good response, cept for this one jam I went too, my last "turn" I had gotten fed up with the jam because noone seemed to know what they were doing, so I started playing wacky time signatures which wasn't apreciated by the crowd.
8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy? I will be fine as a teacher, music teachers make good money here. Piracy I am not against, people will still need to buy a CD to put it on the internet anyway, hehe.
9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living? If you reeeeeeaaaaallly refuse to get a teacher (which I feel is a horrible idea most of the time) hit the library, books are better than the internet, a lot of the stuff you find on the web is bad information, with a book you at least have some insurance of getting the right information.
10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music? It's an odd feeling you know. A bit of love hate, what makes me keep playing is I love it more than I hate it.
#17
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
4 years/Guitar
2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
I Chose to
3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
Easy, When I read it I know it, where I write something with it I understand it.
4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
When I was 11 years old, I made a knex drumit, and played along with C&C soundtrack. MY parents didn't have me let a drumkit back then because of the noise.
5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
I can easily make something "good" whenever I want, but I probably won't like it.
6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
None of my songs are finished. Yes i'm a perfectionist.
7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
I played with Hip Hop artists, in cafe's and gigs with my old band. I also played at local Jamnights and stuff. I liked it, and the response was good.
8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
I honestly don't know exactly how this world revolves.
9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
If you write for ur living, you are making music to move others feelings first, and ur feelings 2nd. Or else you won't make it.
10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?
Because it never ends.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#18
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?About 3 years. A Custom made SX Guitar from my cousin.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?I chose too.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?I find it quite easy. All in the mind.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?A year or so back.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?I have to be in a happy mood mostly. No i cant.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?Whenever i feel it's ready.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?I've performed covers in music class for a summative. I was a bit nervous but think i do fairly well.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?I think it'll turn into ****. Yes i do as long as you love doing it.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?Get lessons?

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?I don't know i just enjoy it.
#19
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?

Seven years. First instrument was guitar, followed by piano.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?

I chose it.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?

I've never found it difficult.
The physical layout of the piano makes it very well designed for the study of music theory.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?

Seven years ago.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?

I wouldn't be a very good songwriter if I had to wait for a certain mood. I set aside time and devote conscious effort to composing.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?

I work on it until I am satisfied. I have pieces that I've been working on for months/years.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?

Not my own compositions.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?

No, which is why I don't do it (though I personally would have no problem with people downloading my music). Other artists may feel differently, which is presumably why they do it.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?

Music is a petty and unstable field, and job security is nearly nonexistent. You need to be damn good, and you need to know people.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

It doesn't mean anything to me; it's just structured sound. I enjoy the compositional process, but I don't derive anything from the (my) music itself. I just like having people listen to it.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Dec 2, 2008,
#20
Chris.
Nottingham, England.

1) I've now been studying music for a little under 12 years (started in February 1997). While guitar is the first instrument I was able to properly play, I did play the recorder back when I was about 6.

2) A friend played a song I liked and asked him to show me the chords. I was hooked instantly and saved for a guitar of my own. I was never encouraged in to it, nor did my parents try to stop me from pursuing it.

3) Generally, it comes quite quickly to me, but I have to be motivated to learn it. I don't just go and learn X and Y. I find a hole in my playing where X or Y are the answers and then go and learn them.
I did try to learn some basic piano at one point and it was just beyond me. When I then had been playing guitar for a fair while I went back to look at the piano and suddenly it all made sense. Whether it's all in the mind, hmm... depends on the person I think. For me I obviously needed the visual link to how theory is applied to the instrument.

4) Straight away. I wrote my first song the first week I had my first acoustic guitar.

5) I think you can write in any mood and that mood will in some way be ingrained within that song. I generally prefer to have a space to myself when writing so that my head is clear. I don't set aside particular times to work on songs. I just play and something clicks or inspires me I set to working on it.

6) I have written songs that only took me 10-15 minutes. I have also got songs hanging round that I started a couple of years ago that never got finished.
Usually the better songs are the ones finished in a relatively short time.
I have been known to be a bit of a perfectionist at times but I've conciously tried to get out of that as imperfections are often what give a song it's character.

7) I perform songs solo; open mic nights, that kind of thing.
I have been playing in bands since 1997 and started playing live from early 2000.
Generally the songs have always gone down well. The only times they might not have had such a huge impression is when you're unfortunately playing for a crowd/venue that usually gets a different genre to our music.

8)
How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?

9) Learn as much as you can on the instrument.
Listen to lots of music and be open-minded (and by listen I MEAN listen, don't just hear it).
Write, write and write some more.
Remember that simple is not necessarily a bad thing and complicated is not necessarily a good thing.
Play for people as much as you can.. it can be a good marker as to whether your songs are good or not. (I don't mean family/friends.. people who are NOT biased).
Try to play with other musicians as much as possible and LEARN from them.
Judge yourself fairly, actually concentrate on what you're producing. Do you truely believe it's good?
DO NOT TRY TO BE SOMEONE ELSE - find your own sound.

10) It may be a cliche, but it means the world. Writing and playing music has been the one constant in my life for a long time and has helped me through many difficult times and transitions.
What attracts me is connecting with someone through a song. Having written something that other people like... exactly how bands I listen to wrote a song that I like. It's like passing the torch.


I might come back and add to this.
#21
James Douglas, South Africa

1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?

I've studying music for about 4 years now. My first instrument was the guitar.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?

I chose to get into.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?

I grasped and continue to grasp music theory pretty easily - theory isn't hard at all actually. It's putting the theory into practice that's hard. It's probably easy to learn theory on a keyboard with all the notes out there to see.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?

I'm not sure. When I got bored of learning songs around 3 years ago

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?

I write when I'm in the mood, I guess.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?

I work on pieces a lot. Never really satisfied, it's hard for me to decide where to draw the line.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?

It's fun to perform live. Except for an exam, I don't like being judged

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?

I suppose it's easy for me to say, but I just want fans and the ability to perform to them as opposed to lots of money. But money would be nice.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?

Practice a lot.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

It's fun. It's more interactive then writing or painting etc. and the final product is also more robust than, say, a poem.
"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, your eyes will get sore after a while."
#22
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?

2 1/2 years, bass guitar

2) were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?

I chose to get into music. I’ve always been one to take nothing and turn it into something.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?

I’m still trying to teach myself a little of this and that so it can help out with song writing. It applies to every instrument, learning it isn't gona get any easier or harder on another instrument.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?

When I started out, I learned a few songs to get some techniques down and to obtain a sense of beat and rhythm but shortly after I became smooth and fluid in my instrument I started writing my own stuff.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?

Things come to me at random times of the day. It could be at school or 3AM in the middle of the night. I find it really hard to say to myself "ok, I’m going to write a song from scratch" and actually do it. I practice everyday and when I fiddle around and find something I like I build up on that and combine ideas and see if they work.

I can work anywhere as long as I’ve got a solid idea and some time. Pressure situations never work out well for me.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?

Music can ALWAYS be improved. What comes out on the album is just a snap-shot of where the song is at that point and time. There is a point where I think it is done and I’m happy but I can always come back and make it better.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?

I’ve done one private performance at a party, and it sucked. But we played out hearts out. Even though there were like 5 people there. They were all our friends there and they said we did OK, but we'll work our asses off to give them a great show next time

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?

I don't care too much for the industry. Music is an art and like every art someone has found a way to make money off it, which is all good, but then again someone has always found a way to make it a commercial product. And as an artist it is your responsibility to make sure you are not contrived and shallow in your work and you deliver the best you have to express yourself and to have others share that feeling with you. If you love what you do it's always worth it.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?

Go for it! The only thing limiting yourself is YOU. If you truly want it, you'll work hard enough to get it.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

Music lets me take a message or an emotion and turn it into something beautiful. Something someone can relate to and to express myself. I guess it's in my personality to always want to make something some doesn't take a second look at and to make it something amazing. That’s why I play Bass and that's why I love music.
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#23
Well, first, my name is Daniel Crawford, I'm living in Dublin, Ireland.

1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?


I learnt recorder in primary school, but it was mandatory and I was unenthusiastic. I picked up guitar about 5 and half years ago. Since then I've been studying music intensely.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?

Well, like I said, recorder in school, but I chose to get into it when I was really into Muse, I just wanted to make some music and express myself.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?

Music theory came easily to me, it just seemed sensible to have names for the sounds I was already experimenting with. Truly complex theory I believe would have to be learnt on piano or through some kind of computer synth, as there's no way to play certain chords or try certain contrapuntal lines on various instruments.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?

Before even picking up the guitar.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?

I can create music easily in almost any situation. I prefer to have a calm enviroment where I can explore my sounds for an hour or two, get really lost in what I'm playing. Then I kind of wake up when I have enough material to turn into something. Sometimes a fully formed idea just comes out of an intense emotion and I can't help but compose something all the way through first time. I don't set aside time to focus on creating my music, I generally have too large an output anyway, although my output lowers when I focus on practicing lead guitar (like at the minute, unfortunately).

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?

I'm not a perfectionist, I'm generally happy with the piece first time through. I find that either the core of the piece is solid and then it all works, or else the central idea is weak and no amount of "tweaking" will do it. I have worked on some pieces for less than a half hour and been satisfied, some I've worked on for days and then scrapped.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?

Not really. I've preformed to small audiences and family gatherings. They enjoyed the music, but I didn't really put my all into it. My sense of humour gets in the way with my need to express myself sincerely.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?

No, to be honest. Nor the hard work and endless rejection. If you have a need to do it, do it. I don't feel that need. The music industry, quite frankly, can go **** itself. Hopefully this will move more artists to independantly release their material. I would rather the money go to the artist than the CD factory.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?

Write music, love music. Repeat.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

Music is too much for my words. What attracts me to it is that I can be part of and create something beautiful and real. Or harsh and fake, or anything really.
#24
Just use my username, please.

Peru, Indiana.

1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?

- In terms of getting into theory and all that, around a year. But I've been playing and listening to music for around five years.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?

- Personal Choice.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?

- It sort of goes back forth for me. Some things are rather hard for me to comprehend, but other stuff just...clicks. I can't really even put it into words, but it makes sense to me in my mind.


4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?

- It comes naturally to anyone who plays an instrument for anything than just on the side. At least that's the case in my experience.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?

- I can't hardly even play my guitar or bass if I'm not in the mood. I generally have an emotion set aside to work with, and then just go from there.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?

- My songs are never done in my opinion. They can always be improved upon, but I'm not at a level to where I can get them closer to completion yet.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?

- Yes. People generally like the music, but the main two problems are that family are either too nice and don't want to hurt feelings, or I get compliments from people who don't have experience in music. While that's nice, I much prefer getting complimented by someone who can analyze my works and know what's going on.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?

- Yes. Music isn't a competition, it's not important to me to make a chart or something. Money's nice, but even doing music on the side is enough for me. I do it for personal enjoyment, and music has helped me cope with rough times before, and will always do that. It's the same for other people, and I feel that if I can help someone through music, directly or indirectly, I'll have accomplished something.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?

- Practice, practice, practice. Blah blah blah, all that stuff. It's important though. I used to blow it off and I paid the price for it. I can't really tell someone what path to take, because it's different for everyone.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

- You can express through music things you can't express in words, at least for me. I have a minor speech impediment, so if I'm talking for awhile I switch words around, or things just don't come out right even if I really think about what I'm going to say. That's a huge communication issue for me, it always has been.

Music in itself is subjective in terms of the emotions expressed and messages sent. It's different for every musician. You don't need a slow guitar solo with tons of bends and funny faces while playing it to have a sad song. Take Buckethead's 'Soothsayer', a song dedicated to his late Aunt. It has amazing shred guitar solos throughout it, and you can still feel what the song conveys. It's all a matter of opinion to me, in terms of what a song means. I have only ever told one person what a set of six songs I've done were meant for, and that's the only person I ever plan on telling.
When you saw me sleeping
thought I was dreaming
of you...


I didn't tell you
That the only dream
Is Valium for me
#25
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
Close to 10 years now, because I started when I was five. My first instrument was piano, and from there, I expanded my musical limitations- I can play 12 different instruments now.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
I chose to play.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
a. It's easy for me to understand, but slightly difficult for me to put into practice.
b. Um... For me, it's all in my mind.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
Just a year or two ago, actually.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
I'm bipolar, and I've found that working while I'm manic really helps. I really don't have a set schedule, if that's what you're asking- but no, I don't work well with distractions.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
Far too long, and yes.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
Yeah, several times. Some of the audience came to me after the show and told me that they enjoyed my music.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
The music industry is going to collapse unless something dramatic happens. Radiohead went a step in the right direction with "In Rainbows", in my opinion. And course it's worth it! Music has never been about the money. It's about the art.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
Always keep it practical. You don't need heaps of musical theory to write good songs, but all the same, know what you're doing.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?
It is my life. It is the ultimate expression of emotion.

EDIT: Whoops, forgot to put my name and location. Jae Son, Knoxville, TN.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE
Last edited by MusicalMinority at Dec 2, 2008,
#26
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
6 years. Flute was first instrument.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
I chose to play flute, but then my family forced me to play cornet.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
Music theory just takes getting used to.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
A couple of weeks ago.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
Nope, I just come up with things. Distractions are fine as long as they arn't massive.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
I am a perfectionist. I'm never happy with what I make!

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
Never. Probably wont either!

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
Ergh... umm... no comment

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
Go for it!

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?
I just love music.
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#27
Name: Rick Baines
Location: Great Harwood (near Blackburn), UK


1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
Seriously - 20 years. Dabbling - 25 years. An old analogue synth that my Dad had was my first dabble (I learnt how to make funny noises), closely followed by his semi-acoustic guitar.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
My Dad showed me what his synth and guitar could do, but I was never forced into it.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
Both really! I think that there is always a point where a new theory concept 'just clicks'. I find it easier to grasp the point of a musical concept if I can actually hear it, although sometimes it can just make sense from a purely theoretical viewpoint.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
When my Dad drew me some guitar chord diagrams. Probably when I was about 10 or 11.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
I usually need some kind of inspiration to write something good. I much prefer to have no distractions around to write music.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
That can vary immensely. Sometimes I'm happy with a new chord progression as soon as I've come up with it, sometimes I'm polishing a tune for months (even years). I'm a lazy perfectionist ;-)

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
I've played live many, many times. In pubs and clubs, festivals, corporate events, private parties. Both as a guitarist, and in an all electronic band too. Sometimes the response has been overwhelming, but other times I wished I'd have stayed at home.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
I believe that the entire music industry is on the verge of a major shaking up of its foundations! I do not believe that it is worth dropping other avenues of making a living if music will not equal it financially - it can always be a hobby.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
Write whatever you really feel like writing from the heart. Don't just pander to current styles that are in vogue. That is not creating music, just more product.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?
Music is the closest thing to God that I have found in my life - and that's coming from a devout atheist! Music conveys emotion in its purest form. Stories without words. Images without pictures.

In the words of Frank Zappa - 'Music is the best'.


Hope that helps.
Good luck with your paper :-)
Right handed guitarist trying to learn to play lefty after a ten year break, and a severe left-hand injury!

Wish me luck ;-)
#28
1) My first instrument was the piano at age 6 but I hated it and quit later played guitar when I was nine and loved it
2) at first yes but when I started to learn their was much better music out their then playing classical (cause that's what I had to learn) It became a part of me
3) there are some stuff that's really easy to learn and other things not so much but it doesn't take me to long to learn it, it seems easist for me to learn it off the piano or guitar but that's cause I am used to playing those instruments
4) when I joined a band with my friends
5) I can right in an mood with any kind of distraction however with those my songs tend to suck really bad.
6) depends on how good it is by the time I finish the rough drafter usually I get all the lyrics first go back and fix words phrases or even sometimes entire verses and then add the music
7) Yes but usually I just jam with a couple friends on other instuments and the people like me playing guitar take turns doing leads, as for performing like a live gig no not yet
8) I believe as long as musicians spend time touring and not trying to sell cd's and not waste money on un necessary stuff they should be able to make a living as for the record company I'm sure they will find something to fix the problem of piracy
10) Music is a way to express yourself and shout how you feel to the world if it's good or bad angry or sad without actually saying my day sucked or whatever, it's also a necessity can you imagine life without music
#29
Quote by Empathica1928

1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

Again, you would be helping me out greatly. Thank you.


My name's Justin but everyone that I know just calls me J.R. (my initials) and I'm from Regina, Canada.

1) I started taking piano lessons when I was 4 years old so I've been involved with music for some 16 years. Since then I took lessons in clarinet, saxophone and voice and taught myself guitar, bass, and drums.

2) I chose. I saw my uncle playing the piano and I was completely amazed by it.

3) Since I started taking piano lessons when I was very young, I learned music theory very easily. I don't think there is a specific instrument that is better for learning it. I learned with a piano and so whenever I need my theory I visualize a piano in my head while someone who learned with a guitar might visualize a guitar. For the most part, I'd say it's is fairly easy to learn if you have a good teacher. By good I mean not only do they know what they are talking about, but they also want to teach while some other teachers just see teaching as a job and nothing more.

4) I think I first started to create my own music when I was in grade 5. I was just playing around on my keyboard and decided that all the stuff I knew was getting too boring as I played it everyday and I wanted to learn something new. So I looked for something I liked and found that nothing really jumped out at me so I decided to write my own new song.

5) I don't have to be in a particular mood to write but it seems that whatever mood I'm in comes through in my music. For example when I'm happy I write something that is lively and in a major key, but when I'm angry, I might write something using a lot of staccato and unusual chords and more often that not a lot of distortion.

6) I'm not a perfectionist but I like to write things as well as I can. I spend many hours on each individual piece. Usually what happens is I come up with a riff by mistake (I'll screw up when working on an exercise or something and that mistake will be my new riff) and then I have to actually go to work and try to come up with something that works with that riff. And since my main influence is Dream Theater - a band which writes long complex songs in a lot of irregular time signatures - I often write very complex harmonies and melodies and things like that, which is a lot harder than just coming up with something like a simple power chord progression.

7) I haven't performed any of my written music live, but I have performed live covers with some parts changed or added in or removed, making the some new and the same. Most people seem to like it. I try to do each song justice while adding my own element to it.

8) Well the music industry I feel has really gone downhill since the 90's. Back in the 70's and 80's, the music sold the album. Nowadays, it's not music but rather sex that sells albums. This is both good and bad. Good because the record labels are signing almost anyone now and a lot of them have real talent but never got a break. But it's bad because they are also signing people who should not be musicians (in my opinion). However, I will still always want to be a musician.

9) Well I'd say keep working at it but I would also suggest taking lessons.

10) In a word, everything. I don't know who I'd be without music.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#30
Jeff

Columbia, South Carolina

1) For about 9 years, The french horn was actually my first instrument back in the 6th grade. from there i learned the trumpet, saxaphone, piano and guitar, and recently the accordian (talk about a hard instrument)
2) I chose to get into music, (i actually only did it at first because you got to go on a trip to orlando and miss a whole lot of school, but as soon as i started playing i was hooked. It was honestly a life changing moment that happened that first time i played.
3) It comes rather easy to me, of course, i spent a lot of time to learning as much as i could. I personally think it would probablly be easiest to learn theory on the piano, know real reason, thats what i really learned it on, and then used that knowledge for other instruments, but it is only as difficult as you make it or course.
4) actually back in 6th grade when i started, I would look at the music and think to myslef "hey wouldn't it be cooler if it did this instead. And from there i started writing my own music.
5) I can write in what ever mood im in. The mood im in though usually does effect the out come of the song and what is sounds like. A little of both, sometimes when i need inspiration, and theres a lot of things going on (friends being stupid, brother yelling, etc), but then again, you sometimes need peace and quiet to just focus and work.
6) It usually doesn't take me that long to "finish" a piece, i always make improvements later, and keep adding parts and taking away parts as i see needed I don't see it as being a perfectionist, but just giving your music life and changing it as you see fit.
7) I have performed my own music, it was at a local bar here in columbia, but the crowd seemed to like it, i got a applause so im guessing that means they atleast could tollerate it.
8) I hold high expectations and hope to one day be big and travel the world, i believe it is worth all the troubles if that is what you truly want to do. At the same time, im realistic and realise it may never happen, but doesn't mean i won't strive to do it. I have back up plans if it doesn't work out.
9) Write what you feel, never conform to what other people want or the trends of the time, music is about you and your emotions and nothing else, remember its all about you.
10) Music means the world to me, I love writing and playing for people, its such an adrenaline rush on stage and gives you a great high. I really do like that rush when your onstage, and hearing people clapping and yelling to your song, its an amazing feeling. I also write to really get my emotions, hopes, and dreams on paper and into a form i can express, b/c sometimes words just arn't enough. <<<(you should use that)


Hey and send me a copy of your paper when your finished writing. I'd love to read it.
(just in a message on here)
JC-
#34
May take a few days before the finished product, as the paper isn't due until next week. I don't come to the forum too often so I'll try to remember.
#35
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
Guitar. About 3 years.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?
I decided to study music on my own, though my dad has always had guitars around the house.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?
If I'm focused, music theory comes relatively quickly. If not, then it can take a while. I've got a very short attention span.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?
Since very early on with the guitar, I've wanted to write my own music.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?
It varies. Usually, composition is the product of jamming for me. Occasionally, I'll sit down with the guitar and decide that I have a goal for a certain musical piece, and then work it out, though.

Usually, if I do get distracted, I'll have developed an idea far enough to be able to come back to it, or an impression of the original idea. Rarely do I actually compose any form of music when I sit down and decide to do it.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?
It depends on the song. Sometimes I'll have a vision for a song, and want it to be longer, and sometimes I'll just want to make something that is short and to the point.


7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?
No, though I would like to.


8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?
I'm indifferent about it. As long as artists still have a way of putting their music out, I could care less. Most money that artists make supposedly comes from touring anyway.


9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?
Find your own sound. Even if you like metal, listen to other styles and branch out. You can learn something new from just about any style, and don't be close minded. No matter what you want to play, an influence from another genre of music can be just that thing that can seperate your songs from someone else's.


10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?
I feel a lot of joy playing and writing music. I love recording my own music, because I can listen to something that I wrote when I'm sick of hearing everything else, and more often than not forget that I wrote it and just enjoy the song.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
#36
Harry, Allen, TX.

1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?

My first instrument was a drum machine which I got for my 15th birthday (23 years ago). I used to listen to songs, and figure out the drum parts and program them in, as well as coming up with my own stuff. I also had a synth around that time, and learned some basic things. I started messing around on a friend's guitar at 19, got my own at 21, and have been playing seriously ever since (just under 17 years).

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?

I chose to.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn

complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?


My theory knowledge is basic but functional. I grasp it fairly quickly, but learning to apply it takes a lot longer.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?

Almost as long as I can remember - since I guess around the age of 14.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or

do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?


I have to be in a certain mood. I am able to focus fairly well with distractions though (I have 5 and 1 year old sons so I have to be able to).

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?

It completely varies, ranging from giving up in disgust after a great deal of time because I was able never able to get it how I wanted it, to knocking something out in a few hours.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?

Only in front of friends and family. Their response has been positive most of the time.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low

income and unstoppable piracy?


It is undergoing a paradigm shift. It will settle down again once a new business model is found that works in today's world. A career as a recording artist is worth it if someone is truly passionate about doing that.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?

Learn about the business side of things.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

I love the state of mind I am in when I feeling creative and in the zone. I love having 'projects' - something that I have to work hard at that has a tangible result at the end. I love that there is always more to learn - how everything you learn opens up more doors to new things to learn. I can't imagine life without it.
Last edited by se012101 at Dec 2, 2008,
#37
1) I have been playing music since pre school. Studying it since high school. My first musical instrument that was used to play songs would be the glockenshpiel (i don't feel like shakers count lol)
2) Not forced per say but encouraged by my parents
3)Theory is fairly easy for me to grasp
4) I have been writing "real" songs since high school. I love writing music. It usually doesn't go any where in particular, its just something that I enjoy. Expression.
5) Music comes stronger with stronger feelings. however, I write whenever I have the chance. I don't sit down and think I'm writing a song now. I just sit down and play, if insperation strikes then it happens.
6) Songs are done when I get up. They do change though on an as needed basis.
7) yes, yes, yes, yes. The response has always been at least accepting. Never had a crowd not at least accept what was being done.
8) Making a living off of a cd is going to be hard with a label. Make your money at your shows.
9) Learn. Never give up. Be realistic. (contradictory, yes, but its the way it is)
10) Music is an outlet. an expression. It gets me through the day.
#38
1) How long have you been studying music? What was your first instrument?
Started playing guitar at age 9, I am 18 now. So 9ish years
Studying music for about 7ish years.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art?

It was my parents idea to get me a guitar and i've always loved it.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind?

Music theory comes fairly easy to me most of the time. I think its easier to learn music theory in a broader aspect than on just one instrument.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music?

I wrote my first song when I was 13/14 years old. Didn't really think about, just started writing once I got good enough.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music?

I have to be in the mood to express myself or really want to play the guitar to create something that's actually really really good. Of course I can make up something at any time, but that is not really creativity for me. Creativity is having the urge to go write, somehow when I pick up the guitar then I always write something thats worth a good listen. This may be different from the others because I am mainly a classical musician at the moment.

The most important thing is that I never set aside time for guitar, that's like making it a chore. I play when I want to, and the quality of my music shows that.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Are you a perfectionist?

Personally I like to be with people to write some of the time because they can listen and give me feedback. Some of my songs have started but just jammin and having a good time with friends and then get some really cool stuff. I then will take that song and will prolly take a few months to write that one song.

I definitely never force myself to finish a song or write something. My philosophy on this is that, if you can't come up with something for that song, it's not ready to be finished. You are not good enough a player to finish it, or you lack the emotional feeling to finish it. I just wrote an entire classical song in about 2 weeks, but the one before that took 5 months and the one I started 3 months ago is still being worked on.

To me, each song must be special, or why listen to it?

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Talent show, private performance, actual gig? How was the response?

I performed the talent shows from 3rd grade to 8th grade, always people told me I did very good, but it was none of my music. I played for a high class resort with some of my own music and some covers for a good amount of money and people really enjoyed it.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy?

Personally I am going into the music industry and think that is one industry that will always be thriving. If you do what you love, anything is worth it.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living?

Buy lots and lots of books and study study.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? What is it that attracts you to write and play music?

It's the sound of the soul. It's everywhere. It's the thing everyone can relate to no matter what. Part of my attraction is that my father played guitar, and I am sort of feel at peace when playing the guitar and am just having a good time. I've always had a talent for it, people have told me that they can really tell its me that's playing and some people tell me they could sit for hours and listen to me play. To me, that is the greatest compliment that I could ever receive.

Music is really my life and my passion, and i'm going to pursue it.
#39
Bob,
Baarlo, the Netherlands.

1) When I was 6 so that's 10 years ago.
2) I chose it.
3) It's easy to understand but ussualy take some time to be able to apply it well.
4) Summer holidays one year ago.
5) I can write something whenever I want, I just kind of make instant riffs and instant solos.
6) I write them in about 4 hours, and then ussually one week later I take another4 hours to revise it, because stuff ussualy seems cool on an impulse but when you listen to it a while later it sucks and I just change it.
7) Not to anyone beside of my band members.
8) It seems to be going pretty bad with ussualy the people with the worst skills and the best looks making most money. I am prepared to live from a low income as a recording musician or anything else that involves music, although after next year I could go to university.
9) Do it.
10) I like the more "scientific" part about it, how by using music theory you can create a sound that everybody recognizes; Minor is going to sound sad to everyone and Major is going to sound happy to everyone.
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#40
Steve, Columbus, Ohio


1) How long have you been studying music? 25+years.
What was your first instrument? Guitar.

2) Were you forced into music (by your parents, for example) or did you choose to get into the art? Own decision to play.

3) Does music theory take a long time for you to understand, or does it come easy to you? Comes easy due to schooling.
Do you think it's easier to learn complex theory on a specific instrument, or is it all in your mind? Only have guitar to go by, so can't be sure. But theory is the same regardless of the instrument.

4) When did you begin to think about composing your own music? Within the first year or two.

5) Do you have to be in a particular mood to write, or can you create something on a whim? Can you work with distractions, or do you set aside time to focus on creating your own music? I prefer to write alone, but I don't have to be. I can almost always come up with something, but it might not be a keeper. I never know when something is going to happen. I might not write anything for 6 months. Then I'll get 3 or 4 songs within a week or two.

6) How much do you work on a piece before you are satisfied with a finished product? Sometimes a song is finished quickly. Others may take a year or more to finish.
Are you a perfectionist? Yes.

7) Have you ever performed your music live? Yes.
Talent show, private performance, actual gig? Gig.
How was the response? Good.

8) How do you feel about the future of the music industry? Discouraged. The music industry is run by people who are only in it to make money. Talent plays virtually no part in success. It's all about what you look like and how well they can market you.
Do you believe that a career as a recording artist is worth the low income and unstoppable piracy? It depends on the individual and their situation. For me, no.

9) What advice can you give a self-taught musician who wishes to write music for a living? *Stay out of debt. *Practice. *Learn theory. *Learn to sing, even if just a little bit. * If you truly want to do music for a living... stay single.

10) Finally, what does music mean to you? Imagine how dull life would be without it. It's always been that one constant in my life. No matter what happens; a song, a band , or something I created helps me express myself.
What is it that attracts you to write and play music? When I play my guitar, I get that feeling of confirmation... Some people are good at sports. Some at buisness. And others at science. But I'm one of the lucky ones that get to play an instrument...the coolest instrument. And am blessed to be able to do it pretty well. Writing, recording, or performing music that I've written or hlped write is the most euphoric feeling of all.
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