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#1
In light of another thread, I've decided to post this. Basically, if we're here, we've dabbled in theory. Some to a small extent, others to a much higher degree. But all of us are unique, and that's what this thread is all about: what do you do that challenges accepted theory?

Personally, though I've progressed rather rapidly as a self-taught guitarist and musician, it started as a bumpy journey. I question everything. I must know the fundamentals of every little nuance, steeping the learning curve but ultimately allowing -- at least in my mind -- for greater growth. Not only do I refuse to learn "monkey style," but I will literally rack my mind over the simplest concept until I understand exactly how and why it works the way it does.

Along with that comes the innate desire to upset the accepted. So music has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, and with each year the compound knowledge of musicians worldwide grows. I was never so prodigal as to learn the guitar and/or music as a child and have only recently begun my musical journey, but I have ever kept an open mind and continue to do so. It's made learning difficult at times, but in the end, I find that my own understanding of music -- not JUST theory itself -- is better defined and developed.

Only after you've learned the language can you learn to change it, adapt it, warp it. The name Jimi Hendrix comes to mind. Hell, even Blizzard Entertainment and Starcraft come to mind. They have something in common: they "improved" on what already exists. Jimi was a tour de force not because of his technical proficiency -- some of his live playing is just a garbled mess -- but rather what he brought to the creative end of the spectrum. He challenged the norm. StarCraft didn't so much challenge the norm (for RTS games) but rather took every aspect of it and improved on it. Different, and yet ultimately related, imo.

That brings me to another question: what is your opinion of "challenging the norm?" Would you say it results mostly in god-awful music? Would you agree that it can sometimes spawn some of the greatest and most unique works of art on the planet? To what degree do you believe any and every musician (and for that matter, artist) should challenge the accepted? Do you believe that challenging the said norm could bring about a "musical revolution", or do you think music is set and almost wholly complete with the diatonic system (and/or other current systems around the world)?

I ask all of this because I see a lot of you -- well-read or new to the field -- throwing around a lot of "monkey knowledge." Things you've learned but never really took the time to thoroughly understand. It's not a bad thing -- in fact, knowing it in the first place is important. But I've always enjoyed the "guru" here and there throwing around his own personal opinion: "Such and such is probably the answer you're looking for, but I, personally..."

In the end, I think the most important question is this:

Do you feel straying from the "norm" is overall healthy, or detrimental to most musicians and/or artists?
Last edited by freakstylez at Jan 9, 2010,
#4
By the way, I'm sorry if I sound pompous. Believe me, I understand the importance of the "norm" and why it is, in fact, the norm; but I will be forever rebellious and I know I'm not alone there.

Sadly, I don't really know enough to challenge it as much as I'd like to.

PS: This isn't about me, guys, it's about all of us. :P
Last edited by freakstylez at Jan 9, 2010,
#5
I've found that the times I'm most creative in music are the times I think the least about the norm and such. At those times I'm really thinking about how it sounds, and how the different parts work together, and what I can do get from part A to part B. Whenever I let any of those thoughts in - "is this creative", "is this different from what some other guy did", etc, I completely choke creatively.
#6
Quote by se012101
I've found that the times I'm most creative in music are the times I think the least about the norm and such. At those times I'm really thinking about how it sounds, and how the different parts work together, and what I can do get from part A to part B. Whenever I let any of those thoughts in - "is this creative", "is this different from what some other guy did", etc, I completely choke creatively.


So you'd say "challenging the norm," in your sense, would be implicit? If it happens, it happens?
#7
Here's an idea. Let's go against accepted English words! Let's change the meaning of words all of the sudden and see if anybody has any idea any idea what the hell we're talking about!

My point in a less snide manner is that sometimes conforming to the norm is a good thing.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#8
Quote by Eastwinn
Here's an idea. Let's go against accepted English words! Let's change the meaning of words all of the sudden and see if anybody has any idea any idea what the hell we're talking about!

My point in a less snide manner is that sometimes conforming to the norm is a good thing.


I agree, and I'd go so far as to go above and beyond your "sometimes" and say "more often than not." Frankly, as rebellious as I am, I conform to what is accepted more often than not -- but it's that desire, that urge, that "calling" to defy the norm, even just one time out of ten, that I feel could yield spectacular and unforeseen results.
#9
When used in moderation, challenging the "norm" is the greatest tool someone can have.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#10
Quote by freakstylez
So you'd say "challenging the norm," in your sense, would be implicit? If it happens, it happens?


More or less...we've all got some uniqueness to us - if you don't stand in it's way - choke it off by thinking too much about it - then it will come out in your playing and your music.
#11
Quote by freakstylez
In light of another thread, I've decided to post this. Basically, if we're here, we've dabbled in theory. Some to a small extent, others to a much higher degree. But all of us are unique, and that's what this thread is all about: what do you do that challenges accepted theory?

Personally, though I've progressed rather rapidly as a self-taught guitarist and musician, it started as a bumpy journey. I question everything. I must know the fundamentals of every little nuance, steeping the learning curve but ultimately allowing -- at least in my mind -- for greater growth. Not only do I refuse to learn "monkey style," but I will literally rack my mind over the simplest concept until I understand exactly how and why it works the way it does.

Along with that comes the innate desire to upset the accepted. So music has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, and with each year the compound knowledge of musicians worldwide grows. I was never so prodigal as to learn the guitar and/or music as a child and have only recently begun my musical journey, but I have ever kept an open mind and continue to do so. It's made learning difficult at times, but in the end, I find that my own understanding of music -- not JUST theory itself -- is better defined and developed.

Only after you've learned the language can you learn to change it, adapt it, warp it. The name Jimi Hendrix comes to mind. Hell, even Blizzard Entertainment and Starcraft come to mind. They have something in common: they "improved" on what already exists. Jimi was a tour de force not because of his technical proficiency -- some of his live playing is just a garbled mess -- but rather what he brought to the creative end of the spectrum. He challenged the norm. StarCraft didn't so much challenge the norm (for RTS games) but rather took every aspect of it and improved on it. Different, and yet ultimately related, imo.

That brings me to another question: what is your opinion of "challenging the norm?" Would you say it results mostly in god-awful music? Would you agree that it can sometimes spawn some of the greatest and most unique works of art on the planet? To what degree do you believe any and every musician (and for that matter, artist) should challenge the accepted? Do you believe that challenging the said norm could bring about a "musical revolution", or do you think music is set and almost wholly complete with the diatonic system (and/or other current systems around the world)?

I ask all of this because I see a lot of you -- well-read or new to the field -- throwing around a lot of "monkey knowledge." Things you've learned but never really took the time to thoroughly understand. It's not a bad thing -- in fact, knowing it in the first place is important. But I've always enjoyed the "guru" here and there throwing around his own personal opinion: "Such and such is probably the answer you're looking for, but I, personally..."

In the end, I think the most important question is this:

Do you feel straying from the "norm" is overall healthy, or detrimental to most musicians and/or artists?


I feel that sometimes people take themselves far too seriously.
shred is gaudy music
#12
Quote by GuitarMunky
I feel that sometimes people take themselves far too seriously.


I take music srsly. It is srs bzns.
#13
GuitarMunky: That was hilarious XD

freakstylez: I guess you didn't see why I used English as an example, I should have been more explicit. Languages work because everyone pretty much agrees on what words mean. Music Theory, is almost every way, is a language.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#14
Quote by Eastwinn
GuitarMunky: That was hilarious XD

freakstylez: I guess you didn't see why I used English as an example, I should have been more explicit. Languages work because everyone pretty much agrees on what words mean. Music Theory, is almost every way, is a language.


You just strengthened my point without even realizing it.

Languages also change, and continue to change, continuously. We can change them ourselves. How often have you, a friend, or Snoop Dogg invented words and phrases that were not explicitly understood by virtue of WHAT is said, but through context and/or implicitly using what we already know about the language?

For example, "fo rizzle." Ok, so, yeah... 1,000 of you could jump down my throat and say "fo rizzle" is ****ing stupid and anyone using it is an idiot --- BUT, you understand its implied meaning, do you not? Through context, inflection, or its likeness to the true meaning ("for real"), we easily understand the meaning. Is it any different musically?

Theory is my bitch.

I'm sorry to hear you are Theory's.

(Please take that in good humor, lol.)

PS: Let me throw this one at you... theory is man's invention. We devised it to guide us in musical endeavors. As such, theory is imperfect. It is not an absolute, it is a set of guidelines that set a "safe operating perimeter" for us to observe --- NOT practice religiously.
Last edited by freakstylez at Jan 9, 2010,
#15
Quote by freakstylez
Only after you've learned the language can you learn to change it, adapt it, warp it.
Nope. Only when it comes to talking about music. When it comes to creating music, your can change, adapt, and warp at will without any specific knowledge.

Quote by freakstylez
That brings me to another question: what is your opinion of "challenging the norm?"
Vague, pointless question. The "rules" of western music theory are guidelines on how things fit together easily. The more you learn the rules, the more you find the rules are quite pliable.

Quote by freakstylez
Would you say it results mostly in god-awful music?
It can, but that doesn't need to be the result. Strict adherence to rules can sometimes lead to boring, uninspired drivel. That's pretty god-awful, as well. It's all about judgment and context.

Quote by freakstylez
Would you agree that it can sometimes spawn some of the greatest and most unique works of art on the planet?
That requires value judgment. Always a dangerous path. What constitutes "the greatest music on the planet"? Arguably, that would be music that the greatest number of people relate to. And that puts us in the realm of pop music, for the most part. Others will argue from a technical merit point of view. Who's more "right" about what is "greatest". I can't be arsed with ridiculous arguments like that. Not interested.

Quote by freakstylez
To what degree do you believe any and every musician (and for that matter, artist) should challenge the accepted?
What ever degree they choose is right. Doesn't matter if they push the envelope at every turn or just stay in the pocket. If they're creating in a manner that works for them, they're doing what they "should" do.

Quote by freakstylez
Do you believe that challenging the said norm could bring about a "musical revolution", or do you think music is set and almost wholly complete with the diatonic system (and/or other current systems around the world)?
Change in music comes from evolution and revolution. Both have their place. The diatonic system works well. But it isn't the be-all end-all. There's room outside that as well. But if you think the diatonic system will be abandoned, I really doubt that will happen.

Quote by freakstylez
In the end, I think the most important question is this:

Do you feel straying from the "norm" is overall healthy, or detrimental to most musicians and/or artists?
There is no "overall". Each musician makes his own set of choices when it comes to creating. How much they push the envelope and whether that's "healthy" or "detrimental" can't be averaged across the entire community. Pointless question is pointless.
Meadows
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#16
People like to do things differently. I don't like to think of it as 'challenging the norm', because that particular turn of phrase makes 'the norm' sound like something to be avoided, rather than used.
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#17
You all bring valid points to the table. God, I really just need to start hanging out with musical people so I can talk about reasonable things in person and stop dropping all these crazy tangents online, lol.
#18
Quote by freakstylez
In light of another thread, I've decided to post this. Basically, if we're here, we've dabbled in theory. Some to a small extent, others to a much higher degree. But all of us are unique, and that's what this thread is all about: what do you do that challenges accepted theory?

Personally, though I've progressed rather rapidly as a self-taught guitarist and musician, it started as a bumpy journey. I question everything. I must know the fundamentals of every little nuance, steeping the learning curve but ultimately allowing -- at least in my mind -- for greater growth. Not only do I refuse to learn "monkey style," but I will literally rack my mind over the simplest concept until I understand exactly how and why it works the way it does.

Along with that comes the innate desire to upset the accepted. So music has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, and with each year the compound knowledge of musicians worldwide grows. I was never so prodigal as to learn the guitar and/or music as a child and have only recently begun my musical journey, but I have ever kept an open mind and continue to do so. It's made learning difficult at times, but in the end, I find that my own understanding of music -- not JUST theory itself -- is better defined and developed.

Only after you've learned the language can you learn to change it, adapt it, warp it. The name Jimi Hendrix comes to mind. Hell, even Blizzard Entertainment and Starcraft come to mind. They have something in common: they "improved" on what already exists. Jimi was a tour de force not because of his technical proficiency -- some of his live playing is just a garbled mess -- but rather what he brought to the creative end of the spectrum. He challenged the norm. StarCraft didn't so much challenge the norm (for RTS games) but rather took every aspect of it and improved on it. Different, and yet ultimately related, imo.

That brings me to another question: what is your opinion of "challenging the norm?" Would you say it results mostly in god-awful music? Would you agree that it can sometimes spawn some of the greatest and most unique works of art on the planet? To what degree do you believe any and every musician (and for that matter, artist) should challenge the accepted? Do you believe that challenging the said norm could bring about a "musical revolution", or do you think music is set and almost wholly complete with the diatonic system (and/or other current systems around the world)?

I ask all of this because I see a lot of you -- well-read or new to the field -- throwing around a lot of "monkey knowledge." Things you've learned but never really took the time to thoroughly understand. It's not a bad thing -- in fact, knowing it in the first place is important. But I've always enjoyed the "guru" here and there throwing around his own personal opinion: "Such and such is probably the answer you're looking for, but I, personally..."

In the end, I think the most important question is this:

Do you feel straying from the "norm" is overall healthy, or detrimental to most musicians and/or artists?


I do it all the time in teaching music theory. Its interesting since theory has rules and is fairly exacting. If you want to challenge this, try telling a religious music theorist that you can play an A minor scale in the key of C major, and grab some popcorn.

But what makes me a maverick and outside the lines, is I am a function before form personality. I don't really care about the tome of music theory. I will drink from the well as I see fit, and if others don't jive with how I do it, or what I teach, then I just say fine, and continue to teach, change lives and make music. All of which Ive been fortunate to make a living doing.

I feel that by being here I'm "challenging the norm", making enemies, all because I have 1000 percent conviction and belief in what I am doing.
#19
the norm is to be challenged and has been in every generation in every aspect of the arts and science...

at the very least it produces "interesting" results..no it will not be for mass consumption and for the few who say they understand it..be skeptical..

it can be and usually is a very isolated and solo journey that takes courage and a great amount of faith in the journey and ones self...

In music..from the classical greats bach, beethoven, etc to the jazz icons coltrane, monk, miles and many others...theirs is a solo journey..sometime filled with isolation and harsh criticism and in many cases no recognition of their work in their own life time..to the super fast rise of a guitar icon like hendrix...who did so much in just three years and left a ripples in the guitar and music world still being felt 40 years later..where would he and all that went beyond the norm be today...hard to say...but their music and influence is the backround sound for many people even today

play well

wolf
#20
Here's an idea. Let's go against accepted English words! Let's change the meaning of words all of the sudden and see if anybody has any idea any idea what the hell we're talking about!

My point in a less snide manner is that sometimes conforming to the norm is a good thing.


You know, there are people out there that actually like and understand Finnegan's Wake... I've never met one myself, but I mean, I've heard they exist...
#21
Quote by Eastwinn
Here's an idea. Let's go against accepted English words! Let's change the meaning of words all of the sudden and see if anybody has any idea any idea what the hell we're talking about!

My point in a less snide manner is that sometimes conforming to the norm is a good thing.


My hovercraft is full of eels.
#22
What made hendrix great was not ONLY his ability to create crazy never before heard sounds but ALSO to be able to play the norm fantastically well. There is very little in a song like hey joe which really challenges anything at all. He was also not the only person to be creating those sounds, he just got more fame than them. There were plenty of others doing the same thing, some even did it just as well and were unlucky with record labels etc.

Norms also change very slowly and do much more adapting than you realise. I can't think of any thing in any field which has just been changed overnight. It tends to take about 20 years (an academic generation) for anything new to be accepted by more than the people who are actually doing it. Hell people even still debate evolution and that's 250 years old now!

When it comes to changing the norms i certainly wouldn't set out to change something, i would just play what i like and if it happens to be different then all the better. if you set out to deliberately challenge the norms you end up with pretentious uncreative crap. That's what started *shudder* serialism
Last edited by doive at Jan 10, 2010,
#23
First of all, I think that was a brilliant OP. I agree about Blizzard Entertainment. As someone who has went from being obsessed with pop music to an avante garde enthusiast and back I can only say to do whatever feels right to you.

I will say this: we need people like you in our creative fields. You're the essence of progress; don't let anyone deter you.
#24
Quote by doive
There is very little in a song like hey joe which really challenges anything at all. He was also not the only person to be creating those sounds, he just got more fame than them. There were plenty of others doing the same thing, some even did it just as well and were unlucky with record labels etc.


Could you expand on this a bit more? Maybe with a PM, as it's more for my curiosity than this thread.

Couple of things - did you mean he was not the only person creating 'those sounds' in Hey Joe, or that he was not the only person creating 'those sounds' as in 'those sounds' we associate with Hendrix - which could, I suppose, mean stuff like Foxy Lady or it could mean stuff like 1983. If you mean the second, who else was doing it but got unlucky with record labels?
Quote by Ed O'Brien
“It’s not genius. It’s just that if you want something good to come out of something, you have to put in a lot of effort. That involves a lot of hard work, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears sometimes.”

http://urbanscarecrow.bandcamp.com/
#25
Quote by doive
What made hendrix great was not ONLY his ability to create crazy never before heard sounds but ALSO to be able to play the norm fantastically well. There is very little in a song like hey joe which really challenges anything at all. He was also not the only person to be creating those sounds, he just got more fame than them. There were plenty of others doing the same thing, some even did it just as well and were unlucky with record labels etc.

Norms also change very slowly and do much more adapting than you realise. I can't think of any thing in any field which has just been changed overnight. It tends to take about 20 years (an academic generation) for anything new to be accepted by more than the people who are actually doing it. Hell people even still debate evolution and that's 250 years old now!

When it comes to changing the norms i certainly wouldn't set out to change something, i would just play what i like and if it happens to be different then all the better. if you set out to deliberately challenge the norms you end up with pretentious uncreative crap. That's what started *shudder* serialism


Nirvana 1991 changed Spandex rock overnight.

Hey Joe does challenge in that it, the chord progression was not even diatonic, had a great chromatic bass line cleverly inserted, which didnt sound off to the ear.

Jimi was years ahead of his time, except for maybe Phil Keaggy. Jimi was successful because his music spoke to and reached more people, more people were moved by his music and unless you can cite a reference to someone that was doing what he was doing at the same time period, with the exception of Glass Harp and Phil Keaggy, which is well cited, I find the claim perplexing.

One persons pretentious crap is another persons art, it just depends upon your subjective tastes. Sound is neutral, what you do with those sounds, is what matters. Like the written word.

You can have musicianship, creativity, but unless you can write a song that touches and resonates with the masses, you won't be affecting the evolution of music 40 years later. That's why Hey Joe is still around, because he did just that for potentially millions, many who weren't alive at the time it was first written.


Sean
#26
to damascus:
He was certainly not the only person doing stuff like 'hey joe' i love the song, but it's pretty run of the mill in terms of musical boundries.

What i really mean was the sort of feedbacky sounds he created. The beatles were starting to do it, listen to the opening of 'i feel fine', that was released in 1964. In 1964 hendrix was the Isley Brothers rhythm guitarist and was only making his first ever studio recording. Further down the line the beatles were inventing crazy things in the same way hendrix was. His first album 'are you experienced' was kept from number 1 in the UK as it was released at the same time as the arguably more experimental "sgt pepper". Yes he was a pioneer, yes he pushed the norms, and yes he was fantastic at it. but no he was not the 'only' one.

It wasn't just the beatles either, The Who were starting to experiment with new sounds, their debut album "my generation" (take the outro to the title track for example) had some interesting stuff on it in terms of 'sound creation' that was 1965 two years before 'are you experienced'.

As for the unlucky artists i don't really know them. When i say they never became famous i mean exactly that. If you had been an unknown artist, creating the sort of music hendrix did in say the 1940s no label would give you a contract as it would be considered by them to be "white noise".

Imagine metallica pitching up to the record label that famously told the beatles "guitar music is on the way out". They would jut be stunned and ask them politely to leave because "we don't want that satanic music here thank you". How about muse asking if they could open for Elvis in 1957 -they would be laughed out the door.

Norms take a while to change and you need to have the right condition for new ideas to be accepted. Most "radical revolutions" in music have been in the making in underground bands for about 10 years before they can really come to the fore. They then tend to be pioneered by a select few band who are credited with causing a revolution that was probably inevitable. That is not meant to take credit from them, any new idea is great a certain band put their stamp on it, develop it, push it's limits and dictate how it evolves, but they are rarely the 'only' player of that revolution, even if they are the best known name in it.
Last edited by doive at Jan 10, 2010,
#27
Quote by Sean0913
Nirvana 1991 changed Spandex rock overnight.

Hey Joe does challenge in that it, the chord progression was not even diatonic, had a great chromatic bass line cleverly inserted, which didnt sound off to the ear.

Jimi was years ahead of his time, except for maybe Phil Keaggy. Jimi was successful because his music spoke to and reached more people, more people were moved by his music and unless you can cite a reference to someone that was doing what he was doing at the same time period, with the exception of Glass Harp and Phil Keaggy, which is well cited, I find the claim perplexing.

One persons pretentious crap is another persons art, it just depends upon your subjective tastes. Sound is neutral, what you do with those sounds, is what matters. Like the written word.

You can have musicianship, creativity, but unless you can write a song that touches and resonates with the masses, you won't be affecting the evolution of music 40 years later. That's why Hey Joe is still around, because he did just that for potentially millions, many who weren't alive at the time it was first written.


Sean


Yes nirvana did change music, but they weren't alone. bands like Pearl jam helped propel the revolution and push grunge to the mainstream. Also as i stated before a lot of the groundwork which allowed nirvana to create the grunge scene in the early 90s was done by other bands who were pushing boundries in their own way. I'm not very up on grunge so i'm going to quote wikipedia and kurt cobain here:

"Alternative rock bands from the Northeastern United States, including Sonic Youth, Pixies, and Dinosaur Jr., are important influences on the genre. Through their patronage of Seattle bands, Sonic Youth "inadvertently nurtured" the grunge scene, and reinforced the fiercely independent attitudes of its musicians.[12] The influence of the Pixies on Nirvana was noted by Kurt Cobain, who commented in a Rolling Stone interview that he "connected with the band so heavily that I should be in that band."[13] Nirvana's use of the Pixies' "soft verse, hard chorus" popularized this stylistic approach in both grunge and other alternative rock subgenres."

What that pretty much says is that sonic youth created an environment where grunge was possible, and nirvana capitalised on it. Yes they were original and yes only nirvana could have been nirvana and pushed grunge the way it went, but no they aren't the only grunge band who helped change "spandex rock" and it was not an overnight change either, sonic youth, dinosaur jr had been going since the mid 80s.

Ilove the song hey joe, it is quite interesting. It's only a circle of 5ths chord sequence with a walking bass line though. Executed brilliant, but hardly challenging the sort of stuff that had been going on in jazz for 30 years previous, don't forget jazz was much more mainstream in those days too.

Again i'm not trying to diss or take away from those people who are music revolutionaries, i'm just saying that they often took things which were happening and really capitalised on them and made use of them in ways other people hadn't even got round to thinking of yet. Hendrix pushed "sonic art" further than anyone before him and rightly deserves recognition for it, what i'm asking people to bear in mind is that other people were doing similar things at the same time he was and even before.

So my real message to the TS was that don't try and push yourself to create something entirely unheard of, maybe take what's out there and run with it and it will soon turn into something new. Also don't try and do something for the sake of doing it, hendrix did n't start playing guitar nd think "i want to invent a new way of playing, i'll think of something that's not been done before" he probably thought "hey i like this guitar playing lark, this song is kinda cool but it's lcking a sort of sqeeeee sound here, how about this." *squeee* "oh that's cool no-one has done hat before, but it's just the sound i want"
#28
Quote by Sean0913
You can have musicianship, creativity, but unless you can write a song that touches and resonates with the masses, you won't be affecting the evolution of music 40 years later.


This isn't necessarily true - you can make music that never gets a big mainstream audience but significantly influence artists who do. Velvet Underground spring to mind, although I must admit that they're the only ones who do.


Quote by doive
What i really mean was the sort of feedbacky sounds he created....he was not the 'only' one.


Right. I didn't realise you were talking about feedback earlier.


Quote by doive
As for the unlucky artists i don't really know them. When i say they never became famous i mean exactly that. If you had been an unknown artist, creating the sort of music hendrix did in say the 1940s no label would give you a contract as it would be considered by them to be "white noise".


This was more what I was curious about - I know the other famous artists who were experimenting with feedback, wah etc. around the time Hendrix was because, well, they're famous. I was hoping you had a list of people who toiled away with that kind of stuff without mainstream success that you could hit me with.
Quote by Ed O'Brien
“It’s not genius. It’s just that if you want something good to come out of something, you have to put in a lot of effort. That involves a lot of hard work, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears sometimes.”

http://urbanscarecrow.bandcamp.com/
#29
Nikki Sixx on Nirvana:

Smells Like Teen Spirit," the lead track, became one of the most frequently played songs on college and alternative radio. The music video, featured on MTV, drew a record number of requests. A member of the popular 1980s heavy-metal band Mötley Crüe, in Los Angeles for a recording session, heard it one day as he headed home on the freeway. He was quoted later as saying he knew then that rock in the style of the Crüe was over. Something new had begun. It was another of those events in the history of popular music, like the emergence of Elvis and the Beatles, that seemed inevitable.

All other bands, in that genre, and really you can count only 4 of them that truly could be the 4 horsemen of the Seattle Grunge scene, followed in the success of Nirvana bringing it mainstream, in terms of recognition:

Pearl Jam (Ten) Released also in 1991, on the heels of Nirvanas Nevermind
Soundgarden (Badmotorfinger) Released the same year as Nevermind, and while strong, does not in itself usher in the change or noteriety of Nevermind
Alice in Chains (Facelift) Their album released in 1990 a year before Nevermind

Yes, they single handedly changed the music and ushered in the other 3 - there were others, that followed somewhat - Blind Melon, My Sister the Machine, Mother Lovebone, etc, but Nirvana changed music overnight and ushered in a genre. None of the others would have been as strong by themselves. Nirvana changed it all. Nevermind was the catalyst.

Your overall message is noted. However I think by just being yourself you can be outside the norm, if you are willing to do what you believe in without having to glance over your shoulder to see who is in agreement.
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jan 10, 2010,
#30
Quote by doive


Imagine metallica pitching up to the record label that famously told the beatles "guitar music is on the way out". They would jut be stunned and ask them politely to leave because "we don't want that satanic music here thank you". How about muse asking if they could open for Elvis in 1957 -they would be laughed out the door.


Very interesting and very true point. In order to change the norm for the masses, someone (in the case of Metallica - Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, etc) has to have come before you and changed it to a lesser degree in the same direction - enough to get people to the point where they can accept the new ideas.

Another point - if you worry to much about the challenging the norm, aren't you still being defined by the norm? Like everything you do, I will do the opposite - my actions are still determined by yours, I just happen to be doing the inverse. I think some of the greatest creativity comes when people simply don't worry about the norm either way - they just become immersed in what they love doing and are good at doing, and with a healthy dose of luck, circumstance, and hard work, something which is viewed as "challenging the norm" comes out.
Last edited by se012101 at Jan 10, 2010,
#31
What is the norm? We each challenge ourselves but to define the norm is what I'm looking for. Who is going to be so bold?
#32
Quote by se012101
Very interesting and very true point. In order to change the norm for the masses, someone (in the case of Metallica - Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, etc) has to have come before you and changed it to a lesser degree in the same direction - enough to get people to the point where they can accept the new ideas.

Another point - if you worry to much about the challenging the norm, aren't you still being defined by the norm? Like everything you do, I will do the opposite - my actions are still determined by yours, I just happen to be doing the inverse. I think some of the greatest creativity comes when people simply don't worry about the norm either way - they just become immersed in what they love doing and are good at doing, and with a healthy dose of luck, circumstance, and hard work, something which is viewed as "challenging the norm" comes out.


In other words, non-conformists conforming to the idea of non-conformity. And you are right. If you try to be it, you aren't it.

Just do what you do and let the rest of the world catch up. This doesn't mean disavow the importance or existence of everyone and everything else, we d not live in a bubble, but let who you are define what you do. Then whatever you do will be 100 percent authentic and that will resonate with those with ears to hear.
#33
Quote by evolucian
What is the norm? We each challenge ourselves but to define the norm is what I'm looking for. Who is going to be so bold?


I shall take up this challenge, admittedly with a very qualitative definition that wouldn't please a dictionary.

The norm of a particular musical era or genre is the sort of song that when you forget a bit of it and turn to your friend you say "how does that song go, you know the one by that band, kinda goes bum bum dum bum" he looks blankly and replies, "dunno, maybe it's something by *insert 2 or 3 'mainstream' bands* kinda sounds like them" ... "kinda sounds like a lot of stuff actually" another friend comes along, "hey friend 2, what's the song that goes bum bum dum bum?" pauses "is it by *names 2 or 3 different mainstream bands* i dunno, it kinda sounds like a lot of other songs. Do you know the words?" "nah can't remember"

you have just had a conversation about a song which is the "norm"

or alternatively for a period of music:
Think of an iconic song that sums up that genre/period/style of music. Keep the instrument sounds, but remove all bits which make that song remarkable. Find 2 other typical songs of that era/genre. remove remarkable components.
Now mix those 3 songs, and have them sung by a guy doing karaoke after a beer too many at a pub/bar.
Bingo: you have made a song which is the "norm"
#34
Quote by Sean0913
on Nirvana:
they changed music overnight


while i can see what you're saying and agree to a large extent (so much so it's barely worth arguing about in fact, but this is MT). i have something to say.

What created the mood which allowed nirvana to take over so quickly. They must have been backed by a major record label to produce a video and enough copies of the single and album to propel them to fame. So it didn't come as a huge surprise to the record company that they were going to take on the world. The record company would only put faith into an 'unproven' band of a new style if it could already feel public opinion moving in that direction. Although the album was an overnight success it was partly an overnight success because of the 18 months of planning DGC put into testing the market, marketing the album. Yes, the d-day landings happened on one day, but they took months of careful preparation, in that sense this is no different.

here is what All Music Guide say:

"Nevermind was never meant to change the world, but you can never predict when the zeitgeist will hit, and Nirvana's second album turned out to be the place where alternative rock crashed into the mainstream. This wasn't entirely an accident, either, since Nirvana did sign with a major label, and they did release a record with a shiny surface, no matter how humongous the guitars sounded. And, yes, Nevermind is probably a little shinier than it should be, positively glistening with echo and fuzzbox distortion, especially when compared with the black-and-white murk of Bleach"
#35
to ts:
what exectly do you mean by "defying the norm"
are you talking about theory concepts within western music (harmony, 12 notes, notation etc.) like breaking up a tonaltiy, or playing nat 11 on maj chords, or gay things like finding a note between b and c or coming up with your own notaion?
Originally Posted by jmac72187
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.
#36
Quote by Archeo Avis 2
to ts:
what exectly do you mean by "defying the norm"
are you talking about theory concepts within western music (harmony, 12 notes, notation etc.) like breaking up a tonaltiy, or playing nat 11 on maj chords, or gay things like finding a note between b and c or coming up with your own notaion?


That's just it -- I guess it's up to you guys to define what the norm means to you, and decide whether you challenge it or typically stay within it. Technically, we could expand into areas of music beyond theory itself, too.

So really, I think I should have phrased things more like this: do you have any composing or playing practices that you think "go against the grain"? For example, things you feel make you unique or distinguished. It could be as simple as an obscure scale or progression, or something crazy and totally unprecedented. This is the kind of discussion where you realize your signature riff or tone or style is actually really common. And it brings up questions: does that turn you off of it and make you want to come up with something new, or does it just inspire you to polish it and make it your own?

There's really no limit to where a topic like this can go, and I started the whole discussion wrong. It's not so much about being strange and unusual as it is being curious and experimental. It's just that the whole idea of a "revolution" plays heavily into this -- and I guess that particular aspect is more or less suited for those musicians who are always wanting to push the bar and enter new territory, for better or worse. It's not for everyone, and thus the way I worded my first post really didn't start things off well. I should've asked it more openly, as I did above.
#37
Quote by doive
I shall take up this challenge, admittedly with a very qualitative definition that wouldn't please a dictionary.

The norm of a particular musical era or genre is the sort of song that when you forget a bit of it and turn to your friend you say "how does that song go, you know the one by that band, kinda goes bum bum dum bum" he looks blankly and replies, "dunno, maybe it's something by *insert 2 or 3 'mainstream' bands* kinda sounds like them" ... "kinda sounds like a lot of stuff actually" another friend comes along, "hey friend 2, what's the song that goes bum bum dum bum?" pauses "is it by *names 2 or 3 different mainstream bands* i dunno, it kinda sounds like a lot of other songs. Do you know the words?" "nah can't remember"

you have just had a conversation about a song which is the "norm"

or alternatively for a period of music:
Think of an iconic song that sums up that genre/period/style of music. Keep the instrument sounds, but remove all bits which make that song remarkable. Find 2 other typical songs of that era/genre. remove remarkable components.
Now mix those 3 songs, and have them sung by a guy doing karaoke after a beer too many at a pub/bar.
Bingo: you have made a song which is the "norm"


Hahahahahaha... entertaining read... thanks dude. What I gather is that the norm is a genre, right? What came before it (or started it) and what is continuing in it, right?

Would you say that Peter Gabriel is a challenger of the norm? Perhaps Portishead and Massive Attack are challengers too? *cough*... in the same same *cough* vein,
Belphegor must be challengers *cough* whoever listens to that crud must be an outcast along with them *sneeze*

I know there can be many challengers to the throne of this thread... many bands can be named... but isnt it true that we are always trying to sound different within our own genres, hence we become those exact "defyers of the norm"?
#38
I don't post here too much anymore, but this thread really garnished my attention. Don't flame me.

The problem with "the norm" is that everything is the norm.

Punk - four chords, driving beat, lyrics about getting dumped by your girlfriend.
80's Rock - same four chords, driving beat, solos(!), lyrics about how hard we/you/it/aliens rock.
Modern Rock - same four chords, slightly slower beat, lyrics about getting dumped by your girlfriend interspersed with cliches and bad metaphors.
Reggae - get rid of two of the chords, hit the others on the offbeat, get an organ player and some auxiliary percussion.
Jazz Fusion - use the rock beats with horns, keys, and crazy-ass bebop solos, and make sure every chord is a 13#5b9. No exceptions.
Drum & Bass - speed up the tempo, dice up the think break, synth the bass, make the keys play nothing but maj7s, and tweak the freq on everything.
Psytrance - flange the high hats, excessively tweak the freq on just the bass, get a VST to glitch drums for you, and overdose while the laptop finishes the show.
Trance - Hoovers and acid.
Progressive Trance - turn into John Digweed, put strings with everything, and model your buildups and breakdowns after fundamental sine curves.
Progressive Breaks - clean synths and amen breaks.
Breakcore - distorted synths and amen breaks glitched to kingdom come.
Deathcore - twist the tuning peg on your Squier six or seven times around clockwise, chug with the right hand, and crabcore while screaming about how much blood your ex is going to lose. Anything that's not a breakdown is bad and should die like <bad metaphor>, unless it's trancey synth arpeggios. Those can stay.
Death Metal - Deathcore attitude, but you tune your guitars, use more than the bottom three strings, and scream with decent breath support. Virgins MUST be slain.

Anyway, I could keep going all day, but everyone realizes that these are just stereotypes, and I'm not actually being serious.

...or am I? Is there anything out there that isn't "the norm"? Is it even possible to create such a piece? You're probably thinking, "but I wrote polyrhythmic clarinet and melodically leaping clean guitar parts with distorted bass and glitched drums in alternating bars of 17/16 and 13/16 with whammy pedal vocals and ALL MISPLACED ACCENTS!"

No you didn't. You used basic scales on a typical concert band instrument, layered in Don Caballero guitar licks, threw in a little Muse bottom end, got the Venetian Snares to bastardize the amen break for you, and sang the whole thing Battles-style in a Periphery context.

Is it even possible to create anything outside of the norm? It's something I struggle with every second of my musicianship. Anything anybody writes has already been written before TWENTY THOUSAND TIMES, using every possible combination of woodwind, brass, strings, theremin, Eigenharp, nickelharpa, tablas, fretless electric bass, etc. It's like nothing is ever original.

If you play nothing but noise, you're still playing Noise. If you write 12-tone music, you're still just writing 12-tone music. If you're like the majority of songwriters today, you write Instrumental Verse - quiet Verse - loud, catchy Chorus - quiet Verse - loud, catchy, identical Chorus - short bridge - Chorus times OVER NINE-THOUSAND.
Last edited by Ultraturtle0 at Jan 12, 2010,
#39
Quote by Ultraturtle0
I don't post here too much anymore, but this thread really garnished my attention. Don't flame me.

The problem with "the norm" is that everything is the norm.

Punk - four chords, driving beat, lyrics about getting dumped by your girlfriend.
80's Rock - same four chords, driving beat, solos(!), lyrics about how hard we/you/it/aliens rock.
Modern Rock - same four chords, slightly slower beat, lyrics about getting dumped by your girlfriend interspersed with cliches and bad metaphors.
Reggae - get rid of two of the chords, hit the others on the offbeat, get an organ player and some auxiliary percussion.
Jazz Fusion - use the rock beats with horns, keys, and crazy-ass bebop solos, and make sure every chord is a 13#5b9. No exceptions.
Drum & Bass - speed up the tempo, dice up the think break, synth the bass, make the keys play nothing but maj7s, and tweak the freq on everything.
Psytrance - flange the high hats, excessively tweak the freq on just the bass, get a VST to glitch drums for you, and overdose while the laptop finishes the show.
Trance - Hoovers and acid.
Progressive Trance - turn into John Digweed, put strings with everything, and model your buildups and breakdowns after fundamental sine curves.
Progressive Breaks - clean synths and amen breaks.
Breakcore - distorted synths and amen breaks glitched to kingdom come.
Deathcore - twist the tuning peg on your Squier six or seven times around clockwise, chug with the right hand, and crabcore while screaming about how much blood your ex is going to lose. Anything that's not a breakdown is bad and should die like <bad metaphor>, unless it's trancey synth arpeggios. Those can stay.
Death Metal - Deathcore attitude, but you tune your guitars, use more than the bottom three strings, and scream with decent breath support. Virgins MUST be slain.

Anyway, I could keep going all day, but everyone realizes that these are just stereotypes, and I'm not actually being serious.

...or am I? Is there anything out there that isn't "the norm"? Is it even possible to create such a piece? You're probably thinking, "but I wrote polyrhythmic clarinet and melodically leaping clean guitar parts with distorted bass and glitched drums in alternating bars of 17/16 and 13/16 with whammy pedal vocals and ALL MISPLACED ACCENTS!"

No you didn't. You used basic scales on a typical concert band instrument, layered in Don Caballero guitar licks, threw in a little Muse bottom end, got the Venetian Snares to bastardize the amen break for you, and sang the whole thing Battles-style in a Periphery context.

Is it even possible to create anything outside of the norm? It's something I struggle with every second of my musicianship. Anything anybody writes has already been written before TWENTY THOUSAND TIMES, using every possible combination of woodwind, brass, strings, theremin, Eigenharp, nickelharpa, tablas, fretless electric bass, etc. It's like nothing is ever original.

If you play nothing but noise, you're still playing Noise. If you write 12-tone music, you're still just writing 12-tone music. If you're like the majority of songwriters today, you write Instrumental Verse - quiet Verse - loud, catchy Chorus - quiet Verse - loud, catchy, identical Chorus - short bridge - Chorus times OVER NINE-THOUSAND.



I've never become an instant fan of anyone after reading just one post, but there's a first time for everything.

That was an epic post. Kudos. Ive never even used the word epic before in describing a post.
#40
Quote by Sean0913
I've never become an instant fan of anyone after reading just one post, but there's a first time for everything.

That was an epic post. Kudos. Ive never even used the word epic before in describing a post.


Aww, shucks, thanks. I usually never post anything anymore because I'm one of those guys who instantaneously kills threads. I really hope this discussion stays alive, because it's something that should really be addressed by everyone.
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