#1
Hello gadies and mentlemen, i'm new here on UG. idk if this is the right forum or not.

but i have a problem with how i express my musical tastes. Here goes.

Music is just as much about being an entertainer than it is being an artist. Where is the musical value in a piece of music you write if everyone hates it? Musical value is subjective, based on (at least what I believe) weather the people who listen to it, enjoy it or not. If people love it, it has musical value; it is entertaining to people. It is artistic in how it entertains and how it makes people feel when they listen to your music. It is creative in how it makes people feel. If listeners hate it, it is not entertaining to listen to and it does not have musical value. The listeners themselves play the main role in weather it is effective in its purpose. It doesn’t matter how big the size of the audience who like it. Even if it is in a little niche of a community of people, if they like it, it is a work of art. Often these smaller groups of people will be more supportive of your music and will be more willing to defend it. That makes a small group of an audience have just as much significance as a huge group. Musical value is not based on how many people like it; it is their dedication and the amount of love for it that matters. In my view, quality over quantity matters. If I was in a band, I would much rather have a small community of people love my music, than a large group of people how like it on a casual level.

One of the things that make me shake my confidence when playing my guitar and playing songs from bands I like is weather the people who are listening to it, like it. I am worried that people will hate what I play. I will feel unfulfilled musically and it would discourage me and it will leave me to believe I am a bad musician. After all, being a musician is just as much about being entertaining than it is being an artist. This is the main reason why I think I don’t have much confidence when playing with other people, because I’m afraid they will dislike what they’re hearing and I fear I haven’t done my job, if you could call it a job.

Tldr: I want to entertain people with the music I like, even if it is a small group of people; but I fear that I suck and its knocked my confidence. Any words of wisdom?

Dan
#2
ahah dude i had the same problem
in the end i thought of it like this

if they like the song good if not go back and try again until you make something you both like
i honestly do find guitar extremely fun but i also want to be able to entertain the people who will be listening to it not just entertain myself thats why i always get feedback whenever i write a song to make sure i have made certain things that i like and that other people like before i thought of it like this i always thought everything i wrote sucked after i did i got more confidence in myself and had better songs
Music is not the Olympics. It's not a sport; it's a form of expression. There is no such thing as bad music. There may be music that you personally don't like, but if you don't like it, don't listen to it.." Eddie Van Halen
#4
thinking "you suck" is theoretically a good thing, it pushes you to get better. if you were like "ohh I'm the greatest player ever" look im soo cool *root and 5th, root and 5th, root and 5th" you would be fooling yourself your better than you are, meaning you'd think you don't need to practice at all...

and music is subjective, there is always someone that will dig the music you produce, even if its not the majority, you will be growing a fan-base/ people will start digging your playing if you know , or even like it or not. just because its not on the "Top 40 songs of today" doesn't mean its bad.

Confidence is something you have to gain by experiance, to gain it you have to go out and play, each time you play you will realised theres nothing to be afraid of and then the next time you go out you'll be more confident/less frightened etc.

sorry if this is all totally off what you meant in the first post.
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#5
Hmm, I'm just gonna give you my theory about musicians, for what it's worth. In my opinion there are two kinds of musicians: the ones who play for themselves and the others who wish to entertain other people. This difference may seem simple but it causes a lot of dispute among musicians, actually. Discussions about artists 'selling out' is an example of that.

The first group is quite likely not to have much ambition to become a professional musician, at most they would like become a music teacher. They have no problem if their musicianship never leaves their bedroom and will usually only join "bands" for personal experience and fun. They may find playing on stage unsatisfying and may be scared of it, even when they are confident of their abilities.

The other group loves nothing more than playing on stage. They want people to enjoy their music and that is mostly the main motivation to become a better musician. They're the guys who are constantly looking for other musicians to start bands or projects. They are likely to only play at home for the sake of practice and not because they enjoy it so much. It's not that they don't like playing, but the thought of doing it in front of an audience is much more exciting to them and that will always be the main goal.

You seem to be part of that second group, I think. Me too, actually

Now, for your question; I would suggest to play together with musicians that are more experienced (if possible) and let them hear some of your songs. The advantage will be that they can give you tips and will give you valuable feedback. A good or serious musician will not judge the song by it's genre while non-musicians will do just that. A random metalhead will call your pop-punk song a load of shit while a metal-musician will look at your musicianship regardless of the fact that he doesn't like the genre, for example.

Hope this helps, sorry for the wall of text.
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#6
it' is interesting your point, but I disagree with you in some issues, I hope to explain myself with clarity, english is not my native language.

well, I think the enterteining "factor" is very important but I can't say it determinal the musical value of a musical piece at all since as you say it is very subjective, as every art music have a subjective aprecciaton that depends a lot in the person hearing it, but it also have an objective aprecciation based in the fact that there is a theory, and some paradigms that say that certain structures in music could be beautiful, and there is also a techniche that can be aprecciated objectivily, as I see it, you could aprecciate an art in 4 ways, the one that most inmediatly comes to you is the subjective beauty that you perceive from it, than depends most from you, for example for your taste, later we could aprecciate from the message it contains and it complaxity, more complex messages usually are more interesting, and could be more artistically, later we could appreciated the technique, like the guitar playing, or the styles used in a painting, later in an objective beauty based on it's technical complexity and the theory employed on it, let say one usher song likes to one thousand million people, it has a great musical value in the first element, the beuty inmediatly perceived, the subjective beauty, but the message, as the technique, as the objective beauty are poor as shit, maybe a song that doesn't have one thousand million lovers is great in all other factors, the thing that it isn't a mainstraim hit, doesn't means it have a low musical value, the musical value depends in all those factor, art is an intelectual as an emotional activity, since that, not all is subjective in it.

also if you love the music you do you don't have to fear others reaction is great that people loves your music, is equal great, you love your music
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#7
thinking "you suck" is theoretically a good thing, it pushes you to get better. if you were like "ohh I'm the greatest player ever" look im soo cool *root and 5th, root and 5th, root and 5th" you would be fooling yourself your better than you are, meaning you'd think you don't need to practice at all...


not at all man (obviously, in my opinion). thinking you suck and using that as a motivator makes you hate yourself and hate playing. imo you should have an honest and objective view of where you stand as a player, but you should never feel you aren't good enough, no matter how musically inept you are. the best way to improve is to practice a lot, and having renewing and fun practice will motivate you to do so. the 'i suck' atitude is just as egotistical and pointless as the 3 power chord self proclaimed guitar god---except the latter is actually enjoying himself. progress comes from loving what your doing, doing it a lot and not equating your ego with your music.
TS
the way I see it, your instrumental aptitude has little bearing on how good you are as a musician. there are great musicians who are great instrumentalists like bach, coltrane, mozart, debussy, charlie parker, jimi hendrix, bill evans, michael brecker and pat metheny and there are great musicians who are mediocre instrumentalists like bob dylan, miles davis, kanye west, robert johnson, jack white, david bowie, the ramones, the beatles, the edge, and many many more. theres thousands of guitar players who could play the edge off of a stage, half drunk, with one hand tied behind their back---yet no one knows their name or cares, because they aren't out making art--there sitting at home and practicing and posting youtube videos of yngwie or MAB or any other great, virtuousic guitar player's covers (not that theres anything wrong with that). If you can do everything you want to on your instrument, then stop caring about your good you are and enjoy yourself, and, until then, you need to find a way to enjoy the level you are at enough to practice enough to get to where you need to be.
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
Last edited by tehREALcaptain at Apr 16, 2011,
#8
Quote by tehREALcaptain
not at all man (obviously, in my opinion). thinking you suck and using that as a motivator makes you hate yourself and hate playing. imo you should have an honest and objective view of where you stand as a player, but you should never feel you aren't good enough, no matter how musically inept you are. the best way to improve is to practice a lot, and having renewing and fun practice will motivate you to do so. the 'i suck' atitude is just as egotistical and pointless as the 3 power chord self proclaimed guitar god---except the latter is actually enjoying himself. progress comes from loving what your doing, doing it a lot and not equating your ego with your music.


Yees!

Always think you're good, if you think you suck. You will be stuck at "I suck". You should tell yourself that you ARE good right now, and that you ARE progressing. If you're able to do that, you will have much more fun and actually progress. As long as you remember to practice
#9
Wow, that was pretty quick in replying and very detailed replies too. Thanks for your opinions good sirs.

Weather i enjoy what i play isn't the problem here. I will always have the motivation to do what i enjoy and to improve myself, as there's much improvement to be had!

I hope that one day i'll be competent enough to be up to band level, were that point comes is elusive. i don't plan to make a career out of it, but for the experience. But who knows? I might make a career out of it if things go great, i won't know if i don't get myself out there.

I just don't that all that much confidence to get myself out there. There isn't enough like minded musicians out there (in my area) and I imagine a lot of them are in a similar situation to me. I guess i'm not confident because I don't know what to expect. I'm worried that i ask someone to be in their band and i end up playing with a group of Steve Vai's that are unforgiving to people who have only been playing a few years.
#10
I think everyone has this problem to some degree because there's no way of gauging how good you are on your own merits, what is the line between biginner, intermediate etc? As a general rule of thumb to get out of my self-loathing, I just say "If it sounds good to you, it'll sound good to others". As long as you're in tune, in time, and most importantly playing with a little soul then people are gonna love it.

Music is something everyone on the planet enjoys and is something that brings out emotions in people like nothing else can. Even 1 single quiet note, when played in the right place, can bring a tear to someone's eye. A lot of people, whether they're metal heads or britney spears addicts say that their life would be a whole lot worse without music.

If you want to be good, you have to work for it. You have to be sure that when you go on stage you can play that material behind your back, in your sleep, hopping on one leg while reciting the alphabet backwards. No matter what you're playing, whether its Twinkle Twinke Little Star or For the Love of God, as long as its tight then people will like it!

If you're dedicated and put in the hours then you can get to a level that blows peoples minds, but you have to really want it!

I think every single guitarist on the planet has severely doubted their abilities, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the best guitar players in the world are the most self-loathing and insecure and its those things that drove them to reach that level, and even though they're at a world class level, they still say "You can do much better than that".

Just follow your ear, ask for feedback off others & you shall do fine
Uploaded some MP3's onto my profile, please check 'em out & let me know what you think! :3
Last edited by Housequake at Apr 16, 2011,
#11
P.s. another scouser on here :O don't see that often. welcome
Uploaded some MP3's onto my profile, please check 'em out & let me know what you think! :3
#12
i find nothing wrong with being your own worst critic. if you don't like the music you're making then make something else. if you want to try to write a song for other people then go for it. but i've personally found that if i write music i really like then other people will like it too, maybe not everybody but you can't please everyone all the time.
#13
Quote by Housequake
P.s. another scouser on here :O don't see that often. welcome


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#14
Just goof around on stage. People find that entertaining for some reason.
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#15
My thoughts are simple as hell, maybe they will help:

Big entertainers compose for the audience

Great artists compose "for themselves"!

People liking it or not is just a byproduct of the depth in which they can share their soul and express it through their instruments.
(there are lo other factors involved but thats not the point here)

Big entertainers are the likes of Shitty Gaga and Justin Vagina, no one has the right to say some music sucks or is better than the other, and im raping that law by insulting them, but the purpouse and emptyness of some music out there is pretty clear.. feed the people shit sandwiches , make them like them and ask for more.. i get enraged because I dont like people trying to shove a shit sandwich down my throat and then charging me for it...

Do not compare yourself to demigod petrucci, you will reach the conclusion that we all suck and we are gonna die.
j.k you can become a god at anything if you put enough time into it
However it all depends on who you want to be man
there is a public for the eminems of this world and there is a public for the satrianis..

Since im under the impression you would rather express yourself with the risk of not being liked. Compose for yourself, put your passion into it without minding the world, than do the best you can, practice practice practice, identify your audience and give them the best product/performance you can give them.. and you will get your group of people
Last edited by Slashiepie at Apr 18, 2011,
#16
You have to believe in what you do enough to get up and do it. Until then, you can want to all you like, but you're not going to be ready. I understand this as I am a performer, and I have told myself time and time again "If I don't believe I can do this or should do this, I don't need to be doing this". But I do believe in it, and that's what makes me do it. Sure I have to read people, and many times people will drink and talk while you play and you (and every artist) are just background music for their socializing, but there are those that connect with what you're doing, and I play for them. The bottom line is I can't please everyone and I dont expect to, but there are plenty that if they come to listen I'm going to do my part.

Practice, rehearse and take it as serious as you would a recording contract or mass stage show, and do your homework...and then, keep doing it. You'll find you are at about 10% ability live as you are in your living room, when you first start out.

Nothing tightens you up like the experience and lessons learned playing or touring to different audiences and environments. You evolve and adapt and you become very...fine tuned to what's going on musicially in you, outside of you, and in the band as a whole, and you adapt and evolve into sort of an animal that is well adapted to its conditions, and comfortable in your own skin. You do it (play music) because, that's what you do. At least it's that way for me, I do what I do because that's what I do, and there's nothing more I need add to that circular definition.

I don't know, if I'll ever get that far and I'm not overly concerned about it, but I do think I understand the feeling of destiny and something bigger than myself that I feel is happening. It's nothing that I set out to feel, it's just something that's there, and I think when I hear stories of people that made it big and people say "You could just tell something was going to happen with this guy, and big things were coming". I can relate, whether anything ever comes of it or not, I don't care.

That said, I do think that when you have a sense of something bigger than yourself pushing the wheels of what you are doing, be it fate, destiny or whatever, something just "clicks" when you feel like you are doing what you're supposed to be doing, and when you have that, and belief in yourself, it becomes less pressured and anxious and you are just there doing what you do because you're supposed to be there at that moment in your life, and now what you need do is ride it out and see what happens. It could be a short ride or it could be a long one, you don't know, but what you do is, you step into the shoes of that moment because thats the only way you're going to find out.

In a sense the results of that almost become secondary and don't matter as much as it does that you step into every moment like you belong in it.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 18, 2011,
#17
Quote by kakos
thinking "you suck" is theoretically a good thing, it pushes you to get better.


this is also how i think.. and it feels better when somebody appreciates you play guitar even if its not as good as you thought it was..
Last edited by gavin_rossdale at May 7, 2011,
#18
I think you have the idea somewhat twisted, but these guys are right.

I just want to say that Lil Wayne is a much better entertainer than any one of us could ever hope to be, but he is not a musician. Oh, wow, he has no idea what he's doing at any moment, he just shows up and spits a bunch of drugs, sex, and gangsta rhymes all over a bass heavy "banging" rap beat (which his are all the exact same beat) and makes tons of money. But he entertains millions upon millions of people. Does that mean that his "music" has much more musical value than Tom Waits, for instance?

I do not think that music is inseperable from it's entertainment value. I love Tom Waits, even his old stuff, but he trolled through bars and the streets singing his songs for years until he was appreciated by a decent number of people. And if you look back at all of that music, it is still brilliant. Before he got the bourbon and cigarette decimated voice (though that is still awesome)

The point I'm trying to make is that if the music is good and resonates with poetry and beauty, you will know it, and even if people tell you that you suck all day, you will continue to know that it is beautiful. The three stages of Truth are: ridicule, violent opposition, and acceptance. The true purpose of Art is to express beauty. Tom Waits obviously knew that his music was beautiful and great even when people told him he sucked, so he kept at it and now he writes plays because that is just how creative he is. Many people idolize him as a groundbreaking musician and if you haven't heard of him, check him out.

So strive to please yourself with your music; strive for beauty and truth. Other people will come around, but you have to find your soul in music. How much music is weird but still somewhat popular in your local area? If you have a message that resonates with people, then you will find your audience. Entertaining them because they are people who find your ideals, morals, and conception of beauty well, beautiful is something so natural when you're there, in the moment, just being yourself, that it is amazing. There's nothing better. I feel the need to perform before people and play my songs for them, too, but I don't worry what they think, cus not everyone's gonna like your shit.

So don't let your insecurities hold you back, and even if you make a mistake, make it A NICE, BIG, JUICY ONE cuz no one even fukn cares, it's post avant-garde new millenium who gives a shit. sucking has a lot of entertainment value if you make it seem intentional or rock out a lot, that's my point of view.
"Things seem pretty crummy, but if they could carry us away with them, we'd die of poetry. In a way, that wouldn't be bad." -Louis-Ferdinand Celine
Last edited by Marcus_Wiesner at May 5, 2011,
#19
Think of all of the painters and poets who became most famous and made most of their money after they were dead. I don't think it's fair to even correlate the value of art to the entertainment it provides in light of such facts.
"Things seem pretty crummy, but if they could carry us away with them, we'd die of poetry. In a way, that wouldn't be bad." -Louis-Ferdinand Celine
#20
Quote by tehREALcaptain
...great instrumentalists like bach, coltrane, mozart, debussy, charlie parker, jimi hendrix, bill evans, michael brecker and pat metheny and there are great musicians who are mediocre instrumentalists like bob dylan, miles davis, kanye west, robert johnson, jack white, david bowie, the ramones, the beatles, the edge, and many many more. ...


I've heard this about Miles Davis and I always take exception and point out that he did play Sketches of Spain. He wasn't ditching class at Julliard to sit in with Dizzy and Monk on 52nd street because he was mediocre instrumentalist.

As for Robert Johnson .. he was a badass instrumentalist for his time and genre.

Hendrix could barely tune his guitar there were plenty of trained guitar players who could outplay him. But he did manage to change the landscape of rock music. I tend to think his instrumental prowess was overstated because of his innovations .. similar to Monk.

But that is my $0.02.

Oh .. and MAB is a finger gymnast not a musician. Ditto for Yngwee -- though he is a sloppy finger gymnast. Don't get me wrong -- they are both amazingly devoted to their craft and completely amazing ... for 3 seconds.
#21
Quote by Marcus_Wiesner
Think of all of the painters and poets who became most famous and made most of their money after they were dead. I don't think it's fair to even correlate the value of art to the entertainment it provides in light of such facts.



Agreed 100%


I go with Zappa on this one. He said "If you think it is bitchin', then it is bitchin'." There is no way to objectively assign quality to art.
#22
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE


Tldr: I want to entertain people with the music I like, even if it is a small group of people; but I fear that I suck and its knocked my confidence. Any words of wisdom?

Dan


The simple solution is to stop worry about what other people think. Have confidence in yourself. Enjoy your music and other will as well.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 5, 2011,
#23
You have to find that middle ground. Have confidence in your music, without cockiness. and criticize your own work without putting yourself down. if that makes sense.

Look at my position. I love music, I love making music and gigging. But I hate the music I write and can't stand listening to it. but my fans love it.

I guess what I am trying to say is. have at it, have fun. no matter how good, or how ****ing horrible you are. if you keep at it. you will ALWAYS have fans, and you will ALWAYS have people who hate your work. no matter how good. or how bad you are.