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#1
Now, before you jump to conclusions, I'm not necessarily talking about playing ability and skill. Obviously, with enough practice, anyone could play a jimi hendrix song.

I'm talking about musical creativity. Do people, who are often considered the best guitarists, singers, etc, hear music before they even know how to play? Or does their creativity start to show once they start playing? Does good new music come from skill or natural talent? I'm talking everything from playing guitar to writing songs.
#2
I think creativity has a degree of natural talent, but I do feel that it's another craft to be honed. I think once you learn and you understand what it is about your early writings that is different/popular/good, you begin to build upon that. That makes sense in my head anyways.
#3
That makes sense.

I'm just curious because of some thoughts that have been in my head lately. My dad has been playing guitar since he was 21 and I grew up around him playing. Ever since I was young, he has been trying to get me to play guitar. I was never really interested. I've always liked music a little bit more than anyone else I know and liked a lot of genres. Much more variety than my friends.

But over the last 6 months (I'm 19 now), my interest in music seems to double in interest daily and now my interest in playing is sky rocketing. I finally signed up for lessons and start Tuesday. I've just had this insane feeling of wanting to create and record music. Not for fame or for money. Just because I've realized how much I fvcking love music.

I have my main career goals that I'm pursuing (real estate development) but lately have been seconding guessing them. Not because I don't like them, but because for some reason I have this odd feeling that I need to make music. Sounds crazy (especially for a third post ever on this forum) but I just feel it. Nothing makes more happier anymore. I'm just trying to figure why the sudden interest happened and why I feel the urge to make music, even though I don't know how to play and I don't just hear music in my head that I want to create. But I just feel like I should.
#4
There are fine examples of both. I think that a lot of very successful musicians have brains that, while not explicitly with the ability to write songs that are good, grew in such a way that they are able to comprehend the various elements of theory. However, as always, it's practice. Everyone hears sounds, but you're able to actually articulate those thoughts once you understand the theory and/or become proficient with an instrument. Certain people are more adept at it, but just like anything, talent only brings you along so far. Work is required much more than natural ability.

I have no idea if that made sense. It's 3 AM and I'm just killing time until my sleep meds kick in. I think it made sense though.
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#5
Nobody is born creative, just like nobody is born athletic or gay or intelligent. Nature might give you certain tools that work better than others but what you do with them it up to you.
#6
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#8
Quote by azrael667
Nobody is born creative, just like nobody is born athletic or gay or intelligent. Nature might give you certain tools that work better than others but what you do with them it up to you.


Evidently you weren't born intelligent.
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#9
Innate talent and creativity is the seed, hours and hours of practice is the compost.

For example John Coltrane, very talented, had to practice for hours everyday until the reed on his saxophone was red with blood.
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#10
Quote by loose bowels
Innate talent and creativity is the seed, hours and hours of practice is the compost.

For example John Coltrane, very talented, had to practice for hours everyday until the reed on his saxophone was red with blood.


I think bleeding is proof that you're practising too much.
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#12
The way I see it, musical creativity comes from 2 things: Understanding music and expanding your base

Understanding music - two main routes. one being that you learn it all by the books/internet (music theory) and the second being you work it out for yourself. Now, working it out for yourself shouldn't be confused with just learning songs. That helps you get started, but the lion's share of it is listening to music as a whole (all the parts at the same time) and figuring out why and how things work. Things like "Ok, that bass line does such and such and the guitar does such and such and that combined with the drums doing that and the singing melody doing that makes something like what I'm listening to" and then break it down from there. This helps you construct music and figure out what works and what doesn't. I have very limited knowledge of music theory, but I'm assuming that that's what it aims to teach, so really it's the same thing, but without all the technical lingo.

Expanding your base - basically just means to keep branching out. Don't say "Well, I only like Metal, that's what I want to write, so I'm only going to learn about Metal." That doesn't work. You might be able to chug out a few good sounding songs, but where you're going to get your best ideas is from listening/learning/understanding other musics. It can easily be seen by considering that most great musicians have a list of influences that they cite (and probably a list of ones that they don't usually cite but influenced them just as well).

That's where I think the musical creativity comes from. Sure, you can be born with certain traits that can help make things easier, but about 95% of it is learned (as long as you put in the effort and always strive to improve).
#13
Quote by mjones1992
The way I see it, musical creativity comes from 2 things: Understanding music and expanding your base

Understanding music - two main routes. one being that you learn it all by the books/internet (music theory) and the second being you work it out for yourself. Now, working it out for yourself shouldn't be confused with just learning songs. That helps you get started, but the lion's share of it is listening to music as a whole (all the parts at the same time) and figuring out why and how things work. Things like "Ok, that bass line does such and such and the guitar does such and such and that combined with the drums doing that and the singing melody doing that makes something like what I'm listening to" and then break it down from there. This helps you construct music and figure out what works and what doesn't. I have very limited knowledge of music theory, but I'm assuming that that's what it aims to teach, so really it's the same thing, but without all the technical lingo.

Expanding your base - basically just means to keep branching out. Don't say "Well, I only like Metal, that's what I want to write, so I'm only going to learn about Metal." That doesn't work. You might be able to chug out a few good sounding songs, but where you're going to get your best ideas is from listening/learning/understanding other musics. It can easily be seen by considering that most great musicians have a list of influences that they cite (and probably a list of ones that they don't usually cite but influenced them just as well).

That's where I think the musical creativity comes from. Sure, you can be born with certain traits that can help make things easier, but about 95% of it is learned (as long as you put in the effort and always strive to improve).


This makes a lot of sense. Thank you for this.

Also, in reference to the whole thread, this is what I want to do right now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uupjiDjaqII

Justin Vernon is the guy who sparked this wild fire for me. He amazes me with every thing I learn about him. I love his music. He lives and creates exactly how I want to.
#14
Seriously, though, if musical creativity is anything like creativity in writing then I'd say the main spring is exposing yourself to the work of others. I'd say the desire to create, not the ability to create, is what you need to be innate in you, and then from then on the difference between poor song/writers and bad song/writers is their exposure and practise.
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#15
Well, you have to be born before you can live. So I'm going to say born.

Then again, the parents have to make them in the first place...


Final answer; both.
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#16
it doesn't really matter whether it's born or made. the contribution of both is so blurry that renders it meaningless anyway
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#18
I think it's a mixture of natural talent and hard working. Hendrix was a natural, no doubt bout it but he practiced at least 3 hours every day. Not because he needed to, but because he wanted to.

Dedication goes a long road for any art form, once you start slacking you become just a shadow of yourself (like U2).
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#19
Both I've found, but it's not always clear cut. For example I picked up guitar faster than most people, I've managed to develop the same level of skill in two and a half years that most people would take five to reach. This could be to do with the fact that I practice for atleast 30 mins to an hour each day, but I think that a certain level of natural talent was involved, if I am to, er, pluck my own strings?

The funny thing is though, even though I was able to pick up guitar rediculously quickly, enjoyed it and found I had a natural vibe with it, absolutely ****ing no one in my family is a musician, besides funnily enough, my brother who is mega-awesome at bass. So unless musical talent skips like, five generations I don't think it's anything you inherit from your parents from birth. It is however notable, that my parents did play a big role in getting me into music in the first place, ever since I can remember my parents listened to John Lee Hooker, The Doors, Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix, generally loads of rock music, and over the years cultivated my love for music. So I'd say being raised by a musical parent/s is definitely going to be an advantage in your case TS.
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#20
Awesome replies but I think some of you missed the question. I realize anyone can play guitar well with practice.

Im talking about creating new music, like in the video I posted. Is that type of creativity natural or is it built from dedication and experimentation?
#21
Quote by Deliriumbassist
I think creativity has a degree of natural talent, but I do feel that it's another craft to be honed. I think once you learn and you understand what it is about your early writings that is different/popular/good, you begin to build upon that. That makes sense in my head anyways.

this is a much better worded version of what i'd say.

it's definitely something you can't narrow down to a science.
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#22
There is no genius other than one which is expressed in works of art; the genius of Proust is the sum of Proust's works; the genius of Racine is his series of tragedies. Outside of that, there is nothing. Why say that Racine could have written another tragedy, when that is precisely what he did not do?

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#23
Quote by Max727
This makes a lot of sense. Thank you for this.

Also, in reference to the whole thread, this is what I want to do right now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uupjiDjaqII

Justin Vernon is the guy who sparked this wild fire for me. He amazes me with every thing I learn about him. I love his music. He lives and creates exactly how I want to.

i feel like no one ever gets famous for the very first piece of music they make. i know justin has been in a few bands before he did bon iver, and i've never heard their stuff, but i'm sure at least a little bit of their material is a little rough. meaning that though artists definitely progress at different rates, it isn't something that is 100% natural
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#24
I think that with enough hours of practice anyone with some musical ability should become at least partially good enough to join whatever band he/she wants.

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#25
Quote by Max727
Awesome replies but I think some of you missed the question. I realize anyone can play guitar well with practice.

Im talking about creating new music, like in the video I posted. Is that type of creativity natural or is it built from dedication and experimentation?



Both. To some people, creating music comes more naturally than others. I believe it has more to do with the environment you grow up in, rather than just having a brain that is more creative from birth. But that being said, everyone has to work at their craft to hone their skills and creativity. I've been getting more into jazz lately, and I've been coming up with stuff in my solos that I never would have thought I could play before starting to study jazz, and it is due to practice and hard work. You can practice scales and arpeggios all day, but you also need to practice coming up with new ideas using those techniques.


People who are born with so much creativity that they just start churning out beautiful music once they can play their instrument usually have some sort of mental condition.
Last edited by MeGaDeth2314 at Nov 10, 2013,
#26
I know people who think themselves creative musically, but don't know how to play an instrument or operate music software so in a literal sense you can't just be born with it.
#27
One question that pops up in my mind is, where does natural interest come from ? Is what you like doing something genetic or is that nurture?
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#28
Quote by sage76
One question that pops up in my mind is, where does natural interest come from ? Is what you like doing something genetic or is that nurture?

I would assume that the majority of it comes from environmental influences.
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#29
I believe mostly in nurture over nature, but recognize a mixture of both. I've played guitar and bass equally, but I'm far more talented at one, and find that when I write I am far more creative and productive at one than the other simply from how I'm wired to listen to and develop music.

It's a mixture, but I do think it's mostly to do with being taught in a way rather than an inherent talent.
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#30
Quote by Todd Hart
Seriously, though, if musical creativity is anything like creativity in writing then I'd say the main spring is exposing yourself to the work of others. I'd say the desire to create, not the ability to create, is what you need to be innate in you, and then from then on the difference between poor song/writers and bad song/writers is their exposure and practise.



I have nothing to add, because that's bang on.
#32
Quote by mjones1992
Understanding music - two main routes. one being that you learn it all by the books/internet (music theory) and the second being you work it out for yourself. Now, working it out for yourself shouldn't be confused with just learning songs. That helps you get started, but the lion's share of it is listening to music as a whole (all the parts at the same time) and figuring out why and how things work. Things like "Ok, that bass line does such and such and the guitar does such and such and that combined with the drums doing that and the singing melody doing that makes something like what I'm listening to" and then break it down from there. This helps you construct music and figure out what works and what doesn't. I have very limited knowledge of music theory, but I'm assuming that that's what it aims to teach, so really it's the same thing, but without all the technical lingo.

The technical lingo is what's going to separate the best from the decent.
#33
Aren't born and made the same thing?

If I was born in the 1970's i'd probably be a prodigy of sorts in the 80's or early 90's.

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#34
Quote by TimTheWizard
I think it's a mixture of natural talent and hard working. Hendrix was a natural, no doubt bout it but he practiced at least 3 hours every day. Not because he needed to, but because he wanted to.

Dedication goes a long road for any art form, once you start slacking you become just a shadow of yourself (like U2).

3 hours every day is not a lot. I'd say most people here play that much if not more. hendrix himself literally played every waking second that he had. 13-16 hours a day.
#35
Quote by Max727
Now, before you jump to conclusions, I'm not necessarily talking about playing ability and skill. Obviously, with enough practice, anyone could play a jimi hendrix song.
Lol @ using Hendrix as a benchmark by which great creativity is measured against. May as well use a real yardstick for the proverbial measuring stick if that is the case.
Quote by Max727
I'm talking about musical creativity. Do people, who are often considered the best guitarists, singers, etc, hear music before they even know how to play? Or does their creativity start to show once they start playing? Does good new music come from skill or natural talent? I'm talking everything from playing guitar to writing songs.
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#37
Quote by macashmack
3 hours every day is not a lot. I'd say most people here play that much if not more. hendrix himself literally played every waking second that he had. 13-16 hours a day.



Hendrix noodled. 3 hours is a hell of a lot of time for focused, structured practice.
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#38
Quote by AllJudasPriest
All greatness is made by hard work, dedication, humility and professionalism. For even if the person doing the great thing was born with the ability, it is only recognized by the hard work and sacrifice that is required to be all that you can be

Sounds an awful lot like Grieg.
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#39
Quote by JustRooster
Hendrix noodled. 3 hours is a hell of a lot of time for focused, structured practice.

It isn't that much based on the people that I know and play with
Then again, most of my friends are at music conservatory, so that might be skewing it a little.
#40
I think some people can have an inclination for physical and artistic intelligence, to use a term, but every aspect of artistry and musicianship must be developed, both with the intent of musicianship and also before you ever realize you want to create music.
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