#1
Music is my life. Literally. I devote my entire time to listening and creating music when I am not at school or doing school work. I have been playing the guitar for about 4 years now (started when I was 13) and I would say I am a pretty average guitarist or thereabouts, but I love creating tracks and would love to try and "make it". I was wondering if you guys could take a look at a set I created entitled "Dear, Reddit", because I originally posted this on Reddit.

I have little knowledge of music theory and make up riffs/chords on the spot by experimenting with what sounds good together. This approach has worked so far, but I understand that I need to learn theory in order to develop my songwriting when I am older.

The set can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/dwigt/sets/dear-reddit

The song titles are based on lyrics (or ideas for lyrics) that I have been trying to work on. The songs were recorded on GarageBand which I am no expert in, so some of the tracks' quality suffers, such as the ending to "SUPERMODEL?" which I made a bit of mess of regards to the outro abruptly starting due to a bit of a botched paste job.

I am asking for your honest opinion. Do I have any ability as a musician/songwriter? I know these tracks are just skeletons of potential songs but that's all I can offer to demonstrate my 'expertise' at this moment in time.

Be brutally honest. Constructive critcism is openly welcomed. But if you think it's shit please elaborate

Thanks for taking the time to read this and listening.

*IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME TO LISTEN TO ONE TRACK MAKE IT EITHER SUPERMODEL? OR FIN. NOW & THEN IS A VERY BARE BONES/BASIC TRACK I HAVE COME UP WITH ONLY RECENTLY*

-gg
#2
Brutal honesty it is then.

Songs unfinished- that much is obvious, I will always point out that coming up with ideas is rather an easy task, complexity in songwriting comes in extension of musical experience. Furthermore, what you have come up with by far seems incredibly basic, it's not unpleasant- but that is no feat.

Learning theory can help some individuals, for others it's a useless exercise in time expenditure. I would hesitate to claim you have any ability in songwriting as you have not presented any finished material, your bare structures, as stated before, not unpleasant- but very predictable, and I am not entirely convinced that constitutes skill.

With four years of experience- devoting all your free time to this endeavour, with honesty in mind, I'd say you don't have a disability for the craft.

I would similarly advise to refrain from claiming that an activity in which you participated for the minority of your lifetime is your life, literally or figuratively. I do not think you can "make it", at best, with my estimation, you can keep music as an active hobby and occasionally participate in band activity, but I'd avoid investing into the professional fields. At this point I feel that I have to point out that these are entirely my views and may or may not adequately represent reality.
Last edited by Vanhalaf at Mar 8, 2014,
#3
Quote by Vanhalaf
Brutal honesty it is then.

Songs unfinished- that much is obvious, I will always point out that coming up with ideas is rather an easy task, complexity in songwriting comes in extension of musical experience. Furthermore, what you have come up with by far seems incredibly basic, it's not unpleasant- but that is no feat.

Learning theory can help some individuals, for others it's a useless exercise in time expenditure. I would hesitate to claim you have any ability in songwriting as you have not presented any finished material, your bare structures, as stated before, not unpleasant- but very predictable, and I am not entirely convinced that constitutes skill.

With four years of experience- devoting all your free time to this endeavour, with honesty in mind, I'd say you don't have a disability for the craft.

I would similarly advise to refrain from claiming that an activity in which you participated for the minority of your lifetime is your life, literally or figuratively. I do not think you can "make it", at best, with my estimation, you can keep music as an active hobby and occasionally participate in band activity, but I'd avoid investing into the professional fields. At this point I feel that I have to point out that these are entirely my views and may or may not adequately represent reality.


Thanks for your feedback; I appreciate it!

I had the same response on reddit, leading me to conclude that this should remain a hobby. I never thought it was a realistic goal but it's always an outlandish dream at the back of my mind.

I find theory boring, so if I keep music as a hobby then I don't want to approach an aspect of it I dislike. So I'd agree with you that I am a person for whom it would be a waste of time.

Regards to the bold bit: a little clarification... Are you saying that I am okay for someone who has been playing 4yrs? I understand I am no Hendrix but I'd like to think I am at the very least average!

Yes, "music is my life" was hyperbole indeed. I listen to music a lot (which most people do) but I only play the guitar about 5hrs a week. When I play i never actually practice, I just experiment and play songs that I have created. Probably why I am mediocre at the guitar

Thanks again for your advice
Last edited by HAdam1 at Mar 8, 2014,
#4
Quote by HAdam1
Thanks for your feedback; I appreciate it!

I had the same response on reddit, leading me to conclude that this should remain a hobby. I never thought it was a realistic goal but it's always an outlandish dream at the back of my mind.

I find theory boring, so if I keep music as a hobby then I don't want to approach an aspect of it I dislike. So I'd agree with you that I am a person for whom it would be a waste of time.

Regards to the bold bit: a little clarification... Are you saying that I am okay for someone who has been playing 4yrs? I understand I am no Hendrix but I'd like to think I am at the very least average!

Yes, "music is my life" was hyperbole indeed. I listen to music a lot (which most people do) but I only play the guitar about 5hrs a week. When I play i never actually practice, I just experiment and play songs that I have created. Probably why I am mediocre at the guitar

Thanks again for your advice


A refreshing attitude.

I practice music not as a profession because I wish to be a musician, not work as one. I can't tell if you're average or not, I don't have enough statistical data to clarify what qualifies as average.

The guitarists you encounter online, you must keep in mind, and the best amongst those are the very minority of the musicians you can ever meet. Most of the material you can encounter online will usually be representative of higher-skilled individuals, because it is those individuals who will publish their work, and it is their work that will be noticeable to those browsing.

Your work is not displeasing to the ear, it's melodic and, if recorded well and arranged properly, may as well be very good, regardless of it's complexity. Not having a disability, by this I mean that you don't have any glaring faults in what you present, other than those you mentioned yourself.

As a side note, I'd avoid seeking comparison or validation. My goal is to overcome myself, to be a more skilled individual than I was the day before, others do not concern me. A healthy attitude, regardless of your activity or dedication to it will serve you well.
#5
HAdam,
I listened to the first 4:40. First off, I suggest some sort of drum software. I suggest toontrack EZDrummer if you are on a tight budget. I suggest toontrack Superior Drummer if you have more money to spend. After that, I suggest getting an electric bass, unless you can sing, then get a decent mic (I think you can get a decent one for less than $100). Guitar riffs are OK, but not thrilling by themselves. Way too much distortion in my opinion. Make sure you have a way to make money as you get older, it is very difficult to make a living making music. I played a number of club gigs (including a world famous club in Hollywood), and I have had 19 original songs get played on the radio. I didn't make a penny for the radio play (this is common), and I made a grand total of about $500 after playing dozens of gigs (this would pay for less than 2 weeks of medical insurance for my family of 3). Please review my music at this link:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1634598