What is your view on writing more formulated music first and after getting some acclaim trying to experiment more. I mean, smart people do it, that's how they start making money at first. Creating a fan base that is in your music style, but more "listenable" and after actually earning something from it you can do all you want (Within reason of course)

And also, i think musicians focus too much on mastering their instrument (which of course is important), but forget songwriting, the part that actually puts bread on the table.

There are many virtuosos that write such shitty songs (in my oppinion), but get acclaim for their skills.

So i ask of you, what i more important, being a great songwriter or being a great musician.
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Well, I find there's a huge audience for technical playing, even if it isn't tuneful. I love complex music, even if it isn't my style purely because you can feel all the hard work dedication that musician did to get that point. However, I personally believe that unless you can make money for being you, you're not gonna make much in the modern music business. Let's face it, people (like me) love originality and ingenuity! Bands like Alestorm and Babymetal that have ridiculous concepts but are easy to listen to and hilarious in their own way. Then there's guys like Devin Townsend who's music is different from anything you've ever heard before and has unthinkable thought and passion behind it. I find, so long as I can get behind why a musician has done something, and appreciate the beauty to it, then I enjoy a LOT of music.
People will always remember great songwriters because generally speaking songs connect with people and make them feel a certain way, generally speaking I do not see master technical people stand the test of time. Page/Plant, Jagger/Richards, McCartney/Lennon, John Mayer, Young/Young (list goes on and on). Sometimes you get both in one but it is rare. There might be a huge following for technical people (Satriani, Vai, etc) but I am not sure if they will really be remembered 30-40yrs down the line.

In answer to your question I am not sure what is more important. That needs a definition in itself, if it is about making money then I would say songwriting, if it is to be accepted by the instrument you play community it would being a great musician.

For me I would rather listen to a good song (what I deem good) anyday over a guy that can play a million notes a second.
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Why not both? Although there are great songs without any lyrics, there is no song without melody. I think the musician part is important. If you write a great poem but the melody is bad, people will probably hate it. You gotta be able to balance both in order to attain a great song. This is what I think.
First of all, pop music isn't easy. It might be more simple from a theoretical analysis aspect, but that doesn't mean it is easy. You don't get acclaim from doing something easy.

There is this myth in music circles that popular artists are just lucky and have no talent, and how popular music is dumbed down simple version of music so that the masses can understand it.

But it's not that way. People listening don't care about theory. Simple is actually good. Minimalism is beautiful styling. Simple lines, but that doesn't mean it is easy. Simplicity is not easiness.

More complex can be good as well, but different things suit different purposes. Most of the time, how I like to listen to music, I like to listen to pop sort of format of music. But pop format music can also be relatively complex in structure.

As for whether instrumentalist, or songwriter is more important, one is not more important than the other. They are 2 slightly different skill sets, that appeal to different people. It depends what you want to do.

I like pop kind of format of songs, and I love instrumentalist freestyle typed stuff, so I do both.

What's difficult about pop, is that you are up against strong competition. A singer might not be a great songwriter, nor musician, but their labels will hire the best in the business. You are also up against talented artists that can do both as well.

So, I don't think one or the other is more important, but you need to be really good at whatever it is you want to do. The more you specialize, the better you can be at that, and be more useful to someone. Or, if you've got the talent, you can be a John Mayer type.

If all you want to do is write pop tunes though, forget instrumentalism. You don't need much of that. You just need some of that, and good ideas.

But if you think pop music is easy, so you'll do that, so that all the oblivious people will like you, then you'll use the spell of marketing to branch out into other stuff, forget it. It's not easy like that, and even if it was, people would drop you in a second, saying things like, "I liked their older stuff, but not their newer stuff"

The highest paid people in the business get paid to make pop music happen. Teams of talented people craft them. They don't get paid a lot because its easy and anyone could do it. Were that the case, they'd be paying people willing to do it for less.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jan 24, 2015,