#1
So here's a short story, I'm hoping some people can relate and maybe share their experiences.

I'm a guitar player/songwriter in my mid-20s. I grew up playing in local metal/punk bands, last 'serious' band I was in was 4-5 years ago. Since then I've been in a couple projects, but nothing I was super into. I'm really trying to get back at it, form a band, and make some good music.

The only thing thats stopping me is I'm no longer able to find my niche/style I want to write in. Last band I was in was super heavy, typical modern metal with some classic metal influences. For some odd reason, I can't settle in a style, it's almost like 'musical ADHD'. Some days I want to write Pop-punk, next I want to write Thrash/Metal, and then it'll jump to some random thing like Indie and Electronic Dance music.

And the last thing I would want to do is mix all those styles together. On top of that most musicians are either metalheads, or EDM/producer kids, or Punk kids. I cant seem to limit myself to either of those categories.

And don't get me wrong, I understand what its like to be into music for the lifestyle. I was a metalhead, but I realized I was limiting myself so much and isolating myself from getting to know people just because they weren't 'metal'.

Anybody relate to this?
Last edited by Humbug808 at Sep 5, 2016,
#2
Bands need to gig regularly to stay healthy so if you want to gig, figure out where, who your audience will be, and tailor your set list to reach your audience. You can always write other stuff and develop it at home but if you want a band, you need to gig often. Once you set some live music goals, start to fill out positions with players who have similar interests.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
I don't understand why you feel the band has to play just one genre. If you want to play all genres, play all genres.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
Well that sounds good in theory, but if i went to a show, and one band kept changing geners between songs, i would be kinda dissapointed, especially if ti went from thrash to smooth jazz to edm. Maybe you could incorporate all those things into songs, but if you have separate songs, each with its own distinct genre, then its gonna be confusing for the listener to say the least.

You can however have like 3 different projects going on and just use the apropriate songs for aporpriate projects. You dont have to use every song that you write in just one band. Spread them out.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#5
gorkyporky Exactly man, a band or group that changes genres song after song just doesn't make sense, and if they do they're considered experimental. I love concrete genres honestly, you know what you're getting and theres no awkward mis-matched parts (Too much of that in Prog-metal for me unless its done seamlessly).
#6
In practice the same people playing the same instruments will create a common sound, irrespective of the genre of the songs. The Beatles would be a good example, traversing multiple genres but still sounding like the Beatles. Faith No More is also a good example of this.

If your songs sound different from each other it doesn't make it off putting. It makes it not boring.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#7
Obviously the songs dont have to sound the same, and i have nothing against experimenting with different styles, but from the op's post, it sounds like he wants to do some extreme genre hopping. It wouldnt be like a gradual transition that happened in the beatles. Im imagining it would be more like going to a Metallica show, and having them play some techno in the middle, and then end with mongolian folk.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#8
^^^ But without a 20 piece band, and people who are well versed in those genres, there won't be massive jumps in sound. It'll just be a band with wide influences.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#9
That's true. But what if they use backing tracks? Its hard to play edm otherwise
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#10
You'd need a DJ to do electronic dance music. So they can play the song while the rest of the band waits to play.

But it's probably more like TS wants to play electronic dance music on his electric guitar, so it ends up as disco or something. Or probably just some guy in his room lamenting a non issue.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#11
AlanHB Thanks for the opinions bud, you proved your (obvious) point, yes you can do whatever the fuck you want and make a 20 piece ensemble play disco/edm-folk-mongolian-thrash-punk. In other words, taking all the colors on a color palette and mixing them together usually makes a poop brown color, BTW.

I was trying to see if anyone else digs a whole bunch of music, but cant seem to get going on a certain direction. To continue the convo, I have read that limiting one self and creating boundaries actually increases creativity and productivity.

And aren't we all just some guys in our rooms lamenting on non-issues on an internet forum ? HA
#12
Quote by Humbug808

And don't get me wrong, I understand what its like to be into music for the lifestyle. I was a metalhead, but I realized I was limiting myself so much and isolating myself from getting to know people just because they weren't 'metal'.

Anybody relate to this?

Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 12, 2016,
#13
Why limit yourself to one style. I think you answered you own question. Play anything that even remotely appeals to you so you can grow as a musician. Sounds like a good plan.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#14
Quote by Humbug808
AlanHB Thanks for the opinions bud, you proved your (obvious) point, yes you can do whatever the fuck you want and make a 20 piece ensemble play disco/edm-folk-mongolian-thrash-punk. In other words, taking all the colors on a color palette and mixing them together usually makes a poop brown color, BTW.

I was trying to see if anyone else digs a whole bunch of music, but cant seem to get going on a certain direction. To continue the convo, I have read that limiting one self and creating boundaries actually increases creativity and productivity.

And aren't we all just some guys in our rooms lamenting on non-issues on an internet forum ? HA


I enjoy a bunch of different musical styles, and i write a lot of different music as well. But i dont shoehorn every influence into every song. I use the apropriate songs for apropriate projects, and the ones that dont really fit anywhere, are just left on the self until i will know where to use them. So i never get the feeling im being limited by my bands, eventho they are both pretty well defined. Basicly, just because you write, or want to write, a lot of differnet music, doesnt mean you have to use it all in a single band.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#15
Quote by Rickholly74
Why limit yourself to one style. I think you answered you own question. Play anything that even remotely appeals to you so you can grow as a musician. Sounds like a good plan.


Quote by gorkyporky
I enjoy a bunch of different musical styles, and i write a lot of different music as well. But i dont shoehorn every influence into every song. I use the apropriate songs for apropriate projects, and the ones that dont really fit anywhere, are just left on the self until i will know where to use them. So i never get the feeling im being limited by my bands, eventho they are both pretty well defined. Basicly, just because you write, or want to write, a lot of differnet music, doesnt mean you have to use it all in a single band.


I appreciate the feedback guys. I do write and play in 3-4 completely different styles, I guess I'm just assuming I need to be more focused on one set style. It just makes me curious how (from personal experience) there are people who exclusively listen and play to Metal, or hip-hop, or I don't know, Jazz. They may slightly appreciate other styles, but they ONLY play that set style with their band.

Cheers
#16
You are talking about the music you write and want to write. You haven't actually said much about what you want to play or a band at all.

Do you really want to be in a band? It can be really limiting after all. You'll have to compromise everything to fit in with each of their aims and interests and any band is only going to offer you a chance to do a fraction of what you want, never mind genre you'll have a group of other personalities and opinions to cope with.

If the answer is yes, I want a band then that can be liberating, nothing to stop you writing other stuff for future projects but they are only going to want to do a fraction of your range. Those limits may stimulate you. Meantime you are in a band, playing live to audiences who will respond to your stuff who you will have to reach out to. To me the live performance is all but I don't write anything.

There isn't a right answer to this of course, on your own you can write what you want, a band is something else and in the end if you want that then you compromise for as long as it works for you.

Good luck
#17
I will try to be brief, but I am not very good at that, so we'll see where it goes. In my time of playing I have played a rather vast amount of styles. I started out a classical guitarist, but after a year or two I crossed over to the world of electric guitar, playing it nearly non-stop for 8 years. I played blues, pop and punk, eventually also rock and ended at thrash-metal. There were even a few stints of playing jazz, though it never seemed to stick. After about 8 years of electric guitar I'd grown bored of it, there was, in my limited experience (which was still rather broad in comparison to what I saw around me), very little left to learn. I understood the music I played, and if I couldn't play something I could at least understand it, and with a bit of practice be able of playing it.

After those 8 years I found flamenco, and played that for a solid 4 years, before applying to a conservatory to study guitar. Given my odd timing for applying there I had to pick up playing classical music again, and I finished my studies in that subject. During my time there I also gained an interest in gipsy-jazz, which brought me back to focusing on that as well.

Nowadays, I know that there are several musical styles I truly adore. Flamenco, which I play mainly for my work. Thrash-metal, which I enjoy listening to and have played up until a few years ago, but can't be arsed to make a band for. Gipsy-jazz, which I play a few times a year when I'm in those circles that do. And renaissance music, which I play whenever I feel like it. Several times a year I have to make brief steps out of these comfort zones, and do something I've not done for a while, or learn something new.

I do however, know specifically what attracts me to all these different musical styles. And I know what overlap they have from one to the other. In my case, these factors are rhythm, swing and pulse, for flamenco, gipsy jazz and metal. The rhythmical drive these styles have is fantastic. Another factor that I appreciate is tone, soundscapes and dissonants, which all four styles encompass, some to greater extent than others. My music revolves around pulse, feel, tone and soundscapes. And I can combine all these things and let them be heard when I play, but that is because I play my own style. I don't play buleria de jerez, or purely bay area thrash-metal, or just dowland and da milano, or Django's rags and swings. I play all of them at the same time, and since it's who I am, it is quite easy to do, but you have to know yourself to do it.

So my advice to you is not to focus on one thing in particular, but to go for it. Analyse your musical interests, see what they have in common because that is the reason you like to listen to all these different things, and master them into a style of your own, so that you can start applying those principles to your own music. That way you will still be able to create a consistent sound, and even one that you are comfortable with. It may not be a sound that is for everyone, but pre-chewed food does not taste good. You have clearly an urge to create, then go create. Create what you hear and enjoy, there are more souls that have your tastes in common with you than you know, but until you start putting your music out there, you'll not easily find them.
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
#18
Okay so I realise that my being in a fairly genre hopping band isn't going to help here, haha but I'm going to try and offer my two pence anyway.

There's two ways of moving forward, in my experience and from what has been posted by the looks of it.

1) You need to find/make a band in one main genre and deal with it. You may not always fancy playing punk, say, but that's what free time and side projects are for. This approach would probably be the easiest. If you like the genre and have fun playing it then I don't see it being hard to focus on it. Just like you can't always please everybody, others won't always please you, but that's just what being in a band is like.

2) You need to find some like minded musicians who aren't opposed to mixing genres. I'm not talking on a set level, because yeah, a supposed metal band who ends up playing traditional japanese stuff by the end would be just wrong. I'm talking on a song and sound level.

New music, music that creates the right kind of waves in a music scene is often from the bands that aren't afraid to say, throw a cheerful chorus in their metal, or play punk with a backing of techno or, hell I don't know, just involve those outside influences and create something new and interesting, but I think you get my point. In my band, we all like metal to varying degrees, pop to varying degrees, and so on. It's the conscious mix of those likes in our individual playing styles that I think makes us who we are. And yeah some our songs should probably be catagorised in a different genre, but it's still us playing, it's still our singer's voice.

Bands like that, bands that would probably satisfy most of your tastes, are possible. Granted it takes a lot of work to find one (try 4/5 years in my case) but that shouldn't mean getting disheartened.


Yeah, there are days when I want to play something a little more mainstream and gigs where no one wants to hear our ballads, but sometimes you have to just tell your creative adhd to sod off. That or get some recording equipment and satiate your other desires.
#19
Of_Wolves

Great advice man, I appreciate it! I guess the key point is to just get into a band-setting with the right musicians and stick with it. My favorite quote of the thread is "sometimes you have to just tell your creative adhd to sod off" haha.

All the feedback has been great, thanks all.
#20
Quote by Humbug808
Of_Wolves

Great advice man, I appreciate it! I guess the key point is to just get into a band-setting with the right musicians and stick with it. My favorite quote of the thread is "sometimes you have to just tell your creative adhd to sod off" haha.

All the feedback has been great, thanks all.


Totally! And hey if you find yourself with the right people they may well say to you, half way through your new original, "You know what this thrash song needs? Some sludge."