Sunday, March 6, 2016

DrScythe Thoughts III – The importance of being earnest

If you enjoy my music and want to annoy some friends I now just got the thing for you: a channel trailer!

Sorry for this entry being a little confusing and loose - my grandfather died when I was just past the half of the text and I said to myself: well finish it and...wasn't a good idea it seems.

Today’s blog is about the elemental balance between fun and seriousness. Personally I’d say there are three overall categories:

Pure fun; no real ambitions at all, just playing an instrument (and drink lots of e.g. beer), extremely rare gigs, might even be difficult to play with fellow musicians, being skilled takes a lot more talent due to lack of time spent with practicing  

Hobby but with results (gigs/records): probably largest group, enthusiastic beginner to seasoned semipro, balancing between work, life and hobby is a problem, might even make some money

Pro: keeping the fun might be difficult until you reach the highest spheres, technically two subgroups: studied musicians and those who had their very own combination of luck/skill/time/connections/etc. to become a pro

I recently realized that the balance between having fun and getting some results can be a problem especially if it’s not your fault that whatever you’re trying to produce isn’t finished by a certain date. At the moment I am almost anxious before I record vocals as my neighbors tend to…well…ruin the takes. Hammering, drilling, screaming, REALLY LOUD CONVERSATIONS right in front of the door, vacuuming…staying motivated to wait for 10 minutes of silence and having fun in exact that moment isn’t quite what you want when following your passion. But you still want to finish your work and begin thinking about why you’re doing this.

That’s when I noticed that I am taking my hobby way more seriously than ever before – and also had more fun than ever before. In my case it’s almost like a dream come true to finally hear some of those songs finished and even receiving positive feedback.  And there are some songs left that are even more important to me.

This doesn’t mean that everybody should take making music more seriously. But maybe think about it once in a while. Especially when I thought about the musicians I met on the way I noticed that some were way too earnest about it and some seemed to have no motivation beyond playing their instrument. As long as you’re a band of hobbyists I highly doubt it’s useful to demand perfect instrumental skills or plan every gig for three years in advance and calculate possible fans. On the other hand you can’t expect your band mates to tolerate you failing to play a song you all agreed on over and over again be it an original or a cover. So if you want to get somewhere you’ve got to put some work into it.

Which means you need to do stuff that isn’t quite fun to have more fun later or find the fun in work. Of course if it is your passion it won’t always feel like work to you but others might see it as work and at some point you’ll run into something you can’t avoid to make progress that isn’t fun even to you. This might be quite early on your way (I realized that I won’t ever find motivation to practice enough to shred after half a year) or later. What’s always on the line then is where you’re going from there. Find your motivation to go through with it? Look for something else to improve? Look for a way around it? Or give up altogether and never move on again?

With some parts of the process of writing, recording and mixing my songs becoming some sort of routine I have to say that it’s really exciting to focus on the creative parts. Not only while writing it but also during the mixing phase. Deciding whether it should sound more compact or sort of spacey, dry or full of effects…per track and overall. On the first two songs I was definitely way more focused on balancing everything out which I now find quite easy as some tricks already found their ways into my memory.

So…I hope I was able to explain what I wanted to say…if not, please comment, then I’ll try to descramble my brain a little…so long


PS: Should I start a vlog instead of a blog?...

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