Belief in the Music we make

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Belief in the Music we make

Post by tea for two »

I think it is sometimes too easy to loose self belief in the music we make.
Loose self belief in ourself.

We seem to have little say in this. Just happens.

I think it is so important to somehow  imprint upon ourself :  the music we make that is Personal to us, we can hold up amongst any music made in history of music, simply because it is personal to us, we know what we put into it.

It is this Personal aspect that makes our music comparable to any music by any famous musician.
Not the technical, compositional, musical ability side of things.

If there is one thing I could give to a musician, this would be it.
Without this self belief in our music, all the theory all the compositional musical ability in the world can become torturous for us.

I would wish those loosing lost self belief and or don't think much of their music (I've been there several years) would see things this way, no matter how many knock backs.

I know it's easier said than done. Sometimes we want to chuck it all in the bin, trash our gear, format our files.

I like humbleness humility of not thinking much of ourself musically, yet this shouldn't erode our belief in our music, ourself.

::

I've never shared on SOS any music I've made.
I've never contributed to SOS Forum Album. **
Yet I would put my Keyboard album up with any Keyboard music ever composed / improvised by any famous musician ever, simply because it is personal to me, I know how much of me went into it.
Similarly my Guitar, Plucked instrument album.

I've reached this realisation over 3decades after I first picked up an instrument.
I hope others get there before 3decades lol.

**(Also tbh I have no desire for anyone to plug their ears whilst listening to my music lol and or for doggies to start howling disapprovingly lol).
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by awjoe »

I can compare my stuff to other people's stuff, and do a comparative ranking exercise, along the lines of 'Well, my guitar work's in the vicinity of Nick Drake's, but nowhere as good as Richard Thompson, but more interesting than Dylan's.' I can stand back and do that intellectual comparative analysis. But I stopped doing *value* comparisons a long time ago. That type of comparison often serves no purpose, makes you either miserable or obnoxious, and turns the whole exercise into a competition. Nothing wrong with competition, especially if it produces stellar work, but if the main thing it does is make you unhappy, it isn't your friend.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by Arpangel »

I don’t know what to say, except, a lot of my music doesn’t sound like anyone else’s, especially my electronic music, I’m being honest, my piano music is more conventional, and may be compared, others are doing similar things, but not quite.
A band member said "I’d know your stuff anywhere"
Do I have confidence in it, I don’t know, sometimes, maybe, I’m not really in the mood to say one way or the other.
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by tea for two »

awjoe wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:11 pm But I stopped doing *value* comparisons a long time ago.

I'd agree with this. As soon as we stop comparing we can then start believing in our music in our self.

::

Arpangel wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:43 pm
Do I have confidence in it, I don’t know, sometimes, maybe,

I would say confidence is different from belief in our music.

(Here's something weird I still don't have confidence in my music yet I believe in my music).
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by awjoe »

tea for two wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:53 pm
awjoe wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:11 pm But I stopped doing *value* comparisons a long time ago.

I'd agree with this. As soon as we stop comparing we can then start believing in our music in our self.

Yup. And I don't know if you'd agree with the following idea, but for me it's part and parcel of believing in oneself: I don't pinch stuff and I don't copy stuff, I'm looking inside when I write and play, not outside. I mean, that's why I believe in it - it's the real deal, not a facsimile.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by Arpangel »

awjoe wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:11 pm But I stopped doing *value* comparisons a long time ago.

This is all very well, but does it stand up to the test, at three in the morning, out of my head on Tequila, headphones on, listening to a Bach organ work, a Beethoven quartet, an Opera aria, Miles Davis, or a Charlie Parker solo, and I think, hang on, these were the real deal, the tears start flowing, and I just want to give up completely.
But the morning after is fine, all is forgotten, and I’m back in the studio, thinking I’m just a genius, as you can see, there’s a distinct lack of middle ground here, as usual.
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by awjoe »

When I listen to Bach or Vivaldi (or Aldous Harding or Hank Williams), I'm lost in admiration, appreciation, and love for the beauty of their music. But I'm not responsible for their music. It's their music, not mine. But my attitude to my own music is different - I'm responsible for it. The danger of harsh self-judgement is so present that I simply don't go there. I can't afford it. Or rather, the creative process can't afford it. It thrives on being nurtured, not being attacked. So although I beat myself up regularly over all sorts of things, I've learned to leave that self-abuse out of the mix when it comes to music. Even at 3 am.

I've probably compartmentalized things psychologically, and there may well be a reckoning at some point, but that's the best I've managed to come up with so far.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by John Stafford »

I always have ideas for music I want to write, and my biggest concern is figuring out how to do it. I don't really compare my music with anyone else's.

I'm not going to rival the late Beethoven quartets, but so what? I'm not going to win 100m at the Olympics either. It's still fun to watch.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by blinddrew »

I came to terms, a while back, that the reason I never got beyond my brief recording deal was that as a musician i'm simply not good enough.
So for me it's all about trying to write songs that are as good as I can get them and hoping that they might work for a few other people along the way.
It does make things easier to understand your target market. ;)
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by Arpangel »

I have a friend who is a song writer, he’s extremely critical of other people, rarely himself, but he’s not arrogant in any way, exactly the opposite.
I’ve been on a recording session with him, he knows "exactly"what he wants, he’s 150% confident that was he is doing is right, and it will work, and it does.
If it doesn’t, he lets others know in no uncertain terms, as it’s probably not his fault.
He has a cool, calm and undoubted sureness in the way he works, and he always works to a formula, everything is pre-planned, to the last detail, I’ve worked with him in a creative capacity, and I made a mistake once, there was no option to continue.
He is one of the most respected and talented musicians I know, I just wish, I had his confidence, and certainty about what I do.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by RichardT »

I think this a complex one! It’s hard to justify saying that any piece of music is objectively better than another. But I do feel that, even if I can’t justify it - for example I feel that Bach is better than Vivaldi, and Mahler better than Vaughan Williams.

For me it’s important that I think my music is ‘good’ rather than just ‘mine’ before I release it. I guess I mean it has a good architecture, and sense of flow, and that it gets me emotionally. If it doesn’t ‘work’ I won’t release it.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by awjoe »

RichardT wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:34 pm ...for example I feel that Bach is better than Vivaldi, and Mahler better than Vaughan Williams.

"Bach is better than Vivaldi"= I like Bach better than Vivaldi

Hope you agree with my tweak.

So, if 'Air on a G String' moves you more than anything you've ever written yourself, does that mean you don't believe in your own stuff as much? From what you've said, it sounds like you believe in your own stuff as long as it achieves a certain standard of excellence.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by RichardT »

awjoe wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:40 pm
RichardT wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:34 pm ...for example I feel that Bach is better than Vivaldi, and Mahler better than Vaughan Williams.

"Bach is better than Vivaldi"= I like Bach better than Vivaldi

Hope you agree with my tweak.

So, if 'Air on a G String' moves you more than anything you've ever written yourself, does that mean you don't believe in your own stuff as much? From what you've said, it sounds like you believe in your own stuff as long as it achieves a certain standard of excellence.

Yes, that's what it comes down to - even though I feel one is better than the other, I know that doesn't have any objective basis.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by awjoe »

Okay, we seem to be on the same, or a similar, page. So can we go a bit deeper on this one? This thread title caught my attention right away, and right from the start I was having trouble with the meaning of 'believe in' - that terminology doesn't really seem to apply to my attitude toward my own music. I mean, do you 'believe in' your body, for example? I don't 'believe in' my body and I don't 'believe in' my music - they're both just facts of existence.

Maybe it would be easier for me to deal with questions like:

How much do you like your own music?

What is your music worth to you?

If I understand tea for two correctly, he's (she's?) saying you have to feel your music has an inherent positive value, even if you compare it to other people's music.
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Re: Belief in the Music we make

Post by GilesAnt »

Of course Bach is better than Vivaldi - there was a quote somewhere about Vivaldi not writing 200 concertos, but writing one concerto 200 times.
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