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Why Do You Write Music?

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People write songs or other forms of music for many reasons. Some write music. Some write lyrics. Some write both.


Some write to express themselves. Some write to communicate an opinion, an idea, or a vision. Some write as a product or a service. Some simply write because they “have to”.


I write strictly to have a vehicle. It is my least favorite part of the music process. I write simply to have new material. My creative drive revolves more around playing than writing.


What is your reason?

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I write music – often for my own pleasure – both because I've done it all my life and because we've never had technology such as this.  As I was growing up, I subscribed to [Contemporary ...] Keyboard Magazine, and I lusted after stories about artists who could – and, did – spend $100,000+ for a customized "Synclavier" or a "Fairlight."  Never in my wildest dreams imagining that one day I would have access to far more than this ... in some cases literally for nothing.


Today, we not only have "a word-processor for music," but unbelievable and unprecedented post-production capabilities.  We have "more than enough computer power and storage space" to take advantage of it all.  So, if you can't think of a song to write and say that you can't manage to write one – "don't blame the hardware!!" 😀  Because "you live in interesting times," and it isn't a curse.

Edited by MikeRobinson
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4 hours ago, Popthree said:

i used to write simply to have new material..that's how i started writing songs in the first place.  a friend wanted to start an all original rock band and he talked me into joining.  prior to that i had never considered writing a song, but here i was cranking out a bunch of drivel so 'our' new band would have material to perform.  


a couple of bands and years later, i was actually writing some fairly decent songs, and i kept at it, again, so my band would have new material to perform.


nowadays i'm not in a band.  i still write.  why?  well, i'm not really sure.  it kind of makes me miserable honestly.  i write a song.  i think its wonderful.  i share it with others.  1 or 2 people say 'nice song' OR no one says anything.  i develop a complex. rinse. repeat. 


It is funny that our paths have almost opposite directions. I started out learning guitar and writing songs. Then in college I started doing stand-ins with different bands as a soloist because I played Clapton, Beck, and Page while playing in other college type bands. Next I was in the Chitlin' Circuit with Black guys for a while. 


Later I tried songwriting again after learning keyboards and adding that to the mix. Then I moved to LA, took courses at UCLA in Music Business, and played lead guitar in a band for 5 years which played original music with none of my songs but I was happy with that. I also made some great connections with music business people in my time there.


I have friends in Nashville where I am a union member, but overexposure to Country music has kept me away from there for the last two years. I'm a heavy percussion guy and that is not my scene.


Lately on my own, I record band music but I play all the parts including drums. I've found my musical voice but for the most part it is instrumental. I am an adequate singer but prefer to back someone who is great. 


I would like to play live again. My biggest obstacle now is my musical style requires a 6-8 person band, multiple percussion with horns and female vocalist, which means union musicians who have to be paid. I have a small group of investors who see a future in me but are not heavy enough to pay for forming and rehearsing a tour band.

Edited by Clay Anderson Johnson
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1 hour ago, MikeRobinson said:

Today, we not only have "a word-processor for music," but unbelievable and unprecedented post-production capabilities.  We have "more than enough computer power and storage space" to take advantage of it all.


I record with Logic Pro. It is a tremendous advance over paying for studio time while listening to an employee telling you how your music should sound. Also there is no pressure to get a take right because of the cost of the studio.


Conversely the more electronic the instrumentation sounds have become, the more I have returned to the sound of traditional instruments even if they are software created.


My musical voice is heavy percussion, Hammond organ, electric guitar, and horns. The horns and organ are created with software using a digital piano. The drums are primarily live with the addition of loops for congas.



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