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Variety and its benefits

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How much variety is in your listening?


My personal experience has been the more the better.  My wife and I are both music lovers but have different areas of knowledge regarding genres.  I know much more about Blues, Jazz, Country, Gospel, and Classical artists than her.  In Rock, R&B, Pop, or Hip Hop she is more familiar with more artists.  As a result we have a large and varied musical diet.


This is only an opinion, I’m sure you have yours, but I believe too much uniformity in listening leads to too much uniformity in your art.  Variety in listening can help you from sounding too derivative.


What are your thoughts on this?

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A cautionary tale which is related to the above post.


The most talented songwriter I have ever met died broke because of his insistence on purity and not being willing to adapt.  I will not mention his name out of respect for his family.


He had a gold record.  Early in his career he was compared to John Lennon in published reviews.  He did a gig backed by the Houston Symphony Orchestra.


He would not listen.  I kept telling him “This is not the 1970s any more.  No one will pay to hear this.”  His last gigs were at restaurants and a writer’s night for donations.


This was a man capable of producing material that could have him playing stadiums.


His last years were spent living on the benefits from his wife’s life insurance policy and his daughter working two jobs.  If you google his name you will get many hits from the life insurance ad about their policy saving his home.

Edited by Clay Anderson Johnson
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