What Makes Good Music? Technical Or Appealing?

What Makes Good Music? Technical Or Appealing?

After talking to a friend recently, I realized that many people do not understand how competitive writing music is. When you walk into Guitar Center, pick up a guitar, sit down and start playing, only then do you realize that the guy next to you is playing rock opera that he has practiced like a million times, he is doing it to show off to other musicians. Then, you realize it is competitive. When you walk into a small, local instrument shop and the owner says to you, “this is a really nice guitar, you should check it out”, then instead of handing you the instrument, proceeds to rock out some ungodly complex riff, you realize it’s competitive. Finally, when you are in a band, it never fails, that if you play out enough, you will eventually have “friend bands” and “enemy bands.” Trust me, it’s as competitive as an sports or martial arts meet.

This is the evolution of music in general, but metal music makes takes it an impressive level. It’s competition taken to the finest. Basically, technical complexity is held above most other aspects. Melody, story, tone, are all held constant, but technical complexity is celebrated. Classical music is even more competitive, it’s music that is really only appreciable by other musicians and those who are very educated in music. Music by musicians, for musicians. It’s more of a technical endeavor like breeding plants or programming.

Pop music on the other hand, is written for the average person, sometimes to the exclusion of any technical merit. To consistently write music that is appealing is it’s own special challenge, this is why Nashville exists.

So, this brings me to the philosophy I am taking with my nnext band. I am not trying to write music for other musicians, nor am I trying to write music exclusively for the masses. I think there is a happy medium where the music is technically challenging enough to be fun, the lyrics contain subject matter broad enough to appeal to the masses, but deep enough to appeal to philosophers. The goal is to write consistently good music and I believe that is as big of a challenge as writing technically complicated music. Oh, and if we can do this consistently over and over and over, we will be better than any other band in the world!

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A Reflection on Travel and Learning in 2016

A Reflection on Travel and Learning in 2016

From a travel and learning perspective, this was one of the best years of my life. I did a ton of travel which I never dreamed would have been possible.  I have always loved cities and I continue to love exploring them, but this year, I started to get out into nature mo read more

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Quick Reflection on the Books I Read in 2016

Quick Reflection on the Books I Read in 2016

Walden by Henry David Thoreau I remembered being forced to read this in high school. I tried to tackle this again in 2016 but honestly, I got very bored and moved on. As an adult, I found a couple of things very lame. First, he could still hear traffic from the road and read more

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War of the Chicago Cabbies

War of the Chicago Cabbies

So, I was on the way back to the hotel from the Chicago office today and I got to talking with the cabbie, who was from Nigeria. We were discussing the finer points of life and digressed into talk of what languages he spoke. He spoke a little Spanish and a few words in read more

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Travel Hacking, Europe and Open Source

Travel Hacking, Europe and Open Source

    So, I just scheduled my first free trip to Europe. Last year I went to Belgium for about $900 total between flight and hotel, but this year the flight is free (actually $180 in fees). I am going with two friends and they each paid about $800 – $900 f read more

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