Stop Trying To Write Your Masterpiece

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Might be relevant to some... (parts of it definitely hit home for me)...

Why does the actual music fall short of what we are hearing when we write?

that's a very insightful link- some of the comments to the post in the link are worth checking out, too...

I need to store that somewhere to re-read every now and then. Especially the part about leading from curiosity and creating just to please me, first and foremost. Thanks for sharing it!


from the article: suddenly the stakes are higher, the walls closer, and curiosity morphs into aggression

I can think of at least 4 times in the last week I've set myself up like this (not just music, but in my sewing and costuming too)

Very timely. Thank you for posting this.

Yes, make a mess Smile

Yes, some of my students best Paintings were on gesso' brown paper garbage bags, I insisted they use, --not the store bought canvas. The n$ linen stretched canvas either remained pristine White, or was total Krappe. --Funny, how that works out... just, paint, authentically.

The next question then was, but that's not "Archival", -- just a look, and a smile, pointing to the door..., wrong room, wrong building, wrong vocation... wrong mentor.

As a teacher of very young musicians I find myself saying this every day. "Yes you sound terrible on that clarinet, and you will for a while longer. You have to play the bad sounds to get to the good sounds, so just enjoy it. I'm giving you permission to make loud honking terrible sounds at home. It's fun!" I've never been interested in making a "classic." Mostly, I just enjoy writing songs. My frustration comes when people don't seem to like listening to me perform them. The one song that a lot of my performing musician friends like... they're more successful singing it than I am, because they're more successful performers. It's irritating, but if I want that to change it's going to take time and patience, and might never really change with time and patience. That's life. It's okay. If you don't enjoy doing it despite the fact that it sometimes sucks, then you should't be doing it.

You want to know what the saddest part of that is for me, personally?

Its right. I've written my fact, I've got about 12-13 songs that have taken me around 8 years to compile just sitting on my hard drive, waiting for a day that I feel will never come. I can't make music...don't know how, don't know anything about it and don't have money to pay someone to make me some "beats" so therefore I'm a lonely man on a lonely island because no one likes poor people.

So I've got what I feel could be ONE of the greatest pop albums EVER written just sitting here....but no opportunity to make it happen. I just retreat to my couch with Fallout 4 on PS4, a pizza from the local delivery establishment and a glass of lemonade I'm fortunate to have been able to afford this week.

I've put in the hard work, put in the time and paid my dues but have gotten outside of that aspect, the article is spot on for me, and that's sad.

@MichaelEpic You can learn a lot about music in 8 weeks, if you want. There's software you can get free online. You can learn about music online. There are music lessons available in Camden TN.

Now, if you're looking for someone to make professional beats for you for free, the probability is small. If your stuff is REALLY GOOD, and you can sing REALLY WELL, there are producers who are looking for ways to make money. So if what you have is better than what they have, they might be interested.

To master something takes about 1000 hours of focused work. So if you're serious, put down the PS4, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and start learning. You've had 8 years.

Yep, lots of good stuff in the link in the original post (nice find, Pete!).

There are folks out there with natural talent, I don't doubt that for one moment. But for the rest of us, as @iveg has already noted above it's all about putting in the hours. That doesn't mean picking up your instrument and playing what you always play on it, whether it be the first sixteen bars of "Stairway to Heaven" on the guitar or "Chopsticks" on the piano. You'll never improve that way. It's about applying yourself, setting specific (small) goals that will help you improve and working on them, one minute at a time.

For what it's worth, I wrote a couple of blog posts on this recently; one on the subject of achieving mastery:

and one on the difference between practising and just playing :

(Hmm, the board breaks NAME refernces in URLs, doesn't it?)

@MichaelEpic If you want an example of how far you can get in 8 years, you should hear what I was writing the first time I did FAWM, eight years ago. I listen to those songs now and cringe (and I physically can't listen to some of those songs in their entirety, they really are that bad). But I learned a huge amount by writing dozens and dozens of songs that absolutely sucked. It's enabled me to get to the point where I can create stuff that I'm actually pleased with, some of the time.

The songs you have in your head will never make you famous. You have to put in the hours, do the work and get them out of your head and into your headphones - it's as simple as that.

Note that the original article is Jesse writing to his 18 year old self.
If it was me, writing to 18 year old me, I'd be even harsher. And 18 year old me wouldn't listen.

I agreed with that article. I don't worry on my songs being good, I worry on if they are completed or feel completed. I also don't worry about the lyrics being good most of the time. I would rather have lyrics that are total nonsense but sound good with my mouth. Than good lyrics that sound bad with my mouth. I may not like the songs at first but after a few weeks of listening I start to like them!

I'm also a big fan of limiting myself in order to get my demos/lyrics/songs finished. Which is another good option to suggest and relatable to the subject.

I honestly think the time to wait for someone to do the songs for you can be better spent on collaborating on someone here for new material. Try to establish a relationship with a collaborator first, and then after that you can both collaborate on the songs you need to be released. Are you a lyricist? You claimed that you have songs that are ready to be released but yet you don't know how to do music. And you also claimed that they are a masterpiece. How do you that they are a masterpiece? Maybe you meant the lyrics and you had a melody in your mind that could lead to that being a masterpiece.