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Old 01-06-2016, 03:52 PM   #180
Disco King
Minion of Satan
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Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
When I came back from my terrible relationship/kidnapping thing, I got really inspired right away. I had also not been allowed to play guitar for like, 4 years. I found some freedom in it, expressing myself, and I would call it "being my own [person]" - so I do know what teh bolly means. It was all very inspired and whenever someone I know hears it because it comes up or something, they are generally impressed.

But that was after 4+ years of trauma and being unable to express myself at all. It was all the pain but all the wonder at being a free person again. It was finding normalcy, not having to be worried about being assaulted sexually or otherwise. It was finding drugs for the first time, doing stupid young adult things, having a job that paid shit but I liked a lot that I wouldn't be forced to quit arbitrarily just as I was getting comfortable. I think that kind of feeling of freedom and transcendence is really hard to pull off without such an extreme and extended event happening right before it. For example, I had strategies as to how I slept - position of body, of blanket - in an attempt to not draw my bf's attention so he wouldn't come rape me basically. Just being able to lay however I wanted was so amazing! Taking LSD was amazing - being able to have that kind of "control" over my environment, patterns and shit, and really being able to feel it without worrying what would happen in 5 hours or 5 minutes because no one was going to hurt me.

And even though it was so abnormal, I still had just ended a 4+ year relationship which does inspire extreme feelings by itself.

I've never been able to replicate it but I do have those songs to revisit sometimes.
That makes sense. A lot of artists seem to be able to express their personal experiences, especially harrowing ones, through their music in a way that really connects to other people. The things you went through sound awful, and it's really amazing that you could be doing what you're doing now despite it, when many other people in similar situations probably aren't fortunate enough to recover to that extent. Kinda reminds me of how Corgan said "Tonight, Tonight" was sort of a message to himself to believe in himself because of how he persevered despite his abusive childhood.

I've tried in the past to write songs about my personal hangups, but each time, it'd just come off as so trite and cringeworthy, like high school poetry (well, I guess a lot of it literally was high school poetry...), so I'd always scrap it. I guess that has more to do with lyrics than guitar, but I also have a hard time creating lyrics and music that symbiotically work with each other and say the same thing and reinforce each other's meanings, rather than just being arbitrarily paired. If I start with lyrics, it just ends up being bad poetry. If I start with music, I just end up filling it in with nonsense words that rhyme and fit in the bars.

I think that I always just end up feeling that my personal woes or whatever just aren't profound enough to not be cringeworthy to write about, and I just feel like I'm being melodramatic and whining when I try to use that stuff in music. I mean, when I hear about the things you went through, I'm like "I had it pretty easy. How can I whine about my life after that?" One of the most trying experiences I've recently had didn't really inspire me to create art from it. It just drained me to the point that I didn't even pick up my guitar for a long time. Even reflecting on it now doesn't give me any retrospective thoughts on it that I could do something with. I just go "ugh that was so shitty."

I think for a while, I tried giving up the angst thing and trying to write sort of heady psychedelic lyrics. But that's not me, either. I'm not some cool far-out space shaman guy. I'm a textbook square. I mean, I barely even go to parties or drink or anything, most of my time is spent going to school and playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes these days.

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 View Post
you're right, it is pretty abstract stuff, and i'm probably doing a poor job conveying my own realizations that have come after long years of search. i don't mean to make myself out to be a master guru of songwriting and guitarplaying, i have just worked at it very long and only recently really started to feel like i'm finding my own voice.
I don't think you're conveying yourself badly. I just tend to need more clarification when it comes to things that are more intuitive than operational. I've totally dug your posts so far, though.

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 View Post
what i mean by the "being your own man" part, is that if you try and write a song, and continuously doubt and second guess yourself, you're destroying your own inspiration. if you take a song and write it and rewrite it dozens of times and still hate it (god knows i've been guilty of this for a loooong time), you are ultimately just obscuring who you really are, by trying to be like music you like from other artists.
I kind of agree and disagree. On the one hand, I think a good part of what somebody's identity is is their tastes and what they like and dislike. So, if you dislike something you've written, that in itself says something about who you are and how much the thing represents you. It may be that you feel you aren't really expressing yourself.

But I do agree about me probably just trying to ape music from other artists. I don't feel I've found my "voice" yet. It's more like, "hey, I like The Cure, I'm gonna write a song that sounds like The Cure. I also like Slowdive, so I'm gonna write a song that sounds like Slowdive." I haven't gotten to the point where I can just write something that sounds like me. At the same time, though, I wonder if that just comes with the territory of being a beginner. Like, if you listen to the early music of various artists, it seems to be more derivative than their later stuff, when they would grow into their own sounds. Corgan in The Marked sounds like he's trying to do the new wave/gothy/post-punk thing. He even dressed goth in those days. Maybe I just have to write some derivative shit before I write some unique shit.

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 View Post
the idea is to teach yourself to accept what comes out of you and try to go with it, rather than force it into being everything you ever liked about music. no one song can encapsulate everything about you. just let it be what it is - a picture of you in time. just say what you want to say. hum a melody that comes to mind. fuck around with it. see how it evolves.

when you revisit it much later, i think you'll find many times, that it wasn't nearly as bad as you thought. i'm probably still not very clear but anyway.
Yeah, I think one hurdle I need to get over is that I just need to let myself write for the sake of writing, and let myself write things that I'm not in love with so that I can get the practice. I feel like I'm crippled by not wanting to create shit, as if I'm supposed to come out with music on par with the music I admire straight out of the gate, when the music I admire weren't the first-ever songs by their respective artists. I'm pretty much immobilized, which means I can never improve and progress.

Much easier said than done, though. Trying to just power through something I don't have my heart in is like trying to push my head through a lightyear of saltwater taffy.

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 View Post
and also, just to clarify - i absolutely don't think knowing your shit or being a great guitar player is for wankers. so if that's where your heart's at, go for it.
but keep in mind that so much of what you like about music, is probably mostly very simple chords and songwriting. soma is based on around 5-6 chords.
there's an infinite amount of songs with 3-4 chords in them that come to life and become "three dimensional", because what's around it is beautiful. that's what counts. and that's what i mean when i say you need to find your inspiration. you can write amazing songs with the simplest chords and zero guitar histrionics. ok i'll stop.
Yeah, I think I need to find balance. I don't have scales other than the minor pentatonic completely ingrained in muscle memory yet (I have to think about them if I want to play them), so I default to mindless bluesy noodling, and in a lot of cases, it just doesn't express me or the kinds of things I have in my head. So, that seems to be a case where increasing my technical knowledge of scales would increase my ability to express myself.

But in other cases, I could probably create something good out of basic cowboy chords, and I just need to learn to be a better songwriter to make something of it.

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