I had a really good chat with someone last night and it was about the ‘modern’ music world. Our shared feeling was that with today’s approaches to promotion we possibly know TOO MUCH about the music, the artists, how things are made. This means that by the time an album drops we’ve lost that magic and mystery that used to be there on first listen back in the day. Now this discussion was mainly focused on major commercial artists but I think it’s applicable to underground artists too.

Fact TV with their ‘Against the clock’, Point Blank/Sonic Academy/Manchester MIDI school with their deconstructions – these people are allowing us to know possibly too much about how people work.. It could be argued in some cases they are lowering the ‘stars’ down to our level.. showing them as being perhaps too human. I can see why many do it though, it’s often financial (certainly in the case of ‘courses’ from artists at some of the schools) – getting paid to go over one of your reject tunes is a good way of making use of wasted time and earning something for it. If it’s not financial it’s done on the promise of extra promotion.. bringing attention to the artist/school/channel – much more than helping the viewers to learn more.

Now i’m not against TEACHING/INSTRUCTING.. I class that as different. Showing people how to use techniques that they can adapt to shape their own sound is the way forward. Core knowledge, core skills.. these are the most important things to learn. Everything else is window dressing.. giving things context. I’m guilty of window dressing on my channel.. but I have little time and i’m not running it as a business.. others are and they have time and financial resources to do things better. I’m encouraging all of you focusing on deconstructions and behind the scenes stuff to consider the long term implications to the way people experience music as LISTENERS/CONSUMERS in the future.

I can see a backlash coming, in the future people might prefer to know less about the ‘names’ on their scene.. to bring that MAGIC back. To bring back the excitement of listening and experiencing the music for what it is.. MUSIC.

Those of you who want to learn can keep learning, i’m all for information sharing – it’s a major part of who I am. I just think we need more innovation, more individuals, more characters…. people who make something that sounds so unique, so interesting.. and we never know how it happened.. how it was made.. bringing back the MAGIC to music (Burial anyone). Stop focusing on what others are doing.. focus on yourself, your sound, who you are, where you sit in the big picture.. If you sound like everyone else out there WHAT IS THE POINT?



  1. This is a good topic of conversation. Perhaps the current state of in respect an up & coming artist’s marketability has given birth to a flock of lemmings in which the majority simply want to follow the flavor of the month for an opportunity to be recognized? Granted at the expense of adding to the volume of those sounding like artist/musician “x”. The sharing of information in this age is a wonderful thing especially when it can inspire others to be creative and “pay it forward” as the saying goes.

  2. I was sat in the pub the other day and Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’ came on. I was enjoying listening to it in that environment. My ears were listening to the bass and kick relationship, his use of effects risers and shit. Now, I know he made that in Fruity loops and its not particularly well engineered and I can almost see what the project looked like – no mystery at all for me about that track.. but looking around the pub, did anyone else give a fuck? No. they were just nodding, singing along to a great tune. The masses dont care about how – and it still remains a mystery. Sure, there are lots of newbs who think they know it all because they watched a tutorial, but half of them wont be making music next year. Almost all of them wont be making anything you will hear. And most people dont care anyway. So I say, dont sweat it. Feel proud of your invaluable contribution to education. But always, there is no plug-in for talent and there sure as hell aint no switch for ‘luck’.. so wtf?! just keep on keepin on. Music is fun and awesome. I take solice from that fact and that I am blessed to be able to make a living from it.

  3. Well i love the concept that most do not even break it down but then once ive listened to a track and broke down the beats to bars, and drops, i find that its ostly repetative loops that have been altered in a way to get you going.. i have tried myself countless times to do the same and i just cant get off the 8 bar loop chaging things constantly till i have totally lost the original beat and melody i had originally started with.. i agree theres no right way and wrong to learn or teach music and some of it is purely from talent to feel or place that bar or beat in the right spot.. All in all my downfall was no one told me that learning the basics of chords and WHAT goes togather ie A chord to C chord. anyways i will be watching the site for tutorials etc and maybe just maybe ill get it and one day make something for real. Thanks for the post….

  4. Herbie Hancock was one of my first introductions to Jazz in my late teens…. I was so inspired that I wanted to do what he did for myself. What he was doing was magical for me, and I wanted to understand it. I was lucky enough to have piano lessons as a child, so I had a musical grounding, but this didn’t stop my quest for knowledge. This started by transcribing his solos, buying sheet music, using my ear to work out chords, and ultimately practicing as much as I could. I took some Jazz keyboard lessons. The magic never went.. if anything it inspired me more, and made me realise how much of a mountain there was to climb.
    Everyone has their own journey, and my personal goal has always been to make my own music, have my own voice.
    Learning the chord sequence of your favourite track might take away its mystery & magic, but it will also become part of your musical vocabulary, and will ultimately empower you.
    Just because I know how to play the riff from ‘White Noise’ by Disclosure doesn’t make me think anything less of them.

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