What Makes A Musician?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by 33db, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Mouse

    Mouse The Knees of Rock

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    I'm very much the same way. I love playing covers in many styles and for most songs can give you a reasonable approximation of the tune. I've written stuff but is it anything that anyone wants to hear? Probably not...and that's just fine. There's this weird online thing where if you're not creating, you're "less than". I don't know...it's a different skill set I think. I know a lot of "idea men" who can't execute worth a damn. We can all write but can we write novels? Classical music orchestras are filled with brilliant musicians (and they ARE musicians by any definition) who will never write their own concerto. That doesn't diminish their abilities despite their technically being "cover artists".

    Honestly I'm over all of this hair splitting, cover shaming and whatever else the online community throws out there. Let's just play our damn guitars and have fun. We can only live up to our own expectations and definitions.
     
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  2. stratmatt777

    stratmatt777 Strat-O-Master

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    Hmmm... So then the parents have to be musicians to make musicians!

    My dad and all his brothers are musicians... and I know that Neal Schon's dad was a musician... Carlos Santana's dad was too... not sure about SRV or Hendrix though.

    I do think that playing saxophone from age 10 to 17 gave me a natural sense of pitch and made it pretty easy to learn to bend on-pitch instantly. That and being totally obsessed with listening to all kinds of music all the time for decades.
     
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  3. stratmatt777

    stratmatt777 Strat-O-Master

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    Is it really that you cannot songwright or is it that you are like me and that it is just too easy to put on your favorite album and play along or more interesting to learn a new solo that sounds impossible? For me, the issue is a combination of being distracted by the internet (like right now!), plus probably a bit of perfectionism-caused procrastination. In the end, it's just lack of discipline and internet obsession for me.

    I have 300 pages of lyrics from the last 24 years that all need music. Now how stupid is THAT?! I mean, that's really dumb.
    The cure for internet addiction is discipline. I should try it sometime.
    Now I think that this comment was written to me, not to you! :)

    For the last year now, I can also blame my German Shepherd for being a constant distraction who needs play time and also loves to lie about needing to go out to potty when he just wants to play. But before him, I have no excuses other than laziness/lack of focus.
     
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  4. AncientAx

    AncientAx Still hacking ....

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    I have no idea , I’m just a hack having fun .
     
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  5. stratmatt777

    stratmatt777 Strat-O-Master

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    Wow, that is cool. Surprising that it sounds so good....
    I bet that this song absolutely terrifies Elon Musk (he thinks that AI will eventually kill us).
     
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  6. stratmatt777

    stratmatt777 Strat-O-Master

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    Please don't turn this into a thread about Deftones, Dream Theater, Bob Dylan, David Bowie or Norwegian Black Death Metal.
     
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  7. Cold Shot

    Cold Shot Strat-O-Master

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    Nor am I trying to. Bieber has the same problem Lady Gaga has. Lady Gaga is a wonderful piano player and singer. There's a clip of her somewhere when she was on Howard Stern with just her and a piano and she KILLED it. So it's perfectly obvious that they both have musical talent, but that talent isn't reflected in their music. Why? Because of that fat paycheck.

    And I realize that musicians are doing it to make money, but I just feel like music is an art form and people who compromise the "art" portion of it to make a buck (a.k.a. "sellouts") and produce a run-of-the-mill pop single aren't musicians. It's just my personal opinion, right or wrong as it may be.

    I just don't consider pop icons, who sell out, as musicians, but just entertainers. Because that's what they do. Entertain.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  8. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Silver Member

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    How do you decide where the compromise is or if there’s a compromise at all?

    Is it possible that they didn’t ‘sellout’ at all?
     
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  9. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    I think that if any of us tried to reproduce a Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga track, we would find it takes a good deal more musical talent and just plain hard work than one might expect.
     
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  10. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    You try singing any Gaga song while doing athletic dances in stiletto heels. She's not just a talented pianist (and synth player), she's also a guitarist, singer, songwriter--and athletic dancer. I couldn't dance like that for a full hour set, let alone sing while doing it. Some may find the production offensive (it is pop, after all) but there's a lot of substance to it.

    Gaga is one of the greatest artists since 2000. And IMO much easier to listen to than a whole lot of the pop stars that came before. I'll take Gaga over Michael Jackson or Madonna or Brittney Spears any day.
     
  11. Cold Shot

    Cold Shot Strat-O-Master

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    It's possible, but if you need auto tune to help you sing and computers to make your music for you, then maybe it's time to consider a different career path. Obviously, some pop icons, such as Bieber or Lady Gaga, don't NEED all of that, so then, why do they do it? Only thing I can think of is money.

    It's just my opinion.
     
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  12. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two. Platinum Supporting Member

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    Musician? No.
    Guitar player? No.
    I am just a guy with a router that is trying to learn how to play his creations.
    Thanks to the support here, progress is being made.
     
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  13. MIJ1988

    MIJ1988 Strat-Talk Member

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    Are you a parrot or can you hold a conversation?
     
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  14. Mouse

    Mouse The Knees of Rock

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    There is nothing about this song that is “run of the mill” pop. In fact, it’s a fairly sophisticated arrangement. I think there’s a lot bias because it’s obviously not a guitar song.

     
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  15. Mouse

    Mouse The Knees of Rock

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    No one does anything for free. Last I looked I still need to pay for a Lou Reed album (not that I would) and he got slapped with the “artist” label more than many.

    Could it possibly be that both GaGa and Bieber simply enjoy those styles of music? From early videos of GaGa that I’ve seen, she was playing danceable tunes well before fame and money hit.
     
  16. Tall Paul

    Tall Paul Strat-Talk Member

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    Not to forget that what we hear is the result of the music industry and producers and remixers sprinkling their fairy dust all over it. I have heard Justin Bieber described as a child prodigy and very gifted.
    Who knew how good Prince was at first? Go see them before we judge them or find some footage somewhere if lock down prevents us.
    Personally I know my level and I am not happy with it and I strive to improve but could not call myself a musician, probably ever.
     
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  17. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

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    The term :musician" gets tossed about a heck of a lot. Are you a musician? Well, in my opinion.. just playing an instrument to some degree of fluidity does not make you a musician. Hey, how many out there have had to do a car repair... you research a bit on YouTube... find that changing the radiator isn't as involved as you thought.. so you do it yourself... Ok.. are you now a "Mechanic"?.. we all know the answer... and it's NO, just because being you were able to change out the radiator in your car doesn't make you a mechanic... it makes you a person who has mechanical inclinations but, it's a far cry from owning/running an auto repair shop... taking in diff makes/models.. charging coin for the repair work... getting paid.. building a reputation as a good shop, etc.. there's a huge difference here.

    So are you a musician?... for one... if you have to ask it points in the direction that it's highly unlikely that you are one.. Ask yourself:
    have you spent countless hours willfully investing in your talents and craft?... all because it's something you WANT to do... do you feel it's important that you take responsibility for what your role in a band setting is?... are you consistently prepared to do what a guitar player should be doing to contribute to the band's performance/product?... Do you support yourself by means that are directly linked to your ability/talents as a guitarist?... I think you get the point I'm making.

    Hey, there's nothing wrong playing in a band or with friends (or at the open mic)... having fun and getting something worthwhile out of it.. but, the term "Musician" or the statement "I am a Musician" gets tossed about much too much... and frankly, it's a bit of an insult when that guy who knows a few cowboy chords and just naile "Purple Haze" off the tabs online all the sudden comes to this conclusion that... "well, I learned some Jimi riffs off the tabs and can play a couple of tunes all the way thru... yep, I'm a musician now!"
    Nope... sorry... still NOT a musician...
    BTW- Not posting this to ruffle any feathers.. however, I feel some common sense need be applied to the is topic. Folks who simply can play a bit or have some natural propensity to the instrument are should not get a free pass and automatically lumped into the "Musician" category... there's more to it that that.. a LOT more..
    Thanks for letting me share..
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  18. midlifecrisis

    midlifecrisis New Member!

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    At the risk of sounding pretentious - it's about communicating emotion and "meaning" through subtle control of the sound coming out of the instrument we play - requiring a combination of technical ability, knowledge and experience and artistic sensibility.
     
  19. silhouette

    silhouette Strat-O-Master

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    A musician searches for the meaning behind the music and endeavours to express it.
     
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  20. Buzzhead59

    Buzzhead59 Strat-Talk Member

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    well said