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Objectivism And Creation Of Music.

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I've read OPAR and the Esthetics section of the book mainly talks about literature and art but it doesn't touch base on music too often.

I myself am a musician of sorts and I find it hard to finish material or find the 'inspiration' to start new material.

When I do get 'hit' with the motivation to start a new project it ends up not turning out like I wanted halfway through and I end up stopping it (in hopes that I'll continue it at a later date).

I've read tons of material on creativity online and everyone seems to sum it up in this 'mystical' way. Kind of like, "tap into your inner self in order to do it" and I don't grasp that, well not the way I think they implied it.

I don't hear music in my head, I just see structure and form....I don't really 'feel' what I'm writing while I'm writing it, I just do it and what comes out is what comes out...After its done I can sit back and 'feel' it (so to speak).

I'm having a problem with all this, the reason why is because at one point in time I couldn't think of anything better to do with my time than make music. I wrote a song a day, now I can barely get one a month, and even then it's not to the calibre of production I know I'm capable of.

Anyone else had this sort of "writers block" of music or has anyone had any experience with anyone else on this subject?

How does Objectivism answer these questions?

~Michael

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I myself am a musician of sorts and I find it hard to finish material or find the 'inspiration' to start new material.

As I gather from another thread, you are about to begin reading The Fountainhead for the first time.

At the beginning of the last section ("Howard Roark") you will meet a young man who is, perhaps, like you. While riding his bicycle through the countryside, he finds the inspiration he was seeking.

Maybe you will too. ;)

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I myself am a musician of sorts and I find it hard to finish material or find the 'inspiration' to start new material....

I don't hear music in my head, I just see structure and form....I don't really 'feel' what I'm writing while I'm writing it, I just do it and what comes out is what comes out...After its done I can sit back and 'feel' it (so to speak). 

I'm having a problem with all this, the reason why is because at one point in time I couldn't think of anything better to do with my time than make music.  I wrote a song a day, now I can barely get one a month, and even then it's not to the calibre of production I know I'm capable of.

Michael, since you wrote to me personally and asked that I comment on this thread, I will not hesitate in expressing a similar concern, yet again, that I have expressed to you before. Here you discuss your emotional distance in the process of creating, and also indicate that your motivation or inspiration to create music is seriously lacking. And yet, in a previous thread where you brought up the issue of drugs, you claimed that you "as a musician find that marijuana helps my creativity."

Michael, when we last spoke of your use of drugs I cautioned against their use as a "quick fix," and indicated that some of the real issues you face may be psychological. I am not a psychologist but it does not take too much insight to see the possible connection in your continued use of drugs just masking the real problems that are not being dealt with. Perhaps what you really need is the help of a decent psychologist to assist in guiding you through the identification and resolution of what is standing in your way of being able to create what you say that you love.

With that said, there is one book I would suggest that you might find somewhat useful. I am not in the habit of recommending approaches based on Gestalt psychology, but I do think there is material in this book that may be of some help to you. The book is by Max Wertheimer and it is titled Productive Thinking. There is even a small section in the book which uses examples from the field of music. It is available new at all of the usual sources and there are inexpensive used copies copiously available. You might give this a try, but I urge you to also consider the more fundamental approach I mentioned above.

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Michael, since you wrote to me personally and asked that I comment on this thread, I will not hesitate in expressing a similar concern, yet again, that I have expressed to you before. Here you discuss your emotional distance in the process of creating, and also indicate that your motivation or inspiration to create music is seriously lacking. And yet, in a previous thread where you brought up the issue of drugs, you claimed that you "as a musician find that marijuana helps my creativity."

Michael, when we last spoke of your use of drugs I cautioned against their use as a "quick fix," and indicated that some of the real issues you face may be psychological. I am not a psychologist but it does not take too much insight to see the possible connection in your continued use of drugs just masking the real problems that are not being dealt with. Perhaps what you really need is the help of a decent psychologist to assist in guiding you through the identification and resolution of what is standing in your way of being able to create what you say that you love.

With that said, there is one book I would suggest that you might find somewhat useful. I am not in the habit of recommending approaches based on Gestalt psychology, but I do think there is material in this book that may be of some help to you. The book is by Max Wertheimer and it is titled Productive Thinking. There is even a small section in the book which uses examples from the field of music. It is available new at all of the usual sources and there are inexpensive used copies copiously available. You might give this a try, but I urge you to also consider the more fundamental approach I mentioned above.

Stephen, I appreciate your blunt approach to this situation. No one has ever put it to me like that (in person or on a message board) and I have to say that I'm seriously considering speaking to a professional on the subject of my drug usage. I don't think that the marijuana is the main issue here though, I think that books like you suggested may be the answer, but I have a question about this Gestalt Psychology you speak of. I looked up the book and it seems very interesting, I'm pickin' it up later today, but I'm not familiar with Gestalt Psychology, and the way you said "I'm not in the habit of recomending approaches based on Gestalt Psychology" makes me wonder why.

Also, this brings me to the question of Psychology and its differences from Philosophy (or it's connection).

Is psychology something that can be 'fixed' by a correct philosophy and can it be 'fixed' by oneself or is it something that relies on a trained professional? I've seen a psychologist before and it was very beneficial at the time and it helped me work out a lot, but since then I've become a student of my mind so that I can understand the err's of my pshychi myself. I've personally never made a distinction between my psychology and my philosophies...perhaps I'm uneducated on the subject but I've always understood the mind as something that one can control with the correct discipline (a correct philosophy). I'm 23 now with no formal education (other than highschool diploma) and I've gone from being a devout christian to following Toltec Indian beleifs to even Buddhism...now a door has been opened to infinite understanding of myself and how I interact with people just from me subscribing to Objectivism.

Perhaps I'm confused on the subject, but I am currently under the impression that a disciplined philosophy is all one needs to handle the issues of now, your past, and the future (which includes psychological issues).

~Michael

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Is psychology something that can be 'fixed' by a correct philosophy and can it be 'fixed' by oneself or is it something that relies on a trained professional?

Yes, Yes, and No, respectively. It does not require a professional, though an objectivist professional would certainly help you a lot. Dr. Hurd is in my evaluation such an individual. (He has a website)

Perhaps I'm confused on the subject, but I am currently under the impression that a disciplined philosophy is all one needs to handle the issues of now, your past, and the future (which includes psychological issues).

Yes that is correct. Of course, a trained professional can greatly help you to understand what is going on, but 99.9% of psychologists are trained by BAD philosophy so I'm sure they would be no help.

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Stephen, I appreciate your blunt approach to this situation.  No one has ever put it to me like that (in person or on a message board) and I have to say that I'm seriously considering speaking to a professional on the subject of my drug usage.

Good. I think you will reap long term benefits from dealing with this properly.

I don't think that the marijuana is the main issue here though, I think that books like you suggested may be the answer
Whoa! I suggested that book, almost as addendum, because I thought that some specific material in there may be helpful to you in terms of creativity. But, more primary is dealing with the problems that stand in the way of that creativity in the first place.

but I have a question about this Gestalt Psychology you speak of.  I looked up the book and it seems very interesting, I'm pickin' it up later today, but I'm not familiar with Gestalt Psychology, and the way you said "I'm not in the habit of recomending approaches based on Gestalt Psychology" makes me wonder why.

I qualified my recommendation because Gestalt psychology is fundamentally flawed in its premises. While the notion of Gestalt as an integrated whole is of some interest, its view of man's mind and man's social context do not reflect proper philosophical principles. In fact, even though Gestalt originated as a reaction to behaviorism, some its roots are definitely Kantian. However, despite the evolution of gestalt, some of Wertheimer's research is of value, particularly in the context of the issue we were discussing. So, read the book highly critically and do not buy into the broad ideas, but some of the particular insights into creativity might be useful to you.

Also, this brings me to the question of Psychology and its differences from Philosophy (or it's connection).

Is psychology something that can be 'fixed' by a correct philosophy and can it be 'fixed' by oneself or is it something that relies on a trained professional?

Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of man and existence in general, and thereby has much to say about man's mind and his means of acquiring knowledge. But psychology, as a science, studies not just the details of conscious processes, but it studies subconscious processes as well.

As you learn more and more of the ideas of Objectivism you are better equipping your conscious mind with the ideas that it needs to judge, evaluate, and act in a manner that is proper to a rational man. Good philosophical ideas have the power to change your conscious convictions radically and dramatically, but your mind consists of more than just your conscious convictions. Your subconscious, from whence all emotion springs, holds the sum total of all of your earlier judgments and evaluations, many of which may be in conflict with your new conscious convictions. As a result you may find that the feelings you have may not reflect the ideas that you now hold.

For instance, perhaps you will respond sexually to the type of woman that you disdain, and be impotent towards the type of woman that you consciously revere. Or, perhaps, you might lack the motivation you need to actively pursue something of great value, a career for instance. In order to be come harmonious -- in order to integrate together your new conscious convictions with your subconscious judgments -- you need to clearly identify the premises and motivations that you hold subconsciously, and thereby ferret them out in light of conscious judgment. For some this can be a difficult process, especially for those who have not been in touch with their subconscious over years of their life. The value of a good psychologist lies in assisting you to identify your underlying subconscious premises and emotions, and reprogramming your subconscious, so to speak, to reflect your conscious convictions.

I've seen a psychologist before and it was very beneficial at the time and it helped me work out a lot, but since then I've become a student of my mind so that I can understand the err's of my pshychi myself.  I've personally never made a distinction between my psychology and my philosophies...perhaps I'm uneducated on the subject but I've always understood the mind as something that one can control with the correct discipline (a correct philosophy).  I'm 23 now with no formal education (other than highschool diploma) and I've gone from being a devout christian to following Toltec Indian beleifs to even Buddhism...now a door has been opened to infinite understanding of myself and how I interact with people just from me subscribing to Objectivism.

Perhaps I'm confused on the subject, but I am currently under the impression that a disciplined philosophy is all one needs to handle the issues of now, your past, and the future (which includes psychological issues).

Like many young people you seem to have been seeking some guidance in how to live your life, itself a recognition that both life and ideas matter. You can change your conscious convictions by the judicious study of Objectivism, but the process of ferreting out your earlier ideas and resulting feelings takes additional time and effort. You are correct that you can, and should, always assume conscious control of your actions and be guided by your premises, but you may continue to feel emotions that do not reflect the new premises you have. Psychology can be helpful to you in this regard.

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I qualified my recommendation because Gestalt psychology is fundamentally flawed in its premises. While the notion of Gestalt as an integrated whole is of some interest, its view of man's mind and man's social context do not reflect proper philosophical principles. In fact, even though Gestalt originated as a reaction to behaviorism, some its roots are definitely Kantian. However, despite the evolution of gestalt,  some of Wertheimer's research is of value, particularly in the context of the issue we were discussing. So, read the book highly critically and do not buy into the broad ideas, but some of the particular insights into creativity might be useful to you.

Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of man and existence in general, and thereby has much to say about man's mind and his means of acquiring knowledge. But psychology, as a science, studies not just the details of conscious processes, but it studies subconscious processes as well.

I plan on reading the book and I'm glad you suggested it. Seems like a very interesting read. I'm curious to discover where the fundamental flaws are and find the beneficial information you speak of.

As you learn more and more of the ideas of Objectivism you are better equipping your conscious mind with the ideas that it needs to judge, evaluate, and act in a manner that is proper to a rational man. Good philosophical ideas have the power to change your conscious convictions radically and dramatically, but your mind consists of more than just your conscious convictions. Your subconscious, from whence all emotion springs, holds the sum total of all of your earlier judgments and evaluations, many of which may be in conflict with your new conscious convictions. As a result you may find that the feelings you have may not reflect the ideas that you now hold.

For instance, perhaps you will respond sexually to the type of woman that you disdain, and be impotent towards the type of woman that you consciously revere. Or, perhaps, you might lack the motivation you need to actively pursue something of great value, a career for instance. In order to be come harmonious -- in order to integrate together your new conscious convictions with your subconscious judgments -- you need to clearly identify the premises and motivations that you hold subconsciously, and thereby ferret them out in light of conscious judgment. For some this can be a difficult process, especially for those who have not been in touch with their subconscious over years of their life. The value of a good psychologist lies in assisting you to identify your underlying subconscious premises and emotions, and reprogramming your subconscious, so to speak, to reflect your conscious convictions.

Like many young people you seem to have been seeking some guidance in how to live your life, itself a recognition that both life and ideas matter. You can change your conscious convictions by the judicious study of Objectivism, but the process of ferreting out your earlier ideas and resulting feelings takes additional time and effort. You are correct that you can, and should, always assume conscious control of your actions and be guided by your premises, but you may continue to feel emotions that do not reflect the new premises you have. Psychology can be helpful to you in this regard.

I've always been a student of psychology but never of philosophy. I've never really thought of philosophy as something that 'moves the masses' untill just recently. Now that I've read a good bit on Objectivism I've discovered how important philosophy is for a human being. Now I'm trying to integrate that knowledge into the knowledge of psychology that I have. I appreciate you breaking it down as you did, it was beneficial. When it comes to psychology is there a particular theory that follows the basis of Objectivism and rational ideas? I've always been skeptical of the science of psychology because I've seen how irrational therapists and doctors can prescribe irrational drugs and I've seen the useless prescriptions given to the wrong people countless times. Not only have I been misdiognosed in the past, my mother has been misdiognosed several times. That in itself would make anyone skeptical I'm sure.

With that being said, I've picked up philosophy now and I'm trying to integrate this knowledge and understand how to structure ones life for personal succes. I believe that structure lies in your conscience and subconscience.

To be honest with you, I think college may be in my future, because this has become pretty serious for me lately.

I appreciate your help sir.

~Michael

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When it comes to psychology is there a particular theory that follows the basis of Objectivism and rational ideas?

A great deal about psychology is implied in the writings of Ayn Rand, but there is not yet a full scientific psychological theory based on Objectivism. I would suggest you read the many articles touching on psychology in Ayn Rand's The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist, which were published in 1962-1965 and 1966-1971, respectively. You can buy both of these publications through the Ayn Rand Institute at http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pag...vism_nonfiction

In addition, as has been mentioned before, there are a number of excellent Objectivist psychologists who may be of help. Their names and contact information were provided several times before. Just search on names like "Kenner" and "Hurd."

I appreciate your help sir.

You're welcome, Michael.

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I believe alot of people seriously underestimate the ramifications of marijuana use. Someone close to me has been an advid user of it for some time now and I have first handedly witnessed a gradual yet insistent emotional separation from the reality of his situation caused by the usage. It is an escape of sorts that has allowed him to suppress his emotions and consequently numb his faculty when making crucial life decisions. I've witnessed him go for days continually smoking in order to maintain his high when things get increasingly rough. It has become so bad that he has even developed a certain quasi-philosophical substantion of his behavior which seems to stop all logic and reason in its tracks with this wishy-washy emotional creed. It might not be physically addictive but it certainly has become a pyschological crutch for this person.

You shouldn't need Marijuana to aid in your creative process. If music is something you truly love to create it should coincide with your being rather then conflict with it. Great art is like respiration for the spirit of the individual man. It is a time for him to stop and reflect upon his being and, perhaps, in an instance experience a sumination of his metaphysical value judgements or sense of life personified in his medium of choice. The fact that the marijuana does aid you seems to allude to a deeper pyschological problem, as Mr Speicher pointed out. Perhaps its your crutch or means of bypassing or suppresing the real issue at hand.

[note] please escuse the spelling errors in this post. I am without Word at the moment.

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I believe alot of people seriously underestimate the ramifications of marijuana use. Someone close to me has been an advid user of it for some time now and I have first handedly witnessed a gradual yet insistent emotional separation from the reality of his situation caused by the usage.  It is an escape of sorts that has allowed him to suppress his emotions and consequently numb his faculty when making crucial life decisions.  I've witnessed him go for days continually smoking in order to maintain his high when things get increasingly rough.  It has become so bad that he has even developed a certain  quasi-philosophical substantion of his behavior which seems to stop all logic and reason in its tracks with this wishy-washy emotional creed.  It might not be physically addictive but it certainly has become a pyschological crutch for this person. 

You shouldn't need Marijuana to aid in your creative process. If music is something you truly love to create it should coincide with your being rather then conflict with it. Great art is like respiration for the spirit of the individual man. It is a time for him to stop and reflect upon his being and, perhaps, in an instance experience a sumination of his metaphysical value judgements or sense of life personified in his medium of choice.  The fact that the marijuana does aid you seems to allude to a deeper pyschological problem, as Mr Speicher pointed out.  Perhaps its your crutch or means of bypassing or suppresing the real issue at hand.

[note] please escuse the spelling errors in this post. I am without Word at the moment.

I myself have witnessed this first hand. Let me first put into context the extent of my usage, for it can be assumed wrong. I smoke less than a bowl (a 'bowl' being the common dosage) of weed no more than 3-4 times a week. The effects of the marijuana typically stay in my system no more than 3 hours and then it's 'back to normal', I do this at the end of my day, after I'm done reading and typically before I go to bed. It is a 'wind down' thing for me mostly. This is how it's been over the past year. On occasion, when I have some time for my music I'll ritually smoke and enjoy writing my music. When times get tuff, I don't consider myself one who runs to evade the issue. This is me to my best knowledge as of now.

On the other hand, there are people that I know who do exactly what you've described Nate_S...those people that I know have no motivation to succeed in life nor do they want to have the capacity to do so. They use marijuana as a crutch ALL the time rather than as a recreational thing.

Am I justifying my marijuana use? No. I am clearly stating that I know the extent of damage marijuana can have on someones psychi. What has to happen for me now is that I need to pursue a path that will enable me to quit. Hopefully I can do it in a decent timeframe.

I thank you guys for your help on this personal subject. With my new knowledge, I'm seeing things more clearly.

~Michael

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Great art is like respiration for the spirit of the individual man. It is a time for him to stop and reflect upon his being and, perhaps, in an instance experience a sumination of his metaphysical value judgements or sense of life personified in his medium of choice. 

I should of cited this, its paraphrased off the top of my head from the Romantic Manifesto and is based on Ayn Rand's quotation.

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Am I justifying my marijuana use?  No.  I am clearly stating that I know the extent of damage marijuana can have on someones psychi.  What has to happen for me now is that I need to pursue a path that will enable me to quit.  Hopefully I can do it in a decent timeframe.

Frankly, if you use marijuna in the way you describe it, I don't see the basis on which people could condemn it, unless they were prepaired to condemn all drug use, including alcohol (putting aside the issue of legality, for a moment, which I do think is relevant).

Now, my friend has argued that all attempts to gain pleasure from substances are wrong because they amount to faking: pleasure, which is supposed to represent your reward for achieving values, is resulting from a pure chemical reaction. I'm not sure I agree with that, but he has a point.

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People wrote music all different ways, there was a composer who wrote an entire symphony based on the mountain ranges around him, Mozart rolled dice, and another fellow used I-ching coins. Writing music isn't too hard, for the counterpoint and harmony, but the melody is the hardest part which you will need.

And try not to listen to music as your composing. Start small with some simple waltzes, canons, then when that is mastered move onto minuets, vienese waltzes, and sonatas. Then from there concertoes, and quartets. Once you have mastered these try your hand at a couple symphonies, first for string orchestra then for a full orchestra. You have to master each one before you can move on. And try to get either a piano, keyboard, or a softwere program (sibelius preferably).

I once learned the music theory :pimp:

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I just want to make it clear that I am not in any way justifying legal or forcible intervention in this matter. I believe in the realm of actions that can only be (directly) detrimental to the initiator people should have the freedom to make mistakes and assume responsibility for their actions.

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The easiest way to get rid of this 'writers block' is to try something new somthing that you have never considered trying. As well music has a technical side to it. Perhaps taking another look at the building blocks of music might help. For example if you always start with a melody then try starting with a chord progression. Hope this helps.

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I didn't have the time to read the long replies above but I figured I would still reply.

I am a guitarist and I have found myself in this situation before. My main problems were conflicting premises and also an element of fear. The biggest thing that was holding me back was that "can I do this? can I do this?" type mentality where you just freak out because you can't get the music to come out like you want it to- it goes hand in hand with the assumption that people have innate abilities and that since you can't do it right away you must not be innately gifted. After recognizing errors like these it makes a HUGE difference.

You have to start out on a rational basis and have a clear head and plenty of energy to give to the project- you have to have something to express in the first place. Then you just have to ask yourself questions like "what am I trying to achieve?" .."what is the best way to achieve this?" and then when you run into problems just ask "how do I fix this in order to fit with my original goal?". After that I pick up my instrument and I try different things until I begin to form the structure of a song- just experiment and play around with different chords or whatnot. Once I'm sure of the parts I'm going to use for the song, I start to play around with what I've got- "hmm I don't like this bit" ..."I could do this here and move this there"..."I could do this instead of this"... it's just like organizing the plot of a story to best express what you're trying to get out. After that I work on support parts to add depth to the song and also create the dynamic feel.

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You might also find Ayn Rand's short story: 'The Simplest Thing in the World' (The Romantic Manifesto) very helpful. It addresses a different sort of creative block that might also be attributing to your problem and is worth examining.

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I didn't have the time to read the long replies above but I figured I would still reply.

I am a guitarist and I have found myself in this situation before. My main problems were conflicting premises and also an element of fear. The biggest thing that was holding me back was that "can I do this? can I do this?" type mentality where you just freak out because you can't get the music to come out like you want it to- it goes hand in hand with the assumption that people have innate abilities and that since you can't do it right away you must not be innately gifted. After recognizing errors like these it makes a HUGE difference.

You have to start out on a rational basis and have a clear head and plenty of energy to give to the project- you have to have something to express in the first place. Then you just have to ask yourself questions like "what am I trying to achieve?" .."what is the best way to achieve this?" and then when you run into problems just ask "how do I fix this in order to fit with my original goal?". After that I pick up my instrument and I try different things until I begin to form the structure of a song- just experiment and play around with different chords or whatnot. Once I'm sure of the parts I'm going to use for the song, I start to play around with what I've got- "hmm I don't like this bit" ..."I could do this here and move this there"..."I could do this instead of this"... it's just like organizing the plot of a story to best express what you're trying to get out. After that I work on support parts to add depth to the song and also create the dynamic feel.

I myself play the guitar (well i'm quite the novice) and I can really relate with that.

The music that I make is EXTREMELY unconventional, it is made on a computer with a couple of outboard instruments and it is mostly synthisized music. Thats what I love and thats what I make. So I can directly relate with the aspect of writing a song like re-arranging a plot of a story. Everything that I do is recorded into a sequencer and I am able to manipulate it and move it how I like, the aspect of a live performance isn't there (unless I want it to be there).

The book on creativity that I spoke of earlier tackles the subject completely of Anxiety and the creative process. Dr. Maisel goes on further to add that anxiety is something that you CANNOT get away from in the creative process, you just have to learn how to use that anxiety appropriately. Kind of a creative use of anxiety. Dr. Maisel presents great rhetoric on how to kill your 'block' and how to create what you have the potential to create. I would deffinately recomend that book to ANYONE who does art.

Once again, I thank you guys for your posts. And I will deffinately check out 'The Simplest Thing in the World'.

~Michael

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I enjoyed "The simplest thing in the world" very much.

My analogy of treating it like the plot of a story comes mainly from the fact that I want to be a writer (at least as a hobby, for now anyway) and the fact that I write a lot of music on my acoustic- it's like nordic influenced type folk stuff, very very melodic. The parts to this kind of music are very definite and precise and the songs usually contain many many guitar parts overdubbed, so it fits well and lets me move around parts and whatnot.

I'm gonna be recording in september so I might put some up here when it's done.

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The dreaded writers block eh?

I am a musician myself. Music gives meaning to my life, and I cannot express in words the way it makes me feel. Tell me, do you improvise alot? I tend to write about a song a week, and I smoke weed as well. My creative process is always operating and here is why: I have a large domain of musical knowledge in my head to put to use when I am improvising. When you create something you are building upon previous knowledge. If one has no concept of rasquedo, how can one incorporate rasquedo in a song? (I use this an example because no musician will immediately know how to perfom this technique through intuition, unlike legato, staccatto, etc.) I study hip hop, metal, classic rock, blues, jazz, classical, flamenco, etc. So I have a pretty good tool shed in my head.

I generally make a drum beat dependent on how I am feeling that particular day. I play several instruments, but I compose on the guitar. So I might smoke a bowl or something, light some candles and immediately start recording. Then I just start doodling around on the guitar untill I find the key that fits my appropriate mood. At this point I program a bass line, and then I add appropriate instruments to create a theme (which is usually piano and an assortment of strings). At this point I turn it up and start improvising over the song. I find what scales will be appropriate for the song and I jam out. When I am done I have about and hour of tape to listen to and this is where my ideas come from. This is where I develop other melodies and solos for songs.

When I am improvising I am letting my mind flow. Their is of course rationality to this process, but alot of the time my eyes are closed and I am just playing. As a musician, your mind will work in this situations with a processing speed much faster then non musicians, so you can immediately think of what notes will work, where to bend, how to create the nesacary tension and resolution, etc. It just happens so quicky people mistake this proccess for 'feeling' (IMO).

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The dreaded writers block eh?

I am a musician myself. Music gives meaning to my life, and I cannot express in words the way it makes me feel. Tell me, do you improvise alot? I tend to write about a song a week, and I smoke weed as well.  My creative process is always operating and here is why: I have a large domain of musical knowledge in my head to put to use when I am improvising. When you create something you are building upon previous knowledge. If one has no concept of rasquedo, how can one incorporate rasquedo in a song? (I use this an example because no musician will immediately know how to perfom  this technique through intuition, unlike legato, staccatto, etc.) I study hip hop, metal, classic rock, blues, jazz, classical, flamenco, etc. So I have a pretty good tool shed in my head.

I generally make a drum beat dependent on how I am feeling that particular day. I play several instruments, but I compose on the guitar. So I might smoke a bowl or something, light some candles and immediately start recording. Then I just start doodling around on the guitar untill I find the key that fits my appropriate mood. At this point I program a bass line, and then I add appropriate instruments to create a theme (which is usually piano and an assortment of strings). At this point I turn it up and start improvising over the song. I find what scales will be appropriate for the song and I jam out. When I am done I have about and hour of tape to listen to and this is where my ideas come from. This is where I develop other melodies and solos for songs.

When I am improvising I am letting my mind flow. Their is of course rationality to this process, but alot of the time my eyes are closed and I am just playing. As a musician, your mind will work in this situations with a processing speed much faster then non musicians, so you can immediately think of what notes will work, where to bend, how to create the nesacary tension and resolution, etc. It just happens so quicky people mistake this proccess for 'feeling' (IMO).

Finally...someone who I can relate with... :D

I'm quite young in my musical level, I studied studio engineering first because of my interest in technology's application to music. I'm just now learning Guitar and Piano and I havn't gotten to a point where I can improvise. I'm just now figuring out scales and chord progressions and teaching myself music theory. Its taking longer than I thought but I'm sure that if I keep going on this path I'll progress at a good rate.

On the note of marijuana, I find myself becoming more creative on marijuana just because it lowers my anxiety level and my inhibitions. I'm actually trying to quit using it altogether and it's been rather successful, just a puff here and there, but I really think it will help my creativity in the long run by getting away from weed altogether.

Thanks for the post sir, and I appreciate your insight.

~Michael

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Finally...someone who I can relate with... :P

I'm quite young in my musical level, I studied studio engineering first because of my interest in technology's application to music.  I'm just now learning Guitar and Piano and I havn't gotten to a point where I can improvise.  I'm just now figuring out scales and chord progressions and teaching myself music theory.  Its taking longer than I thought but I'm sure that if I keep going on this path I'll progress at a good rate.

On the note of marijuana, I find myself becoming more creative on marijuana just because it lowers my anxiety level and my inhibitions.  I'm actually trying to quit using it altogether and it's been rather successful, just a puff here and there, but I really think it will help my creativity in the long run by getting away from weed altogether. 

Thanks for the post sir, and I appreciate your insight.

~Michael

your welcome :D

Every once in a while just take a step back, program a beat, and just jam over it. You will see ideas beginning to connect. Learn some licks and put them to use. A little advice: you can improvise at this point if you know scales and have progressions made up in your head. I'll tell you what, tell me a song you like playing that you feel is relatively musically simple, and I will give you a little advice on improvisation. You can take it to PM's if you don't want to hijack your thread.

I don't smoke weed all the time either. I usually only get to smoke on the weekends. Like I said, it helps me get ideas, but I usually elaborate on those ideas when I am straight.

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