School Smarts Vs Street Smarts

Posts 1 - 3 of 3
  1. 4125067
    bringerofDOOM : Wed 1st Dec 2021 : 1 month ago

    I received some formal music training in elementary school (on the sax). Later I finished a few theory textbooks, learned guitar, and rudimentary piano (self taught), and read/listened/watched thousands of hours of content over the years. I'm a bit of a mix, but I essentially plateaued when it come to music theory (when you get to "12 tone serialism", you're pretty much done).

    Folks like kingmt77 are completely "self taught," yet have top level producer chops.

    The formally educated folks say you might need it, the "self-taught" say you don't. I think it's a spectrum and I am leaned more towards the "formal side," but with an emphasis on "rule breaking" and experimentation.

    What do you think? Where do you stand?

  2. 851137
    crucethus : Wed 1st Dec 2021 : 1 month ago

    So I started out self-teaching myself how to play the keyboards. I was obsessed at the age of 16. So much so that I did not even realize I was practicing my 10,000 hours BS. I just loved it and I gravitated to making pop and new wave songs. I had some school training on how to read music and playing the clarinet, but I hated it. I go to college and minor in music theory. I loved it, wrote gregorian chants for class to learn the rules. Studied the circle of fifths, listened to twelve-tone yahda yahda. leaving college completely f**ed up my songwriting because with all this knowledge that I was trying to incorporate everything and it sounded awful. I had a work colleague who gave me a mixtape of the underground Major clubs he was going to in NYC. tribal House and dark dark minimalist music. It took me some years to be able to reproduce that sound, and in my modern work, you will hear dark elements all the time. But I needed that change of direction. So to answer that question. I believe you need both. The raw natural talent is important, but when you can understand why you are doing it will take your music, or production to higher levels. Listening to your comments and forum posts I have come to realize you and I BOD have very similar approaches and sensibilities when it comes to art and music
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmdO5C73Pys
    This was the first song on the mixtape.
    PS, because I am a self-taught keyboard and synth player and I was enamored by guitar soloists, I have a style of playing keys that's more like a guitarist in some ways. And I love to Solo on synths. Good post.

  3. 4125067
    bringerofDOOM : Wed 1st Dec 2021 : 1 month ago

    I know what you mean about wanting to incorporate everything. I listen to my tracks from just last year and everything is in there but the kitchen sink, which is a bit of a mess for the audience, even though at the time I thought it was gold. And I couldn't mix vox for crap.

    Theory is like having a ladder in a maze. You can climb up and assess the whole map, instead of just bumping into walls until the puzzle is solved. So really time efficiency in producing ideas (as well as refining them) is the biggest plus. The problem is people confuse "theory" with "protocol."

    At the same time, it's easy to get stuck in "orthodox choices." I've always been a bit of a contrarian, so it's natural for me to tactically ignore a "rules." Unfortunately, there is no such thing as "free" music. Take away the major scale, you have pentatonic leftovers. Make the beat 7/8, or 5/4, or 15/16, or some other odd time and you still end up repeating it in blocks of four (usually). It's unavoidable, because avoiding theory creates yet more theory :D

    When it comes to bedroom production, the "beat rules" have gotten boring as hell. A riser before every beat drop (or beat drop fakeout). A side-chained "808" on everything (usually fake compression, automated volume swells behind the beat), with a cicada chirping in the background. FLStudio user friendliness (and a good bit of false hope and upselling), has essentially saturated the market with beatmakers, and raised the bar significantly higher. There is only a handful of beatmakers making serious cash; the rest are still living with their parents (usually with a undeserved sense of accomplishment). Most of those are supporting themselves with tutorials because they are struggling to sell their music.

    It took a long time for me to "dumb it down" (and by this I mean no disrespect to any willing listener). I've even been doing 90s and 70s rock covers with a band in bars lately to break myself of possible pretentiousness.

    Anyway, I listened to the track. I can see where after all the "schooling" this would sound totally new, fresh, different, and exciting (at the time anyway).

    Hope that didn't come off as a rant, just making some basic observations.

    Thanks for the comment.

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