Individual creativity

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by 5E3, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    I spend a lot of my practice time trying to improve technically and learn songs. I'd like to move on from this routine and develop individual music creativity. For those of you who have found your individual creativity, how did you do it?

    Thanks in advance for ideas and suggestions :AOK
     
  2. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    Listening to more and different stuff.
    Writing music.
    Getting into a band with people that want you to be creative.
    Connecting your guitar to your mind - learn to play what you hear.
     
  3. crzyfngers

    crzyfngers Member

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    play with anyone and everyone.you can steal from beginners even. learn all kinds of music.even stuff you don't necessarily like. it's all billy joel to me.
     
  4. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    "developing individual music creativity" is sort of like "developing loving kindness."

    It's less about what you do to learn it, and more about how open you are to receiving it.
     
  5. JonR

    JonR Member

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    +1 on all the above.

    Your "originality" comes out of a database of stuff you've absorbed over the years. It's how you choose the things you steal, if you like. No one else will steal the same combination.
    The more people you borrow from, the more original you will sound, because less and less of each influence will be present in the overall mix.
    (People who do not sound original have only stolen from 2 or 3 people usually.)

    Most of that "database" is subconscious (your influences stretch back to all the music you've ever heard in your life - you can't always control what will stick with you).

    Inspiration doesn't come out of thin air (or from "god" or whatever) - even those who claim to dream tunes are just pulling stuff out of their subconscious).
    But you usually have to kick start it. Hum or sing to yourself. Start noodling on the guitar. (oops, sorry if you're not a guitarist...) Sooner or later, something will come up. (You might have to record it in case you miss it.)

    Copy an existing tune, but change it in some way: improve it. Some of my compositions have begun with a phrase from some pop hit, which I then took somewhere else, where I thought it ought to go. For me, a tune always tells me where it wants to go next, if I listen properly. (It doesn't really of course :rolleyes:- I'm just stringing together bits and pieces I've heard before (mostly unconsciously) - but it feels that way, it feels organic.)

    IOW, a lot of it comes down to believing you can do it - taking control of what you're playing. Even when you're trying to cover someone else's song exactly, you can't help but put your own stamp on it. You just need to be aware of that process: the "mistakes" you make in your version are YOU.
    You have to say to yourself "OK, this ain't quite the way they did it, but my way is BETTER." Believe it....

    Great quote by Ornette Coleman on a recent thread on another site:

    “It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.”
     
  6. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I don't know if I believe creativity is something you find so much as it is something you allow, since it's something you already have.

    The thing that hangs people up about this is that YOUR creativity may not sound like something you already know.
     
  7. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    :agree


    I think this is right on. The trick it seems, is getting out of the way and tapping into your creativity.
     
  8. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    I agree with some of the previous responses, but I think there's an important aspect missing. The key to developing creativity is to put yourself in situations where you're allowed to be creative. Might sound obvious, but I don't think it always is. For instance, sitting at home playing through other people's songs by yourself- not very creative. Learning other peoples solos- not very creative. Being in a cover band where you're playing stuff note for note- not very creative.

    But- let's say you're sitting at home playing songs by yourself, and you get to a section that has a rhythm guitar part, a keyboard line, and a lead guitar part and there's no way to cover all that by yourself. So you figure out a way to arrange it to get the point across on just one guitar. Bingo- creative. So to me, the essence of creativity stems from having problems to solve. So you need to put yourself into situations where you're slving problems. And while each one will be different you'll learn something each time you do it, and you'll develop that creative spirit.

    If you don't have people to play with I think the best ways to develop this are through songwriting, arranging, and improvising. When it comes to improvising it's tough as I don't feel playing to backing tracks is all that helpful, what I would recommend is an extension of songwriting- pre-writing solos and licks and riffs. The difference with that and just writing a song is that with a solo there's a preset context you have to fit into- a problem you have to solve. Again, it's all about solving problems.
     
  9. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Excellent point.
     
  10. Ooogie

    Ooogie Member

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    I'm no expert but something I would add to the excellent advice above is to study and understand song forms and structure. Since you're already learning songs you may be doing this already but if not analyze the structure (32 bar AABA, etc) of the songs so you'll recognize those forms when you hear them again. The more of this type of stuff you absorb the more tools you have available when creating your own music.

    Also, on the improvising thing I've been using a looper lately and recording something like one of Tomo's funk rhythms to play along with. Since I'm primarily a blues guy this throws me out of my comfort zone and makes me come up with new stuff (in addition to learning new rhythms). :JAM

    -Mark
     
  11. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I spent about 15 years learning and playing other peoples music and concepts, then I just threw it in a bucket and tried to go only by what drove me in music, my music. I spent the next 15 years or so not learning or playing anything that have to do with anyone else but only followed my hands, heart, and mind and did NOTHING but what I thought was a original music.

    I always had a habit of comparing tunes by only one rhythm, two chords, accents, feels, etc...so it took me a long time to find things I liked that I wasn't able to find a comparison to. It took sometime at first but then things started to flow pretty freely.

    My biggest suggestion is to record EVERYTHING you play, whether you you first sitdown with the guitar for the day, you're dicking around with something in particular, etc...you ned to start capturing ANY inspiration WHEN it happens. Record, record, record, then listen, listen, listen.

    I had a tape player on record/pause 24 hours a day. When I sat down I just pressed one button then started into whatever I was going to do.

    The aftermath is 100's or ideas and 100's of songs. Record, and listen...that's all it takes. You will capture whatever is going on musically with you. It's almost like a journal.
     
  12. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    pretty much nailed ken:munch
     

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