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#1August 24th, 2005 · 01:39 PM
8 threads / 7 songs
96 posts
The Thread That Will Not End
For the record, this thread was initially called "Everyone's a Musician," and this was the first post:

This will not make me popular but

...no wonder the music scene is going to hell in a hand basket when everyone and their aunty can buy a guitar for $50 and a cheap $10 Radio Shack mic and record what they consider to be music. Their is SO MUCH idiotic crap being made now: no thought put into it, no talent, no musical ability whatsoever, and yet here it is on BandAmp for the world to hear.


drives me crazy.

...but this thread has gone through about 10 transformations since then in pretty random directions. SO. don't bother starting here. Go to the end and see if you have anything to say about what's on the table today...
#2August 25th, 2005 · 04:23 AM
7 posts
United Kingdom
is it 'that time of the month'? 
#3August 25th, 2005 · 05:04 AM
115 threads / 18 songs
1,414 posts
United States of America
well, i agree as far as i will explain:

it's very easy to "play guitar" and "record" stuff simply because the general market has made it easy to get cheap stuff. in addition, certain people just have a better ear for music.  they have better knowledge of chords, notes, they can read music, they know histories, styles, famous and popular musicians of yesterday, etc etc.

some people know this stuff, others don't.

that being said though, i can't pull up a "crap" song and call it crap and say "wow, man, this song sucks.  what were you thinking?".  the reason i won't do that to somebody is because (as i just stated above) people are at such vastly different levels of knowledge and understand.  being "good" is relative to where you stand in terms of musical understanding.

some of those people are good.  some of them lack the training, knowledge, or ideas to create something as smooth-flowing as your more recent song.

i'm not saying that we should give everyone an effort grade, though.  please do not misunderstand.  i'm simply hoping that your comments about such "crap" music will be more or less withheld.  certain comments can be constructive, others are simply in light of crticism (which isn't bad), and still others are outright disturbing to read.

people need to be able to express themselves, even if (by your terms) it sounds like crap.  it's important to them.  if it were me, i wouldn't post something on the internet unless it was at least of 'demo' quality, but that's a matter of personal judgement.

so, to put it simply:

dude, opinions are opinions, but don't crush somebody ruthlessly.  i'm not pointing a finger at you, i'm just saying.  in most cases, the "crap" is all some people are cabable of, in terms of equipment or even ideas.

to them, it's good, otherwise they would have no motivation to post it on a public forum

i think that too many people on bandamp fail to see the human expression that is begging to be seen because some of us don't have studios to work with.
#4August 25th, 2005 · 06:29 AM
9 threads / 4 songs
90 posts
United Kingdom
oooer!!! that's a bit harsh!
I agree completely with TLS... It is all relative. I like to think that I'm a reasonably good guitarist and, for my circimstances and level of musical education I probably am. Sit me next to Paco De Lucia though, and suddenly I'm a  totally rubbish, talentless no-mark of a  guitarist.
  Also, as far as my own music is concerned, each tune is a learning experience and, (or so I would like to think), therefore I should be getting less "crap" with each one.
  I think that  the variance in ability on bandamp is actually a good thing. Everybody has a right to at least to attempt to write music and I'm willing to take the rough with the smooth because that's simply the nature music. Bandamp is here so that we can give each other advice and feedback after all.
  The point most important to me is this however. I don't think that your average budding musician with cheap equipment is a real problem when it comes to "idiotic crap".   
  I actually think its the so called professional artists that churn out tonnes and tonnes of mediocre nonsense in the name of pop music. The big record companies clogg up the radio waves and television channels with a never ending stream of banal tripe... all because they know they can make money by appealing to the lowest common denominator. Image seems more important than music these days and that's where the problem lies.
  I think that, if somebody endevours to write music for the love of it, odds are that its gonna be ok. "Crap" music is usually crap because the "artist" is less motivated by this and more concentrated on the bells and whistles that go with being a "musician". (if you catch my drift:) )
#5August 25th, 2005 · 09:21 AM
8 threads / 7 songs
96 posts
aaahright. some good points. I had just listened to about 8 tunes, and only liked maybe one of them.

It's really the mediocrity factor that annoys me... when you can hear that guy who just invented a new chord and sets up his little mic and records 6 minutes of himself playing it, and then goes back and wanks over it for awhile... it's discouraging. Y'think, Do you really think that's what it takes to make music? Do you really think that's all there is to being a musician?

and, for the record, my wife says I have been *ruined* for music. Lots n lots of training and study and now I'm a real snob. I don't know that there's much I can do about it now that I'm here, but there it is. and yes, this totally applies to all the banality out there on the radio too. Until our CBC  recently went on strike, I had not listened to more than about a half hour's worth of pop radio in maybe the last 10 yrs, and man it's awful. Why doesn't the world think more of themselves to demand better stuff?

yes, thank God for cheap recording equipment and for how easy it is now for people to create their own stuff, but I also agree that some of it should just be kept in the basement rather than posted for everyone to vilify. Why do that to yourself, let alone everyone else?

turns out I have strong opinions on this subject, and find moderation somewhat difficult to cultivate...!
#6August 25th, 2005 · 09:34 AM
8 threads / 7 songs
96 posts
so it looks I was having a pretty dark day yesterday... just read through a bunch of reviews I posted, and they just get harsher and harsher. Actually trying not to laugh too hard cause I'm @ work. man. okay so I'll ease up and try to be a little constructive, and maybe if I don't have *anything* nice to say, I won't say anything at all...

That said, sometimes people want to hear that kind of stuff, depeneding on what kind of headspace they're in. Maybe a band hates and wants to get rid of their guitarist and doesn't know how to say so, or maybe they just wish someone would tell them what they themselves are doing wrong because they're stuck and they don't seem to be able to make their music connect with anyone... y'know?
#7August 25th, 2005 · 09:49 AM
7 posts
United Kingdom
Hmm... i think you guys are a bit mean.
I mean yea, some people arnt that great at music, but if its there passion you dont really have a right to tell them they suck and take it away from them.
ever heard of constructive critism?

they have better knowledge of chords, notes, they can read music, they know histories, styles, famous and popular musicians of yesterday, etc etc.

and as for that comment. Some of the best guitarists can't read music, dont know the histories. they are just bloody good.
#8August 25th, 2005 · 10:20 AM
8 threads / 7 songs
96 posts
I heard that Chet Baker couldn't read music (Chet who? ya okay). And Jimi Hendrix learned to play the guitar all wrong... upside down and everything. and a lot of those old-time blues guys (20s & 30s) couldn't read at all, let alone read music, but they're legends.

In terms of "passion," I kind of think that if someone is really that passionate about music and takes it seriously, they will take the time to get good at it, and they will know what's complete tripe and what has some sort of musical value.
#9August 25th, 2005 · 10:22 AM
115 threads / 18 songs
1,414 posts
United States of America
and as for that comment. Some of the best guitarists can't read music, dont know the histories. they are just bloody good.

trust me, i know this.  i can't read music. i don't know anything more than a G and a high D chord on the guitar, yet that is my instrument.

i was just trying to point out there are simply differences in how "knowledgable" people can be compared to others. i'm not saying that knowing any of those things makes you "better" necessarily, but it can help open the gates to let yourself be expressive.

That said, sometimes people want to hear that kind of stuff, depeneding on what kind of headspace they're in.

i agree, just to let you know   that came to mind while i was writting the above post, but i forgot to say anything to that effect.

it's true, sometimes people need (or want) that sort of "wake up" slap style criticism, and there are certainly people that probably pull some "music" out of their butt and slap it on the forum here, but there are others who make that sincere effort, yet don't have the explicit talent or hardcore knowledge to set them apart.

and as a side note, i'm glad that you (btbowen) gave the response that you did.  i hate it when people are too full of themselves to come off it and make a realization

so thank you 

In terms of "passion," I kind of think that if someone is really that passionate about music and takes it seriously, they will take the time to get good at it, and they will know what's complete tripe and what has some sort of musical value.

this is also true.  i just wanted to state that i agree.
#10August 25th, 2005 · 10:06 PM
3 threads / 2 songs
27 posts
United States of America
My thing is though, how can you judge what is or is not art? Art is personal expresion within a creative means. All that you are is the audience member getting a glimpse of the world that the artist created. Sure you might not like it, but that doesn't automatically make the music invalid in an artistic sense. An example would be a person who digs on classical realistic art like Michaelangelo's stuff, yet can't stand the abstractness of Picaso or Pollok. That doesn't make it bad art, it's just art of different perseption. Another example is that I can't stand country music(and I'm talking about Brooks 'n' Dunn and all of those other hicks, but I do dig on blue grass) or any modern pop/shit music. I will argue that it(pop) is at least somewhat invalid because the "artist" generally doesn't have any say in the creativity behind the music at all. But that is still my observation. I can't judge as to what is or isn't beautiful to the person who creates or preforms the piece of music. Another thing is that this site seems to be more about the sharing of musical ideas and critiquing those ideas to have a better outcome on a particular piece of music.
#11August 26th, 2005 · 04:18 AM
8 threads / 7 songs
96 posts
Picasso vs. Michaelangelo
Things is, both Picasso and Michaelangelo knew what had come before them, had studied the legacy and work of great artists before them, and had spent years and years honing their craft. If you'd asked them, they both could have written huge tomes about why they were doing what they were doing - the philosophies they espoused, why they chose the media and materials they did, what drove them and gave them inspiration, and exactly how painstaking and long the process had been of getting to where they were at a particular point. It was very informed and very intentional.

Though I hate to admit it, I think even country music may have some people in it who have thought through their art very carefully, and who have finally committed to tape / hard drive what represents a whole lot of hard work and agonizing.

Now take a guy with a guitar he's played for 6 months and a $10 mic, and who kinda likes the theme to the A-Team and thinks Guns N' Roses is pretty neat, and thinks hey he can do that too, it can't be *that* hard... d'you see what I'm saying? I don't have to like good art to appreciate it. I don't have to like Mahler to think, Ya okay, he was doing some pretty incredible stuff. Great art takes TIME, and people who don't understand that end up watering down what the real artists are doing in the eyes of the general public.
#12August 26th, 2005 · 11:36 AM
8 threads / 4 songs
246 posts
United Kingdom
Its easy to loose patience but ...
I work in a guitar shop and so this is a problem I often struggle with.  I love seeing people learning instruments (I'm probably gonna wind up teaching at some point) but I get sick of the same old shit being played in my shop.  Kids ask to try out guitars and instantly dive into bad renditions of smoke on the water, followed by that crappy white stripes riff (don't even know what its called).  Its so infuriating, especially towards the end of a long day.  In school holidays, you feel more like your working as a babysitter than a salesman - we just get thousands of kids in, all playing the same shit with varying degrees of incompetence.

So as you can probably imagine, you start to loose patience after a while.  It feels horrible to say it, but you start to get a bit judgmental of those that lack ability, and its easy to start taking the same attitude to bandamp.

The fact of the matter is that everyone is at different stages of ability and have varying levels of talent.  I like to think I'm in the top half here at bandamp (my last song finished 5th), but I can guarantee that there are people here who are better than me, as well as those who are worse.  So for me to look down on those that are worse, is nothing short of arrogant.

We don't have to like each others music, but we have a responsibility to encourage each other.  If I can't encourage other musicians, then who's gonna encourage me??

Maybe this has been a really long winded way of saying the same as everyone else, but I thought I'd give you the perspective of someone who struggles with this issue on a day to day basis.  Hope you enjoyed it! 
#13August 26th, 2005 · 03:04 PM
31 threads / 1 songs
434 posts
United States of America
my two cents
I only barely glimpsed at these posts... but I did read most of the topic post

all I have to say, is... in response to btbowen's original starter post:

if you don't like it then leave and just go buy CD's instead

that's it... end of story... problem solved
#14August 27th, 2005 · 09:37 AM
2 threads / 2 songs
20 posts
You're not alone
Btbowen; I've listened to your stuff and you are definitely an educated musician.  So I can understand where you are coming from.  It's discouraging at times when you spend hours every day honing your craft and realize the general public prefers to hear watered down, un-intelligent music.  The paradox is those with mediocre talent appeal, for some strange reason, to a larger audience.  For example, I live in a college town where there's a plethora of musicians.  Problem is that most of the bands here are what's known as "slam-grass" (bluegrass with electric instruments) playing the same freaking songs in G all night.  Yet the students here eat this shit up.  I hope it's just the alcohol...  Anyways, the point I want to make is that while the majority of the stuff on here isn't what either of us would call excellent, I still do enjoy the randomosity of coming across the good music on here cause it's always a bit of a surprise.  And like randomdave suggested, maybe we can steer these people in a more enlightened musical direction by giving sincere critiques and encourage them not to be the next god-awful slam-grass band.
#15August 27th, 2005 · 10:23 AM
8 threads / 4 songs
246 posts
United Kingdom
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