I think there’s a major problem right now with a significant number of young, aspiring, would-be producers, electronic musicians, drummers, guitarists, etc. They have the wrong outlook on what music is and what the endgoal should be. Sure, they practice their instrument and actively seek out new information, instruction, and material to learn. But it’s for the wrong reasons.
They see music as some sort of video game- quests to complete, experience points gained to level up. Gotta learn how to make that dubstep bass sound, or play that rock groove on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, or how to play Call Me Maybe on the piano- these are all the “achievements” of the game. The goal? To level up, to be the best, to progressively accumulate skills, tools, experience, and eventually kick ass. Naturally, the fruits of such labor is formulaic, unoriginal, and stale.
This isn’t music. Music is not a video game. It isn’t a competition. It does not live in a pre-programmed world, and there is not a clear path of quests, achievements, and leveling up. It’s not about “getting good”- it’s something deeper.
I’m sure if you asked these gamer-musicians what their goals were with music, you’d get something like: “To be the BEST DRUMMER EVER”, or “To get famous making electro house music”, or “to pick up chicks”. Keep pressing, and you’ll be surprised to find that they’re dumbfounded to come up with anything meaningful. Being creative, being expressive, eliciting emotion, and conveying a message through music is nowhere on their radar.
And without those creative, expressive, and emotional elements… Well, I already said what that is. Formulaic, unoriginal, and stale. And not in the true spirit of music making.
Young, aspiring musicians- wake up. Stop treating music like a video game, and start realizing it for what it really is. Have fun.