Music Making Motivation

Created: Jun 6, 2023 | A quality | High importance

As the founding, primary, and only member of Danger Third Rail, these are my opinions on motivation for writing and producing music for the project.

Consider the following graph:

TODO: insert graph

The y axis is how good a song or album is, from the absolute worst to absolutely mind-blowingly incredible (all of this is my opinion of course). The x axis is how much the song or album inspires me to make music.

So of course there are 4 broad categories delineated by the chart.

Terrible and makes me want to make music

These are pretty easy to understand. Songs that are so bad that I think, "Oh come on, I can do better than this. Anyone can do better than this!". I feel like I want to make music that is better than these because I think I can, it's really not that hard. And usually this is popular music I'm considering. If this can get popular, imagine what I could do!

Great and makes me want to make music

This category is your classic "The Pixies are your favorite band's favorite band" choices. You hear these songs, they're great, and suddenly you go out and buy a guitar because you want to be the next Joe Strummer. This is inspiration. This is what motivates a lot of music out there, the love of something great and inspiring.

Great and makes me not want to make music

While music in the previous category is fun and inspiring, this category is composed more of the music that is terrifyingly good. It's intimidating. These songs and albums are so amazing, so detailed, so enthralling and engaging, so perfect that I can't imagine that anything I make would ever stack up. There's no point to making any music at all, because it will never be as good as these.

Terrible and makes me not want to make music

This one is a bit harder to pin down completely, and harder to explain. It's not really music that is heinously bad, per se, but more like uninspiring. I hear something in this category and I think, "That sucks" but instead of "...and I could do so much better" like above, it's more like "...and this is what I'm going to sound like so there's no point". Part of this is the idea that there are a hundred million songs on Spotify and ~50k being added every day. Clearly not all of this is in the "great music" categories above. They're probably crappy or worse. Why should I bother, I think, to add to this swirling mess?


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