Music is so easy to make now, what with loops, virtual instruments and the like so readily available to anyone who owns a computer. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to see people making music with these things when I can’t, simply due to the barrier computer technology likes to put before the blind. For a while, at the beginning of the year, this really got me discouraged. I wanted to be able to make music as easily as others I look up to and admire could, and I just can’t, no matter how many times I try to with music technology. At this current point in time, I cannot use my computer to do so, and that really bummed me out.
But then I realized, why make music with virtual instruments? Why not just decide to make music the old fashioned way with live percussion etc etc? So this got me looking up some instruments that are both easy to acquire, and easy to play. So I had to tell myself: “Why are you trying so hard to do something that just isn’t possible for you right now?”. I got to the point that trying to mess with all of this music tech just got ridiculous, and even when I did use said virtual instruments the end product wasn’t coming out the way I liked it. When I used what I had at my disposal, however (my voice, some a cappella arranging and some beads) I loved the end result of what came of my songs.
I realized I was a tactile person. Although virtual instruments work for some, they do not work for me. Plus, the good ones are pretty expensive, and honestly I’d rather spend that money on a tangible instrument that I can hold, learn to play, perfect, and keep for life. I want to have skills that a hardware update can’t take away from me. I want to create music in every sense of the word. And for me, that means learning, playing, and arranging my music with live instruments.
I’ve decided what type of artist I want to be. What tools I want to use for my trade. It took me a very long time to come to this conclusion, but I’m so happy I did. Now, I know the next steps I have to take to get to this goal, and don’t have to keep on beating my head against the wall looking for a solution that just won’t work for me. Will learning to play some real instruments be hard? Sure, but not any harder than trying to get an inaccessible VST to work on my computer.
After I made this choice, I really got excited to get going. So, next month I will be starting my instrument collection! Some inexpensive ones, but I’ll be so happy to get some in my house all the same.
I guess what I’m trying to say in this post is, decide what type of artist you want to be. Sure, everyone is doing ___, but is it what you want to do? Is it something you think you’ll be happy with down the road? Is it something you think will inspire you to create? I think all of these questions are important to ask yourself, and are questions we all avoid for one reason or another. Answering them however, is probably the most important thing you can do for your peace of mind, and for your creative process.