As talented * yet amateur * songwriters, musicians, audio engineers, producers, and artists. With our professional * yet limited * home recording studio setups. Do you ever feel the need, or take the initiative to ask others for help, guidance, advice, critique, or contribution?
Speaking for myself, it has often times been or at least seemed easier and safer to go it alone rather than to seek out and collaborate with others. Mix that with some ego and just plain desire to put my name to a few more credits and you have a recipe for making a mediocre pie from some incredible ingredients.
What I mean is, I enjoy the process of writing, performing, recording, mixing, mastering and producing music immensely. I wanna do it all! But when it comes to results, most of us fall short in the ‘doing all of those things exceptionally well’ category.
Does it really matter if our songs are mediocre? I mean, we have fun doing it, right? Well, no. I’m sure it doesn’t matter at all to our non-existent audience. They just listen to the first 10 seconds of our music and move on, no big deal. Granted, family and friends will have to sit all the way through and force a grin, but no-one else has to do that.
When it comes to my own songs though, I have to say I would love it if they could be great! I have a burning desire to prove that us amateurs can make music just as good as anyone else.
You hear it all the time, do you not? “That music on the radio is rubbish! My music is so much better than that. How come they are so popular and making all that money while I’m here scrubbing the dishes?”
Well, with modern technology now putting us on a near equal playing field with the pros, the difference between them and us really boils down to only one or two things – talent and commitment.
One of the reasons that professionally produced radio-ready songs sound ten times better than most amateur home recordings is down to, I believe, the simple fact that professionals don’t try to go it alone. They work as a team and each team member contributes to the product.
It’s basically a difference in the way they think about and approach music as compared to us hobbyists. It’s all about having the right attitude. And that attitude is all about making the best pie using the best ingredients. That’s their job!
So, I say let’s put a proverbial pie in the face of commercial music and get on with the noble job of making music better for ourselves and others.
Start by finding collaborators that you can trust, are reliable, and are great at what they do. Make sure everyone is onboard and you have a clear vision for your music and where it is going. And don’t settle until you are happy with the results.
What are your thoughts on producing exceptional music as an amateur musician? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
[ Photo: Frank Sinatra and Soupy Sales ]