Writing music is easy. Writing good songs is not.

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Somehow writing a song is just like speaking.

Making noises is easy, making yourself understood is doable, but speaking to the heart is very difficult.

I could write eight hours of music every day if the task was just to fill the silence that surrounds us with more or less coherent sounds. Writing music is ridiculously easy once you know your way around an instrument or two and a little bit of recording gear. And yet, although those eight hours would not necessarily be total bullshit, it would not be all hits, if you get my drift.

Writing GOOD music is on a different page. The problem is that there is no way of telling what the difference is. Even if I could define what good music is, this definition would be limited to me, myself and I. There are only two ways out of this, depending on your personal disposition:

A) You manage to believe that your definition of ‘good’ music is NOT limited to your own perspective. It might help if you limit yourself to a certain set of ideas per song, and if you work hard at guiding the focus of the listener where you want it to be. It might also help if you are pragmatic about your musical ideas and find the right balance between tension and resolution on all levels: rhythmically, tonally, verbally. That, and a lot of experience could lead to music that is at least ‘better’ than your very first attempts at writing songs.

B) You just give up on the idea of writing objectively good music and try to write music you like a LOT and just hope that if you like it that much – given that you hopefully are no complete idiot who is disconnected from all of mankind – somebody else might like it, too.

I go for a combination of a little A and a lot of B. Sometimes I feel like an idiot because I like some of my songs too much. Sometimes I feel like a TOTAL idiot for not liking my songs enough, because if I don’t love the shit out of them, why should anybody else?

And sometimes it is best to ignore the meta-bullshit, and hope that anything that is sincere will find its audience.

Love,

J

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