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Writing does not scare me but i know a lot of people (I found them on my university course) who are seeking some sort of validation before they can show music to someone or finish something. A friend of mine who is an amazing composer... he got the highest mark on my course for composition and his stuff is really well thought-out and intelligently written. I love his music. BUT he's great at finding excuses. He'd say things like "I don't know about the internet like you do" to me as an excuse as to why he hasn't put himself out there as a composer. Or "i'll never be John Williams" (he loves John Williams). Turns out he doesn't write a lot, or perhaps he scraps a lot.

He's waiting until he has the validation of a masters course from the royal college of music before he's "allowed" to write music. It's sad because he'll have missed out on so much by restricting himself before that point, if he gets there.

A lot of people are like that - even if they are VERY VERY WELL qualified like my friend, many people get intimidated out of writing music and they shouldn't!

Getting over a fear of failure or an inferiority complex is vital to improving!

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Awesome, something I can chime in on for once! ;)

Anyone can write music. Really more people should do it. When I wanted to become a composer, i kinda kept it to myself at first. My goal was to become a Composition major at a decent school but I decided against doing it for a couple of reasons.

I ranked in the upper tier of my theory classes but the concepts seemed to come a little harder to me when i compared myself to the actual comp majors (bad idea). Alot of people hold composers in very very high regard. If you claim to be composer, a line of people will be lining up to try to snuff you out. Musically speaking that is. Writing music is very personal and even your best efforts will be met with "why did you do this and not this? This chord progression is too simple, your voice leading sucks, pick a different key to modulate to, and for God's sake start studying A-tonal music. It's what's in right now."

To see people scared of writing music seems to be more of an ego thing at times. Sure you can learn to read a book really well, or speak it if you are an actor of some sort, but writing your own? That's a totally different story. pun not intended. Same deal with music. Someone can play notes on a page very well but doing something yourself is frightening to many. Did you ever hear a fantastic instrumentalist? Then hear something they wrote themselves? If it wasn't up to the level of their playing then you feel like something was lost? Maybe you think less of the person for it? Everything represents what you do and for that reason many people decide not to do something than to cultivate other skills. Hey it's easier isn't it?:<

So to make sure I stay on topic...Sure writing music scares me a bit and I have many unfinished works sitting on my harddrive that can attest to that. The good news is that thanks to Digital Audio Workstations more people will be willing to give it a try and that means alot more competition to get your stuff heard. It didn't always take OCR 4-6 months to get a mix judged and then longer to get it posted. :) Though it's always great to see people with such a strong interest in making music themselves.

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On a similar vein to Garpocalypse, I think it has more to do with how others will perceive your music. As a musician, you're putting your heart and soul into something, and it could indeed not be well received, and some people don't have the discipline to look at their work objectively when people offer good critique and critism. Obviously, the good critique has to be there; people says 'that sucked' or 'that was awesome!!' don't really do much to help you improve and grow as a musician. However, it's also a two-way street with perception; you can act all high and mighty like you are some new hottness, but you better be ready if your words are doing the talking your compositions should be doing (this mostly isn't an issue save for people who want the drama it entails).

In addition, it's also another matter of perception when you have put out something successful that was well received. How do you follow-up? Do you just write what you want to, or do you feel like you have to out-do yourself with every new piece? That's one of the basics in composition: to not let preconceptions take over your thinking. Rule number 3 from the Composers' Rules of Engagement:

Avoid the Edifice Complex.

Do not regard your composition as a magnum opus.

Learn from but do not be intimidated by the masters of the past.

This point on number 6 is good as well:

Under no circumstances should you judge your work based on how it matches up to the work of others. What is important is your participation in the world of ideas, not how you measure up.

Of course, there are people like me, who are lazy bastards who don't know how to market themselves very well :) Are those excuses? I think my problem may be making too many plans; I seem to enjoy thinking of different ideas and whatnot, rather then spending the time to execute them...but in leiu of the topic, writing music has never scared me, neither before nor after I got a degree in it. I think I may just be a bit of perfection with my own stuff, which I need to learn to let go at some point or just work more productively.

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I'm not scared of writing music. However, I do feel very outclassed by many composers because I rarely hear melodies or arrangements in my head. 99% of what I write comes from pure improvisation. This makes me feel inferior to people who can have an entire song in their head.

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Yes it does, mostly because of that insane clown on my FL Studio monitor that keeps staring at me.

In all seriousness, I do sometimes get a little iffy when writing original music at least. Remixes, it's free game.. but with original music.. I just have this creeping feeling sometimes that I'm just writing down someone else's music that's just been stuck in my head for a long time. It scares me that what I call original isn't so original after all.. but at some point I just end up going with the flow.. doing my best to avoid cliche riffs, improvise.. and more importantly just express myself. That's the most important thing in the end...

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It's strange how everyone (most people) are so humbling in music. I had the experience of being quite intimidated by another composer on a project only to find that they had quit with one of their reasons being that they were intimidated by my compositions! It's weird and needless and hurts people's creative output but its certainly difficult to avoid.

I suppose there are so many facets to the vast history and present of composition, production and performance that its easy to find something you don't do as well as someone else and beat yourself up about it! It's a blessing that there's so much to learn and explore in music but also a curse when you feel inadequate by its vastness.

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I had never thought about it this way.

It has never intimidated me to write music, probably because most of my composing comes from improvising and trying new chords, tone changes and chord progressions. I don't know much formal theory, so I experiment a lot!

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99% of what I write comes from pure improvisation.
I'm actually the complete opposite. I'll have the composition down in my head but fail to physically realise it.

Writing music for me is just repeatedly attempting to translate my thoughts into MIDI, which proves frustratingly challenging.

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I'm actually the complete opposite. I'll have the composition down in my head but fail to physically realise it.

Writing music for me is just repeatedly attempting to translate my thoughts into MIDI, which proves frustratingly challenging.

This is pretty much how I do it too and I am often underwhelmed by how I am able to execute my ideas. I do get some ideas from pure improvisation, but I will most often get a riff in my head with a very specific instrument sound and fail to realize it. I suppose I need to learn more about building my own synth sounds properly. The worst thing is getting an awesome idea in my head at work and then completely forgetting it by the time I get home. :<

Ultimately writing music doesn't actually scare me, it usually feels really amazing when I'm "in the groove" of it. I suppose if I ever start writing music as a career that outlook may change dramatically.

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I'm not scared of writing music. However, I do feel very outclassed by many composers because I rarely hear melodies or arrangements in my head. 99% of what I write comes from pure improvisation. This makes me feel inferior to people who can have an entire song in their head.

I used to, and still do, beat myself about this all the time. "If you didn't intend it then it's wrong" was the way i thought for years. Now i find myself writing entire sections of music through improvisations based around an idea or theme.

It's very warming to see one of OCR's best as human afterall. :)

I think the two most frusterating moments with music have to be:

When you have something you like in your head and can't get it into your daw because you are not near your studio or you can't get it out fast enough before your idea changes in your head.

When you are staring at your monitor unable to think of what the heck you should do next.

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It's very warming to see one of OCR's best as human afterall. :)

Not a slight towards Zircon or anything, but I get confused about comments like these. Why would he not be human? Why would he not be free of error? Music isn't a godly talent, no matter what example may be shown, its work or hobby like most other things. Even the best have drawbacks of some kind in the very genre they are godlike towards.

I have to wonder if thats where some of the topic question comes from - this idea of an artform transcending abilities of most people. Why would one be scared to perform a skill? It's just like any other action. Backlash from the public? You'd be amazed how many people will be supportive of your little ditty no matter how shitty it is. Ironically, it's when it IS good that people judge it the harshest.

Music is a human skill and if I can learn it, literally every fucking biped orbiting Sol can, and when you get down to it, music can be just as much work as, well, work is, if you do it seriously.

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Why would he not be human? Why would he not be free of error?

He could be referring to aliens who can produce things we merger humans can only dream of before they slip into the ether.

Also, I feel as if Sam has encountered a lot of people who are nervous to write for the sake of their egos/reputations being on the line, which is clearly absurb when discussing the very idea, but a delicate issue depending on who is being involved with it (hence why he posed it in the first, imho).

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i'm not afraid of writing music. it's just difficult. for me, anyways, it's almost always spontaneous. i can sit down and force something to come out, but it's usually crap. my best stuff happens when i'm out and about or not thinking about it.

as such i get melodies in my head all the time but in usually circumstances where i can't record them and i often end up forgetting them. even when it does happen when i'm at a keyboard my basic understanding of music theory is so lax it's literally trial and error to reproduce it. when i'm not at a keyboard i can't read/write music so i can't write what i'm hearing down, and i don't have that ability that a lot of musicians and composers have to just hear a note and go "oh that's an A#" so i wouldn't know what to write anyways.

i've started carrying around either my DS with Korg M01 or a tablet with some basic piano roll software everywhere i go, and i'm slowly training myself to at least be able to realize intervals on hearing them which is hard for me for some reason but i figure if i can do that i can at least reproduce the melodies of my brain quickly which would help greatly in remembering them.

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No I enjoy writing music. What I do fear is not getting a response. This goes for other things as well. Recently I just have had to accept that sometimes I won't get a response but it's worth trying because if I don't try I'm absolutely not going to get any response.

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It's great reading all the responses on this thread, and writing anything creative, be it words or music, is something that does scare me quite a bit. I love doing it of course, but a perfectionist part of me keeps thinking 'this melody is too boring' or 'this instrumentation isn't the best', and I end up with lots of ideas I can't bear to string together. In the end, I'll obsessively listen to a 8 bar passage over and over again, trying to tweak small parts here and there to match what I'm hearing in my head, though of course it hardly ever works out as planned. I suppose I'm secretly thinking 'if this isn't going to be good, then what's the point of doing it at all?', which probably isn't a very healthy mindset to have haha. And when I hear another composition I enjoy, I'm thinking in the back of mind 'will I ever be able to write something like that?'. Okay I think I'm starting to use this thread to voice my countless insecurities/inadequacies, so I'd better stop this post before it degenerates into precisely that.

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I don't know if I'd go as far as scared, but writing outside my comfort zone makes me less likely to share the result with others. I'm sure the root of it is an ego thing - I know I can make good synth-based music, but I just don't have enough experience making rock songs or whatever to feel good about the result. Of course, you build that experience by simply doing it.

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From what I can tell, criticism, even constructive criticism, hurts ppl's confidence, which can turn them into perfectionists that - yes - make better music, but also have trouble being satisfied with their works and therefor finish fewer tracks.

I know this applies to me. I started going over some of my old tracks the other day. Found a whole lot of great stuff that i just abandoned for whatever reason. Haven't subbed anything to ocr for at least a year. Haven't finished any tracks for my allegedly upcoming original album(s). Sure, there's rl and project reasons for this, but the time I spend just listening to my unfinished works and tweaking stuff could just as well be spent actually finishing stuff.

Dunno if I'm scared to write - I write a lot - but I do find myself discouraged when I hear good music. I keep thinking I could tweak my stuff to make it as good as the stuff I listen to. I don't want to publish it in any way until it sounds as good. I don't think that's what the artists intended. :D

Wonder what I - and others - actually need to get stuff done. Encouragement? More specific constructive criticism? A kick, somewhere? A muse? A promise of money? A fan club? A spine?

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Awesome question from one of the people who makes me scared to write music :P

I compare myself to others in everything. It's an awful flaw of mine. Being that I've been writing more tonally flexible music like jazz and funk and fusion recently, I've been comparing my tunes to your own, Sam, and to PROTODOME's, Joshua Morse's, Disasterpeace's, Surasshu's (sp?), etc.

Needless to say, no matter how cool a tune of mine is and how much others or I enjoy listening to it, I end up disappointed in myself for not living up to the aptitude of professional musicians, and that's really kind of a stupid reaction considering I've only been writing music for maybe a year or so, and not even consistently at that. Regardless, it's an inevitable reaction, and I remedy it by sending my music to some of those musicians whom I really respect to get feedback. Just hearing from any musician I respect that they like my tune is enough to keep the fear away... til my next tune.

I'm still sort of in that early phase of composition where every time I write something, I think, "Wow, did I really make this?" So at this point in my music-making career, I'd say I'm still seeking validation as a member of the cool kids club of composers. I want others to say "Wow, did you really make this?"

So in that sense, yes, whenever I even think about writing a new tune, I already feel a little defeated and incapable of greater things, almost unworthy of the musicians I look to for inspiration. Scared. I suspect that feeling will abate over time as I feel like I close the skill gap more and more between myself and my "idols."

Nothing would make me feel better and more confident than to be able to stand at eye-level with some of those artists I listed before, but until then, I'll always have a little fear of failure, incompetence, and insufficiency.

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I think my problem may be making too many plans; I seem to enjoy thinking of different ideas and whatnot, rather then spending the time to execute them...

I also have quite a few ideas written down, that I... want to create once I <have better samples / have a better PC / know more about mixing&mastering / maybe have a bigger audience>...

99% of what I write comes from pure improvisation.

I wouldn't say it's like that with me as I do have basic melodies or other elements in my head, but the more interesting and more engaging parts of the things I do are usually the ones where I just play around with a sound and then maybe find a nice meoldy or chord progression - the downside is, quite a few of these parts sound like the simple playing around that they really are...

On topic, when I got my first few followers on SoundCloud I had this insane fear of releasing tracks - I would ask my family and friends whether this sounded "acceptable" or something, because... what if the people who had followed me there would not like this new track? :S But then again there were some tracks which I personally considered rather bad and others again found amazing, and even though things like these happen rather rarely, I don't want to miss out on an oppurtunity and... well, that defeats the fear for me ;)

(Hope this all made sense...)

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