How to Turn Music Appreciation into Inspiration

turn music appreciation into inspiration

In terms of making great music, taste and appreciation are essential.

What you listen to doesn’t directly translate into what you’ll create as a musician, however it has a huge impact.

Whether you’re struggling to break via creative blocks in your songwriting, beat making, or music production, there’s a huge opportunity to turn your musical appreciation into creative fuel.

Here is a way that you can use to turn music appreciation into inspiration.

1. Learn to separate imitation from appreciation

You might not realize it, however, everything you create is informed by other artist’s music.

Your favorite songs were inspired and shaped by other music that artists you admire now liked to listen to.

Getting in touch with what you love or don’t like about another artist’s music is one of the best things you can do for your creativity.

Some artists confuse appreciation with imitation, and this ends up causing major problems.

Appreciation gives you the helpful inspiration you can use to shape your unique musical statements.

Imitation takes your uniqueness out of the equation. It’s nothing more than copying another artist’s ideas and pasting them into your work.

You might find that there’s a thin line between imitation and appreciation. However being able to tell the difference between your original ideas and someone else’s work is essential.

You might find that there’s a thin line between imitation and appreciation. However being able to tell the difference between your original ideas and someone else’s work is essential.

Replicating somebody’s exact melodies, beats, instrumentation, and lyrics fall under the imitation category. Musical appreciation is the act of letting another artist’s work inspire creativity, innovation, and meaning on your own.

2. Define what moves you in another artist’s music

Pinpointing exactly what you love or dislike about another artist’s music is a powerful way to define taste and shape your music at the same time. You might love an artist’s music, however, what exactly in their work moves you?

To transform appreciation into actionable creative inspiration, get as specific as possible answering this question.

Once you hear music, what you’re listening to is the finished product of something with many defining characteristics. It’s your job to listen close and recognize exactly what’s going on inside the music that moves you.

Everything from the way an artist sings and plays their instrument to how they produce their work and color it with effects shapes their music.

Paying attention and listening critically will allow you to define your taste and provide direction for your music.

Paying attention and listening critically will allow you to define your taste and provide direction for your music.

This exercise is helpful not just for delving deep and understanding what you love in music, but also what you don’t like.

Listening critically and defining characteristics about the music you’re not a fan of makes you aware of making the same decisions in the music you create.

3. Convert your music appreciation into actionable inspiration

Musical appreciation turns into meaningful action once you let what you hear guide your creativity.

You should use what you hear as a jumping-off point for the music you write or pinpoint specific strategies and techniques used in another artist’s work to try yourself.

However, this doesn’t mean ripping off another musician’s ideas and calling them your own. In case you love something specific about another artist’s music, find out how and why they did it and aim to create something different however just as impactful.

To transform musical appreciation into action, try these ways below:

Test out production techniques, instrumentation, and arrangement styles

When you’ve identified specific things you’re inspired by in another artist’s work, experiment with incorporating them into your process.

Whether it’s a specific reverb plugin or combination of instruments, you can fuel your work with a technique that moves you from someone else’s.

turn music appreciation into inspiration

Experiment with an existing musical idea as a starting point for writing

A melody, chord progression, or beat that already exists out in the world can be an inspiration for something new.

A melody, chord progression, or beat that already exists out in the world can be an inspiration for something new.

Use this exercise to gain a better understanding of artists you admire work, or to give your creativity direction.

In case you ever find yourself in a position of not understanding what or how to make music (we’ve all been there), this exercise will help move you forward.

Get a better understanding of the emotion behind the music you like and match it in your own way

turn music appreciation into inspiration

Have you ever heard somebody perform a cover that doesn’t quite work? The problem could be that the original artist delivers an emotional rawness that the performer can’t match.

Fully appreciating music forces you to get into the top of another artist. It helps you understand what emotional space they were in when they were writing.

By doing this, you’ll not only get in touch with the emotional state of other artists but also your own.

Appreciation = inspiration

Inspiration is all around you, however, it’s up to you to be able to access and use it. When it feels tough to write music in an inspired, genuine way, dig deep into the music that moves you. Use that love to fuel your process.

Learn more about your favorite artists and you’ll soon realize they have been all influenced by musicians that came before.

Finding your tastes and using your appreciation to shape and inform your music will give your work direction, energy, and inspiration.

 

 

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