I Used To Make Music

Find that thing that allows you to enter your own world of creativity and expression.

June 23, 2023   •   3 min read  

Throughout high school, I was obsessed with Pop Punk and Hip Hop.

The playlist on most days would be a mix of Blink 182, New Found Glory, Dr. Dre and The Game.

A far cry from just a few years earlier when the most notable CDs I owned were Alanis Morissette's 'Jagged Little Pill' and the soundtrack to the movie, The Full Monty.

When I was about 14 a got my first electric guitar and was determined to learn any Blink 182 songs.

With the help of printable guitar tabs for songs I liked or any files I could find to learn through Guitar Pro (a software that allows you to read and write sheet music or tablature).

After a week of determination, and with my brother's coaching, I cried when my non-dexterous fingers couldn't hold a power chord.

After a couple of months, I figured it out on my own and basically taught myself how to play the guitar (well pop punk songs at least).

I remember learning the riff to Limp Bizkit's 'Take A Look Around' from Mission Impossible 2 and thinking I was so badass (listening back now it is ridiculously simple).

Throughout high school, Music was my favourite class by far. I loved everything about it, from learning about Satchmo (Louis Armstrong) to playing the drums for the school band banging out classics like 'Pomp and Circumstance'.

After high school, I went on to TAFE to study music production for a year before my passion for playing and making music petered out.

Over the next decade, I went in and out of waves of inspiration.

I'd buy a guitar and jam/record for 6 months, then lose interest. Two years later I'd buy a MIDI keyboard and produce every day for months, then lose interest.

For me, nothing has ever been quite as freeing for me as locking myself away after a long day at school or work and just jamming out to a fun new idea or adding layers to an existing one.

There was never any expectation or desire to make anything for other people and that is where the joy emanated from. I would just make what I thought was cool, I would try and surprise myself.

Today I remembered that a bunch of random, half-baked tracks that I made were uploaded to Soundcloud a few years back (I updated a couple of others today that I found).

Are they great? No.

Are they mixed well? No.

Did I love every minute of making them? Yes!

They are ideas born from nothing. Just 1 instrument or track with a unique beat or melody that I created, layered with another next track that sounds good in combination, and so on and so on until I have some semblance of a song.

The songs are bizarre, no doubt. Blending sci-fi vibes with hip hop, featuring trap hi-hats alongside sitars and flutes.

The reason I'm writing about this today is twofold;

  • To remind myself of the joy I get when goofing around making sounds
  • And to inspire you to find the thing that makes you feel free like this

Trace your interests all the way back through the years into childhood and rekindle something that used to make you feel relaxed and free to express yourself.

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