One of the great doubts and fears of a musician or a composer is repeated: Do all my songs sound the same?
The repetition is one of the great problems of the musician. Not only because of the fear that the songs are (or seem) the same, but because they really do not allow you to develop your talent. However, in music repeating is also a good thing. The real question: Are your songs all the same or are you expressing your musical style?
The repetition of the artist is not a crime, it is a style
When composing music, it is very common to repeat, and it usually occurs in two ways.
On the one hand, the custom. It is easy to fall into the comfort of not thinking and using what we think works to make a song. The reality is that we think that we make different songs and without knowing it we repeat ourselves until we are exhausted .
Mainly it is easy to identify this scenario because we use the same form or method of composition, the same theme at the time of writing (surprise love), or we always achieve the same feeling / musical environment. There is something that always repeats itself indistinctly. For example, perhaps we change the chords but we sing in the same way.
On the other hand, it can also happen in reverse. Repetition does not occur because of the lack of ideas (or of an automatism) but because of how the brain works. In other words, we often have an idea in the unconscious, something that we want or need to express and achieve this brings us a few songs.
Without knowing because we look for different ways of saying what we want to say, and each of these songs is a practice or an attempt of what we seek to say.
Here you experiment with different things and you end up always achieving a very similar result.
Sadly, none of these two situations make a musical style of their own.
The songs do not have to be completely different
Watch out. Nor should we think that the repetition is wrong. It is not about achieving completely different songs, it is perfect to have a musical style and that your songs have a signature, or something in common that characterizes them.
However, when all your songs talk about love in the same way, it’s a problem. As with the lyrics, the same thing happens with music, the difference is that it is a bit more difficult to identify.
The problem of repeating ourselves is that we do not improve or evolve as composers or musicians . It is a state of conformity and automatism where we really do not compose or create anything new.
Repetition is good if it serves as a practice to improve. It is harmful when we are not aware of it. The only solution to this situation is to become aware, reflect on our art and our songs.
Reflections to compose better
Let’s see some questions that will help you to compose better:
- Do you compose in the same way? Do you use the same method of composition?
- Do you use the same progressions of chords, cadences or the same harmony / tonality?
- Do the songs share the same structure?
- How are your songs different from each other?
- Is there a different musical theme for each song?
- What sensations or environment do your songs achieve? Are they similar?
- Do you always use the same tempo / bpm?
- Do you always use the same rhythm?
- What is the purpose of each song?
- What emotions does your song seek to generate among people?
- What are the lyrics of your songs about? What is the usual theme?
- Do you write the lyrics differently or always in the first person?
- Do you always begin to compose in the same way?
- Do you start and end the songs in different ways?
- Do you add something new / different / unique / particular to each song?
- Do you learn something new and apply it to your music?
- Do you build the climax always in the same way? From beginning to end?
- How do you define your musical style or sound?
- Do you experiment with different voices? Counterpoints?
- How are your melodies? Horizontal / vertical? What are their characteristics?
- What elements are repeated in your songs?
- Do you always use the same technique?
- In what are your songs characterized?
- Do you create all the songs of the same genre?
- How do you fix your songs? What is repeated when it comes to fixing them? What is the typical instrumentation? Why?
There is no right or wrong answer. You must be honest in answering these questions, they will allow you to start creating your musical style.
It’s time to create a musical style
It is important to note that you can repeat the elements you want as long as you are aware of them. Assuming that it is your style or your form is a correct step when creating your music. The problem when composing and creating is to repeat itself without knowing and thinking that we are also original. Deceiving oneself is not good. Identify that you repeat, did you know that you repeated it? is what you want?
The composition is about choosing what we want to achieve , this includes repeating elements and forms as well as experimenting with new and different things. When you start making decisions about what elements you choose to repeat, (and which ones you do not) you are creating your style.
The difference between a good composer and a good artist is knowing what you are doing.