Talent Plus Music – The Equation by Matthew Slater

Where does good music spawn from? Is it from years of carefully crafted art, pouring over theory textbooks and taking these rules, established from hundreds of years of use, and using it to your advantage? Is good music like a watercolour painting – simple, to the point, and accessible to anyone? Attainable for anyone? Do we require some sort of in-built system, some greater notion – a sense almost, to be able to tell a story through sound? We've all heard that age old excuse – I'm no rhythm, I haven't a musical bone in my body. I know I have. It's complete and utter rubbish. From an early age we are exposed to so many musical ideas – from Happy Birthday to nursery rhymes – it all fits together nicely and functions as expected. No musical surprises, no pushing of boundaries. This would certainly explain why pop music has always retained a simple, accessible element and been able to appeal to the masses for so long. Not that that means it's the lowest common denominator. Good music should be able to connect with anyone, and because of that, anyone should be able to produce good music. We all have a book inside of us, a great novel that could capture the imagination of thousands of readers. The same holds true with music. There have been countless musicians (I'm looking at you Punk) that have next to no musical theory and can half-play their chosen instrument – but it can be a combination, a committee of ideas that are whittled down and shaped into something pleasing, something great – and that's when it works its magic. The Equation doesn't exist. There is no spoon, there is no equation. Music is an everyday thing that can be had by anyone. It's geared more towards consumers than it's ever been. Anyone can create music in their own room now – computers, sequencers, DAWs, MIDI and other consumer grade electronics make it possible, make it affordable. The internet is a free-for-all medium where anyone can publish almost anything they like – so take advantage of it. I don't care whether you can sing, dance or backflip over parakeets – I want you to try it. I want you to write some music, package it and put it online. I want you to get people to listen and get feedback whether good or bad. It's just a bit of fun, a way to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Besides if they don't like it, it's just it doesn't suit their taste.