When The Machines Don't Rock

Probably one of the most challenging things about making music for me these days is realizing how much of my annoyance is from expecting the machines to do the work for me.

This is a concept I've dealt with repeatedly especially in the last 4-5 years. And whenever I think I've conquered it I realize that I'm still expecting something to create for me once I've put elements in place. Be it an arpeggiated sequence or drum loop loaded with effects, at some point I've become annoyed because it isn't doing what I want it to do. And musical instruments, like children, spouses and pets, will rarely do what you want them to without giving them express instructions.

So the challenge for me has become heading the frustration off at the pass, rolling up my sleeves and diving in. This means either massaging the devices or effects or - wonder of wonders - actually playing the part not hoping the arpeggiator will do something wonderful. To those who are trained musicians this may seem a ridiculous concept and if so then maybe this post is not for you. But to others it may ring true and hopefully even give them some insight into their own methods.

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Charles Terhune

Portland, Maine

I don't know I just work here.