Or teach myself to dance? Can I dance?
As a composer, pianist, composer of music, singer, or dancer, there are a number of things I’m good at. This includes:
Learning to read music, or write down pieces
Developing vocal technique
Learning new musical techniques and playing them on different instruments
Playing with other composers to develop repertoire
I believe that the greatest source of creativity is seeing what you can do with your own abilities as opposed to learning something because you want to learn it for the wrong reason.
I love listening to other people’s improvisational and singing. I enjoy performing with other people and singing with other people. I don’t listen to others as an instrument, but also as a tool. For this reason, I’ve been a student of other musicians for longer than I’ve also been a student of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff because the musicians I’m playing with are using the same techniques, musical ideas, and styles as I do.
For me, this means that even when I’m making music that’s not my own, I’m working with what others teach them and sharing these techniques as part of the process.
For example, if I have an idea for a song or a melody (or whatever else sounds good in my head) that I want to incorporate more prominently in a song, I’ve often tried to work with my co-writer to incorporate a little bit of this idea in the song. For example, I might write a melody for a song that starts out more of a jazzy, jazzy, jazz-laden melody before shifting to a more straight up blues melody, and later moving toward an acoustic bassline. I love to hear each of these changes, and then work them in to see what happens. Sometimes the best songwriting is when you’re not sure what direction to go, and you keep coming back to the original theme. This can lead to an amazing variety of songs.
What is what I’m looking for when I think about composing?
My favorite way to work on compositions is to take a piece that I like and play over it on piano to hear it as a piece of music on its own. Then I’ll play that over a piece of music that is similar, and then over a different piece of music and hear the similarity again