Do you listen to your own music / do you enjoy listening to your own music?

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I always found it odd that some musicians say they never listen to their own music. I try to make music I would want to listen to, and when it actually turns out well (admittedly, more often than not it doesn't) I take pleasure in hearing it, and part of that is definitely some kind of egotistical or narcissistic pleasure I guess, but I also feel that what is recorded is not entirely me anymore, or it's a me that's frozen in time that is no longer me the listener.

So, do you listen to yourself, or do you just want to move on to the next thing?

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 4 December 2020 14:59 (one month ago) link

I do. The biggest danger for me is the following progression:

1. Hear a mistake

2. Decide the mistake is too trivial for anyone but me to have noticed

3. Decide that I actually kind of like the mistake (whether because it is a fortunate mistake, or because it indicates "realness" or "looseness" or whatever)

4. Decide that actually it was intentional all along, and that I totally meant to do that

velcro-magnon (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 4 December 2020 15:06 (one month ago) link

lol, I have done that

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 4 December 2020 15:17 (one month ago) link

Haha, yes.

I do this way too much. Obv you have to do this when you're working on something, but I probably do it the most after a project is finished but before it's released. I think it happens a lot when I'm listening to something else, and I want to flip back and reassure myself that it sounds like music that someone might want to listen to.

Less so after it's released, but listening to it can be so evocative of the time it was being recorded, so that too sometimes.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 4 December 2020 15:18 (one month ago) link

I usually record instrumental stuff and then put it on my phone so I can listen and write vocal melodies. i have a lot of these on my phone as recording actual vocals is the hardest part to me. But yeah, I generally enjoy going back and listening to them.

Heez, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:22 (one month ago) link

Yep. A lot of people I know don't really go back and listen to their old records, but I do all the time. I like the music that I've made! And it brings back memories of creating and recording with people I love. I've not really released much stuff that I've worked on solo, I'm not sure if I'd have a different feeling about that, but quite possibly.

emil.y, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:28 (one month ago) link

i do listen to my own music, though the sweet spots are things that i have made very recently and things that are at least a few years old. the stuff that's between a few months and a couple of years old is the stuff where i'm most likely to feel shitty about it, i guess because it's not new enough to feel fresh or old enough to feel fresh again.

na (NA), Friday, 4 December 2020 15:35 (one month ago) link

yeah I have ambient and vaporwave stuff I’ve made that I enjoy listening to. never released any of it.

brimstead, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:37 (one month ago) link

That's very true n/a, I have an unreleased record that I've listened to so much that I'm no longer excited about it, and I think I go back and listen to it hoping it will somehow be better this time?

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 4 December 2020 15:49 (one month ago) link

Yeah, it has always seemed weird to me to avoid/hate listening to your own music.
I mean if it's a major hit that you've heard/played a million times, ok, but it's a situation that most musicians don't know !
Actually, besides when I work on it or simply enjoy it, I have a very specific use for my music : as an insomniac, it's one of the best way to get me to sleep !

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 4 December 2020 16:08 (one month ago) link

ok this makes me feel better. It's odd to me too -- why would you make something you don't want to hear? I mean there's plenty of stuff I've done I don't want to hear because it's bad, but if I think it came out good, then of course I want to hear it.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 4 December 2020 16:32 (one month ago) link

I listen to it a lot when I'm making it and then I end up taking a break from it, then I return to it later. I think it might be different to be in a band to working alone though - in a band you can hear other people's parts and choices they've made with them, and that's interesting in a way that going over your own choices is not.

boxedjoy, Friday, 4 December 2020 16:48 (one month ago) link

the only reason i record my own music is to be able to hear it outside of the context of me sitting in my room playing guitar. i want to hear some of my melodies and ideas at the beach or driving through a forest or walking to the supermarket, etc. i think it's maybe kind of different for me, because it literally is a form of therapy that is more beneficial than anything else i've ever encountered. i post my music on bandcamp for anybody to hear, but i'm essentially using it as a free cloud service. if someone else hears something i did and enjoys it, well hey, bonus!

i guess it also helps that my whole premise to recording music is to just accept that i'll never gain any notoriety or make any money from it (because i'm not really very good at it, if we're being totally honest) and that nobody actually cares about my music except me and the lovable weirdos that i share a brain with.

good thread.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 10 December 2020 17:59 (one month ago) link


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