Sunday, March 21, 2010

Do You Need to Pay Your Dues to Play the Blues? Does the Best Music Have Its Roots in Pain?

Is the most powerful music find its roots in personal suffering? Artists as renowned as Eric Clapton felt that they needed to suffer to play the blues with authenticity. I sometimes think that it might be a little absurd for me to sing about stuff like heroin withdrawal or being beat down by the man when I have always had a roof over my head and food on the table and really have led a safe, comfortable life. Not that I haven't had to work for almost everything that I have ever had. But where does music's power come from if not from something deeply meaningful? Such as suffering? For some reason it is the sad songs that are my favorites and the ones that I find easiest to write. I really wish it was easier to write upbeat music that wasn't completely vapid. Maybe I 'm dwelling too much on this long as people are enjoying the music does it matter?

Love songs are very hard for me to write. There are so many bad ones. Plus I am kind of a cynic about romantic love these days. Not that I don't love my woman – it is just that I don't trust the soul-consuming fire that can burn those in love. Usually it is really more lust than love.

I could probably spend more time exploring this topic, but I'm running out of steam for now. I'm hoping some of you readers will chime in and post a few comments related to this post.


  1. I don't think the best music has its roots in pain, but I do think most songwriters find it easier to write from sadness than joy. I'm certainly that way and I hate it!


  2. Yeah it would be nice if you left your audience feeling good instead of bummed out lol.


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