Copycat music – are you guilty?

Copycat music is something that plays many times, at many places, all over the world. Maybe too many times and too many places. There are a lot of people guilty of being copycats. People who might put a lot of time and work and enthusiasm in their craft. Yet it’s all in vain, because their musicianship doesn’t try to push the envelope. Nope. It just tries to perfectly and accurately conform to something that has been already played. So are you one of them who play copycat music? Here’s a couple of symptoms to look for.

Copycat music – are you guilty of playing it?

So you play covers… only: It’s one of the alarming signs of copycat music when you don’t play anything else but covers. Okay I get it, in genres like jazz, blues or bluegrass, there are so called standards that you get to play to show off your improvisational skills. Here’s one thing for you to ponder. Music is not a competition. There’s a fat chance that after the hundredth time you played through the same tune in the same well known style, it’s going to sound boring. No matter if you played a new solo over it each and every time.

copycat musicYou play songs the way The Original Artist played it: That’s a startling sign of hardcore copycat music. We have all met this kind of person. He sits down and learns his (or her) beloved band’s tunes. Note for note. Same phrasing. Same tone. Same gear. He actually hunts down all the vintage and/or signature gear his favorite musician played. One time or another in their career. He shells out the big bucks for every little vague piece of dated acoustic and electric musical device. This enthusiastic behavior is really not that much different from your usual aircraft or railway modeller. Which is an amazing hobby. Not that interesting as music, though.

Copycat music – are you guilty of playing it?

So you want to be a pro: If you don’t want to end up playing copycat music, the solution is pretty simple. Try to brew your own music, man. Plenty of it, so you get used to constantly remaining fresh and agile musically. It’s okay to borrow or even steal stuff from your influences. As long as you never settle for anything that has been done previously. Certainly not the exact same way they did it. Be a designer, not a mere modeller, my friend.

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