Musical identity – want one?
Your musical identity is your signature. The good news is, everyone of you have it, whether you want it or not. Whether you give a damn about it, or not. The bad news is, the strength of it varies. It also strongly depends on you. Do you desire to have a strong musical signature? You probably don’t; in that case forget this whole shit. For the remaining two readers: to get your original musical presence, you need only a couple of things.
Everyone smart enough knows that gear isn’t all that important. But it does have some importance. Because if you want to be different musically, you better get something that not many people plays. Even if it looks like it’s some of the usual stuff from a distance, you can customize it just enough to sound that little bit different. Don’t forget to use its less expected features in less expected ways. Or something like that.
Know how others play
You need to study all kinds of music, especially the ones in your genre of interest. If you have such thing. Once you learned the clichés, you can get rid of them. If you know someone else’s signature phrases, you can avoid them perfectly. Just make sure you didn’t learn them too deeply with your muscles. It sucks having to get rid of something you didn’t even want to begin with.
Make conscious choices
You need to have plans about a lot of really weird things. Shit other people wouldn’t even think of. I mean musical things of course, stuff you can learn on your instrument. Come up with this kind of stuff all the time, and make sure you also take the time to learn and internalize these. Once you have a series of weird phrases and movements, chords or odd scales learned, you have a serious weapon in your hands, so to say.
Write your own stuff
Kind of a “duh” moment, right? But even if it’s obvious, it needs to be pointed out. You have to carve out enough time to get up with your own shit, and you better make it sound good enough. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Strive to be an innovator
Many people make the mistake of getting into someone else way too deeply. It’s actually kinda required, almost. What’s important is to recognize it early on, and get rid of the skin of this person altogether. For good. Once you realize that it’s only that one person that’s ever going to get to be the best at what he/she does, you gain a lot of freedom. Because once you do something that’s really your own, the worries are gone. Others can worry about trying to copy your stuff, while you keep raising your own (overly delicious candy) bar.