Don’t get alarmed by the scammy sounding title. It’s really just the results of a certain analysis that went through my head. Like a giddy fukken freight train. The reason it happened? Just so I can set up a couple of guidelines for you, for ourselves and for anyone who’s interested in knowing what grabs the average listener. Food and stuff goes into you daily. If you want to make sure that good music comes out at the other end, bear the following in mind.
Make music that sounds mostly familiar.
(And I mean familiar to the average listener of any given society the creator desires to attract.) That’s rule one. To make music sound familiar, you have to admit to certain limitations of the given culture. Use familiar harmonies, melody snippets, familiar rhythms and sounds/instrumentation/effects. The lamest approach to rule one is to straight out steal. Or to make a cover and change it enough so the below two rules apply as well. Those are shortcuts though, that might not give you the best possible results. Why? Because “familiar” doesn’t mean “exact copy”.
Put certain (rather low but clearly detectable) amount of unfamiliar elements in it.
Rule two is pretty much the opposite of rule one. Except that we stated that the unfamiliar content must be low (but detectable). Think of it as some kind of spice. Let me explain. When you think of something that’s acquired taste – be it food or art or anything really – you can’t have too much of it. At least not at first (before it becomes – you guessed right – familiar). You want the audience to taste the spicy food, not the foody spice. So, spice up the rhythm, put some weird melodies in it, or make it incredibly dissonant here and there. You can even try new sounds, sound effects or blend in your favorite monkey fart recordings.
Make it sound reasonably dynamic.
Yeah. Because the above shit will surely do its job, but you need ’em n00bs to get the bigger than life feeling as well. Lift them up, drop and torture ’em; do what you want. What I mean is, make it sound like the volume goes from a to B every now and then. And then of course go back from B to a, and let the roller coaster start over again. The tune needs to breathe, and slap the clueless little fuckers in the face only in certain well deserved moments. Because we roll in style.