Why do I hate modern music?

Why do I hate modern music, by which I mean most of today's Billboard Hot 100? I know one reason is not enough guitar, and another is that I'm old, but what are they doing that sounds so awful to me? It sounds flat and monotonous with lots of bloops and little dynamism. Is there a For Dummies explanation that someone who is mostly musically uneducated can follow?

PS: Btw, I started my latest attempt to teach myself guitar on 4 June 2019. I found a way to sit with my guitar that doesn't cause back pain, which makes me feel optimistic.

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  • I cannot explain the top 100 beyond lowest common denominators.

    I saved up for a guitar when I was 16 and hacked away at it for about 15 years. There are a ton of resources online now that I would have killed for back then, as it was I'd get Guitar Player once a month and hope the tab in it was something I liked.

    The rest of the month I'd put music on and try to keep up. Lots of Rush, Van Halen, Whitesnake, I'm dating myself but you get the idea. Pick something you're into that isn't too complicated and do it to death. Try to maintain correct hand position and work those pinky muscles. I learned without ever taking a lesson, but I started with some bad habits that proved very difficult to unlearn later on.

  • edited July 24

    Right now I just think there is too much auto-tune. :)

    I used to hate songs that were nothing except samples, but I got over my bias there. At some point I realized that sampling has turned into its own art form, and some of the artists (or their producers) do it very well. Although I will pull a 'middle aged white guy' line and say that in general I still prefer music that can be performed live.

    Another thing to try is to look at charts from other countries that are less directly influenced by the RIAA.

    But otherwise... yeah. Its no secret that I've though that the top 40/100/etc sounded like crap for most of my life. If you still want domestic charts though there are other charts that track a dozen other genres of music... maybe one of them is more to your liking? There is more out there than the Hot100/Country/Christian charts.

    The thing I've noticed about some of those other charts is that sometimes a song will pop back up on there years after it was released, just because it was used in a TV show, commercial, or dumb luck. Probably a side effect of not being on one of the big three charts... The number of 'units moved' for something to show up on those other charts is a lot lower.

    I'd offer some song suggestions, but I know I'll end up getting lost in it and next thing I know it will be midnight. :)

  • I haven't liked modern music for a long time, but at least I knew why I hated most arena rock, disco, and rap. Arena rock: it is forced, strident, puerile, and way too wankerriffic. Disco: it is repetitive, boring, and has an obnoxious shallowness. Rap: it has little melody and lots of anti-social lyrics often glorifying murder, prostitution, drug abuse, and misogyny. The stuff they're putting out today, though, just sounds bad to me, mechanical, like it's being made by an AI. (Is it being made by an AI?)

    I think autotune might have something to do with it, but I don't know enough about music to have any conclusions.

    That's not to say that good music isn't being made. When I feel like looking for it, I can find it on Spotify, YouTube, and even hoary old Last.fm, but it is no longer popular and doesn't have any corporate backing. Another thing I wonder is why the big music corporations have decided that people want bad music. Sales are way down. Doesn't that tell them something?

    Anyway, on the guitar front, I bought a copy of Rocksmith and have been playing it an hour a day for the last four days.

    Since 4 June I've been practicing chords and doing a spider exercise most days. Progress has been slow. My speed at forming chords remains pathetic.

  • double dutch bus should be preserved in the library of congress as culturally significant

  • @Bill said:
    (Is it being made by an AI?)

    Generally, no. AI stuff is good tbh. I think you're rubbing up against the sameness of pop in general and the dumbing down of society as filtered through music. No one's got patience for complex or nuanced music just like no one's got patience for any statements that aren't soundbites and require thought to digest.

    Since 4 June I've been practicing chords and doing a spider exercise most days. Progress has been slow. My speed at forming chords remains pathetic.

    look into learning some Velvet Underground, Reed was famously cynical (although almost certainly he was just being witty) about songs with lots of chord changes. ("...three chords and you're into jazz" etc). Sweet Jane is 4 or 5 chords the whole way through.

  • There is for sure a supercomputer in Nashville pooping out processed country product.

  • @Dave said:

    look into learning some Velvet Underground, Reed was famously cynical (although almost certainly he was just being witty) about songs with lots of chord changes. ("...three chords and you're into jazz" etc). Sweet Jane is 4 or 5 chords the whole way through.

    Heh. I still can't convince my hands to form the chords all in one motion. I can get the basic open chords to ring out most of the time, but making them quickly still eludes me.

    I also can get barre chords to ring out a lot of the time -- not most of the time -- but again, I'm slow.

  • you like some classic americana, right? CCR is right up your alley. open chords, but you can do barre chords, the changes aren't impossible or super fast, and you've heard the songs a million times. maybe leave bad moon rising for last.

  • Other than on Rocksmith, I haven't been doing much with actual songs, yet. I've been working on chords and finger independence. Do you think I should look up some tab and give it a go? Would that be a better use of my time?

  • I say go for it. It forces you to be fast or fall behind, plus you already know what it should sound like.

  • edited August 7

    @Bill said:
    Other than on Rocksmith, I haven't been doing much with actual songs, yet. I've been working on chords and finger independence. Do you think I should look up some tab and give it a go? Would that be a better use of my time?

    i say do both. rocksmith for the learning, and maybe pick a song or two to have fun with. CCR, VU, maybe some Cure ("just like heaven" or "friday i'm in love" are pretty simple 4 chord songs). rolling stones songs can be simple, but keef's playing a 5-string guitar in open G tuning, so maybe avoid the stones yet.

    Do you ever listen to any podcasts? Marc Maron's podcast WTF is great; he did a pocast with Mike Watt of the Minutemen where he talks about a health scare and how he spent his time recuperating by learning Stooges songs (and CCR) because they're really straight-ahead/simple songs. Not sure how into the Stooges you are (IIRC you were into raw power? maybe it was fun house...). (skip to 8'00'' to get to the actual mike watt section of the podcast)

  • I listen to Joe Rogan once in a while, if you consider what he does a podcast.

    I like the Stooges. Fun House is my favorite of their albums, but I like all three of their studio albums. I like a lot of Iggy Pop's stuff, too.

    I looked up a how to on "Proud Mary." I'm going to have to start working on strumming again. I was doing 24 minutes per day before I got Rocksmith, but I let it slide when I got the game. ("Twenty-four minutes" is suspiciously precise. I found an online metronome that has a maximum setting of 12 minutes, so I would work on two patterns for twelve minutes each. Twenty-four minutes of strumming away to a metronome is all my sanity can take.)

  • I listen to Joe Rogan once in a while, if you consider what he does a podcast.

    I like the Stooges. Fun House is my favorite of their albums, but I like all three of their original studio albums. I like a lot of Iggy Pop's stuff, too.

    I looked up a how to on "Proud Mary." I'm going to have to start working on strumming again. I was doing 24 minutes per day before I got Rocksmith, but I let it slide when I got the game. ("Twenty-four minutes" is suspiciously precise. I found an online metronome that has a maximum setting of 12 minutes, so I would work on two patterns for twelve minutes each. Twenty-four minutes of strumming away to a metronome is all my sanity can take.)

  • edited August 9

    One thing I used to do that was helpful was focus on one hand or the other, and make sure and spend some time watching your strum. I normally ride the bridge with my palm to mute open strings and get a good chugga chugga going. It's your tone arm, where and how hard you attack the strings and how tightly you hold the pick and the angle of it all affect your sound.

    AC/DC was a good band to start on for me, partly because I had an SG in the same color and I was getting the "Hey man nice guitar play some AC/DC!" treatment. I was always a fan of Scott Ian, I think he's got the best palm mute in the business. Scott did a video recently about Malcolm Young, and does a really good job of explaining why they sound the way they do.

  • If I ever start up again I'd like to try and learn to fingerpick this time around, strumming is fine and good but you can't really walk a melody around the same way.

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