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Stripped down songs (is less more)


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Well I think it depends on what you're trying to do. Arnold Schoenberg hovered towards String Quartet's for a time, though previously he had used much larger numbers of players in his pieces (like many other romantic composers). Sometimes simplicity works, sometimes you need more complexity to convey an emotion (as he did in his 5 pieces for orchestra, if you'd like to look them up they hare heavily dissonant/atonal pieces).


I love this one, it is not massive, though each instrument is represented as louder than if it was a full orchestra, the size of the sound (if that makes any sense at all), is considerably smaller. That, I believe, is what makes this piece uniquely beautiful.



For a more Bluesy approach, I tend to think of Blues as a great representative of simplicity in music. Take Albert King's version of Blues Power, instrumentally it is almost completely unadorned. It has it's own appeal despite that, because it truly isn't a bad thing.


The complexity of a song is as useful a tool as any knowledge based in Music Theory, especially if there is a particular emotion that you want to push through. If one wants to emphasize the lyrics, then you might consider one guitar playing a simple rhythm track.I'm of the opinion it's not necessarily bad or good, it's merely another way of making music! Though I won't deny that sometimes it may not be the best idea :)


Hope that makes some sense

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If you watch Ashes of American Flags, Wilco tours with their 6 piece band an a three piece horn section. In Sunken Treasure, Tweedy tours the pacific northwest and on a few shows he adds cline on slide dobro and kotche on drums, but his solo stuff is still beautiful. It just depends

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I think it all depends on what trips your trigger at a given time and place.


And what's considered to be "minimalistic."


I watched the "cowboy music revival" from the late 80s to date and saw it go through a basic flatpicking thing up through a country band thing into almost jazz sorta thing acoustic and/or electric and back more to basic flatpicking but in a relatively modern style.


As a mostly solo fingerpicker at this point, my feeling is that the thing is almost more the arrangement than anything. That's true if I'm doing an old Swing piece, raw country blues, folk, "cowboy," doowop or light jazz.


Sometimes just a strum works fine for some things with the way some people approach a bit of music as a vehicle. OTOH, I personally tend to get bored with that, acoustic or a lotta "new" electric stuff I hear.


A piece of music is a vehicle.


Try this as a metaphor: I drive my Jeep a bit differently on different days in different traffic and different weather; I may drive a bit differently depending on mood; I may open the window or turn on the air conditioning at 70F or open the window or turn on the heat at 50F; I may sing along with oldies on the highway or simply concentrate on the road.



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