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Great cartoons and movies have subplots and back stories that make them seem more substantial, more engaging. Bugs Bunny cartoons always had gags directed at both adults and kids. The awesome first Star Wars, as an example, had R2D2 and C3PO in a desert, passing by a gigantic skeleton, must have been 200 feet long. No explanation, we never hear about it again, but it made the movie feel deep, substantive, as if there were a thousand stories to tell about this universe and we're only getting to hear one. In music, adding more skillful, musical dimensions (as discussed in 1.9.11) bring depth and interest to our music - any kind of music and regardless of the knowledge of the listener. So a country music lover will boot-scoot to a song with dramatic dynamics and an interesting bass line more than one without. Pop lovers will bop to a song with more interesting chords and a well-crafted form. But like using a spice, don't overdo it - UNLESS you don't mind losing some of your audience - remember, they usually just want to jam out, relax after a hard day, etc., not become better people because of your erudite creation. There is a real tension for a musician between getting better and keeping the "common touch", to where regular folks like their music. And I like common people, normal people, I'm interested in communicating with and relating to those people (being one myself). So I don't want to lose them. But again, it's a challenge to not disappear in to Lake Music-is-awesome-and-you-should-like-what-I-like. I think many musicians lose that challenge and (as I mentioned before) no longer love the music they loved as teens. And lose the touch of the common listener. And speaking of skeletons, you wouldn't believe the number of bands that have died trying to convince their audience that they're dumb unless they appreciate the band's unfathomable depth. So, the trick is to add as much musical depth and excellence as you can without alienating your audience. Next time - Drama in music.

Don't get stuck working on just the pieces-little licks, 2 measures. These are the blocks, but not the house. Put the sucker together.


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