I seem to be on a bit of a music kick recently (see violin post, previous post etc). I think some of this has come around from playing around with creating spontaneous tunes/soundscapes with LadyFingers (my impro troupe).
It's funny, I notice I have a strong belief in 'experts' and established procedure. By that I mean that I tend to perceive that people doing something successfully must be 'experts' in it. True enough it often takes a lot of work to do something well, and so what may start as experimental dabbling, done for long enough becomes expertise. However I think I have the notion that stuff has all been worked out by now and so trying to derive techniques from first principles is needlessly making things harder for yourself.
I remember being taught in art class that people should learn how to 'draw properly' before going on to do more experimental stuff, as that will give them the base skills and lexicon to innovate, and I think I've taken that on board wholesale. If I want to do something I've not done before, I'll usually want to take a course so I 'know what I'm doing' (and importantly make a commitment to others that I'll do it to force me to do so, as whim alone is easy to put off). What this also leads to is the idea that there is a lot that I can't do as I've not been taught how to.
Ironically music is one of those areas. I say ironically, as I learnt the violin for 3 years as a child, did musical theatre performances for 5 years, and was in a church choir for 8 years, so you'd think I'd feel like I had some small expertise in the area. I don't. Whilst I feel I have some very out of date knowledge of music performance, I don't have any music creation lore.
However, I feel like the tide is slowly turning on this one. Since coming to Australia I've slowly been nurturing my performance skills in general, and then the trajectory from performing in Rocktapus (an a cappella Rock covers group) to the created impro sounds in LadyFingers has made me feel more that I'm 'allowed' to make up ditties.
Last night I was playing around on my iPad with GarageBand music software, and was shocked by how many of the loops and drum machine noises I recognise from 'proper' tracks I know and love.
I think I'd like to play with it more...