Music Think Tank

Songwriters & ‘Blues Hammer’ Syndrome

Studying your musical idols can be important to your development as an artist, but focusing too much on the work of others can also lead to excessive mimickery, and even downright copying.

In this latest piece from MusicThinkTank, contributor John Merigliano explores what he calls ‘Blues Hammer Syndrome’ in songwriting, and how it can often lead to excessive imitation on the part of aspiring artists.

“You might be thinking, “What’s wrong with Blues Hammer? They sounded great and everyone loved them!” Sure, there’s nothing wrong with the “Hammer” in and of itself. I certainly would have grabbed a beer, sat down next to Seymour and, in a friendly way, suggested that he lighten up a bit. “Blues Hammer” is doing fine and they were probably paid well for the gig because they brought warm bodies into the venue. My main beefs with “Hammer” center around the issues (mentioned earlier) of authenticity, personal development, and a respect for musical heritage (or lineage).”

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