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Music

How many music genres have I tried?

I have been asked quite a couple of times, in how many music genres I have tried to write songs. I call myself a multi-genre songwriter and composer for a reason, but it has been very hard to give a number. I decided to start a list with different examples that will be maintained regularly.

My comfort zone

Being a multi-genre songwriter is hard. You find inspiration everywhere, that you’re constantly dropped out of your comfort zone. Let’s talk, what is easy for me in different roles. Please note that some genres are in brackets, because I cannot enjoy them for personal reasons. This list is from October 2022.

As a producer / mixing engineer, I love upbeat and moody music. I enjoy hard drums, heavy guitar riffs and multiple styles of vocals. It’s easy for me to mix a dense arrangement with vocals, guitars, piano, bass and drums. But I also enjoy electronic music when it’s heavy. I don’t like mixing soft beats!
Alternative Rock, Pop Rock, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Punk Rock, (Electro House), (Hard Trance), (Epic Trance)

As a composer, I have tons of fun with heavy melancholic and complex music. I’m a big fan of weird chord progressions and modulations, which is best in progressive genres. But I also do pop music, when I’m allowed to escape the scheme. People say, I write good power ballads.
Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock, Pop Rock, Pop Ballad, (Progressive Trance), (Epic Trance)

As a lyricist, I enjoy writing heavy lyrics and diving into shady characters. I don’t mind strong language or using complicated words. Storytelling is not my thing, and it’s quite hard for me to write an emotional ballad. I’m not a poet, I write straight.
Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, Nu Metal, Pop Rock, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock

My skills as an instrumentalist are inferior, so I have to rely on mid-tempo songs with easy progressions. I hope that I can catch up on that soon and try new genres. My playing is heavy, so I won’t be the best choice for slow emotional music. I’m discovering the blues on guitar.
Pop, Pop Rock, Blues

As a listener, I love heavy, fast, complex and melancholic music. This could be literally everything:
Symphonic Metal, Progressive Metal, Djent, Nu Metal, Folk Metal, Metalcore, Aggrotech, Future Pop, Industrial Metal, Grunge, Stoner Rock, Indie Rock, Blues Rock, (Electro House), (Epic Trance), (Hard Trance), (Dubstep), (Trap)

A brief overview

My list is very long, because I tried many genres. So I decided to write it down as a table. The left column is filled with an emoji, how I feel about trying this genre again. The digit tells the number of finished songs or remixes. Some songs are not online yet, which is why I wrote the numbers in brackets. The links go to YouTube, Bandcamp or SoundCloud, where you can listen to a sample.

How to interpret the emojis:
😄 = I love it and want to do more.
😊 = I will try again, when I have ideas.
😥 = I keep on trying, but I haven’t succeeded yet.
😔 = I gave up, because it hasn’t caught me.
😕 = Never again.

Electro

I started writing electronic music in 1998 and producing in 2003. I have tried over 30 subgenres of electronic music and figured out that my home base is trance. Most trance related genre were easy for me, but I struggled really hard in genres that need sound design or rhythm. Electronic music is in hiatus, because I don’t have fun listening, writing nor producing.

FunGenreAmountExampleExperience
😕Acid Techno2Acid OrbitTechno made me shift my focus from melodies to sounddesign and automation. Though succeeding with two songs I don’t feel well in that genre.
😔Acid Trance4FruchtsäureHowever, combining acid techno with trance has been easier for me. Adding melodies is a game changer for me, but I won’t produce this genre on my own.
😊Aggrotech1All Hallow’s EveIt has been fun to produce this genre, but it was harder than expected. Whenever I have a simple melody, I will try again.
😕Ambient1AmbienceI’m not calm and patient enough to enjoy ambient and chill out. That’s not for me.
😕 Ballearic Trance1Yesterday’s PastI never planned to write something in this genre, because I don’t like it.
😕Big Room1DestinationToday’s edm music is full of festival and big room. You need simple melodies and heavy drops. Both is a challenge for me. Besides, I don’t like this genre.
😔Chill Out2Deep HeartIt took a while to produce a chill out song. Same as ambient, the focus lies on Sounddesign. I love the result, but I cannot imagine doing this many times again, because I didn’t enjoy.
😕Classic Trance14World’s FutureAfter producing trance with the sounds of he 90s and 00s for 15 years, it’s getting boring. It has been very simple for me, but not again, please!
😕Dance6Hold Me TightStarting with dance music, I realized, that I shift towards trance. So I gave up after 3 years.
😕Deep House//Major props for sounddesigners. It is very hard to make textures, blips and cuts sound harmonic and cool. I lost my patience.
😔Dream House1MoonlightI often feel like dream house and classic trance a connected. I can produce this, but I don’t like to, because it’s closer to ambient.
😥Drum & Bass//Well, I was not able to program the charismatic beat with a simple bass. Maybe I try again someday, but not now.
😔Dubstep1/I like the hard wobble in dubstep, but I didn’t expect the synths to be so hard to program. Rhythmic issues followed. I succeed remixing a song, but I am not allowed to upload it.
😊Electro House5NeotokyoAfter leaving trance, electro house became my second home. I can go heavier and go crazy with the bassline. It’s a good style to remix, but songwriting is hard.
😥Electro Industrial//Well, I tried it a couple of times, but I had issues in sounddesign. Guess I have to be in the right mood.
😥Electro Swing//Electro swing uses plenty of old samples with house beats. I am not a big fan of sampling, so I want to write the swing arrangement by myself. This is what makes this genre hard. I am still trying!
😄Epic Trance11Adagio of LifeI was so glad when I found that niche in trance music. My only possibility to write weird chord progressions and gigantic arrangements in electronic music. It’s still hard for me to write the orchestral part. On hiatus.
😕Goa Trance//It’s been okay to program arpeggios and bass, but I don’t feel goa and psy.
😊House2Lost LetterI never expected that house is connected to soul music. If you don’t feel it, you won’t create a cool groove. I need good vocals and someone (or a library) to help me with the drums, otherwise it won’t groove.
😄Hard Trance7Dream of YouOh yes, I enjoyed rocking out! A genre I like to continue when I have simple melodies.
😊Indietronica4DystopiaIt’s never been my aim to connect pop with idm and trance, but I did a couple of these. And it worked. It’s nothing I could do intentionally.
😊Rock House2It Only Takes A MiracleI love rock – I love house – But getting a good riff is harder than expected. This may happen again whenever I have a cool riff – But only with real guitars, please.
😕Uplifting Trance25Breathing RushInstruments and melodies were just in my dna, but I cannot listen to this genre anymore. If I ever do trance again, I’ll continue on epic, progressive and hard trance.
😊Progressive Trance9Lightyears AwaySidechain compression made me produce this genre more often than expected. And I loved it. And now I don’t like it anymore.
😕Tech House3PromenadeThis has been very hard, because I have no idea of sounddesign. The songs I wrote here were just experimenting with knobs.
😕Tech Trance4TransitionalHowever, combining experimental techno with trance has been easier than house. But it’s nothing I’d do again.
😥Trap1WeightTrap is full of sounddesign. But I didn’t succeed in writing a song, … but I write a hybrid with pop and rock.
😊Trip Hop5She BelievesThis seems to be my go to genre, when I try downtempo. I have no idea why, cause I never intended.

Pop & Hip Hop

I started composing and writing pop music in 2001, but only around 2005 I was able to collaborate and produce. I need vocalists and guitarists to realize these projects. This is why I see myself as composer, but I also produce and write lyrics. I love big arrangements and acoustic instruments.

FunGenreAmountExampleExperience
😥Art Pop//What I like about art pop is the openess to weird scales and sounds. I tried it often, but I have trouble with sounddesign.
😊Ballad Pop5A.L.E.X.I usually don’t listen to ballads, but they are easy to write. I have a knack for melodramatic melodies.
😥Country//Don’t laugh – I really love to try country, when I am able to play guitar a bit better. I think it’s tricky! Writing lyrics is a bit easier.
😥Contemporaty RnB//The modern version of rnb is not my favourite genre, but I just had to try it. I wrote a beat and a chorus… and now I’m stuck.
😔Dance Pop1DancingIn the beginning of the 2000s, I listened to dance pop – but I don’t like to produce it. My melodies and harmonies are not happy enough. I enjoyed it more than pure dance.
😥Folk(1)tbaI always wanted to understand why acoustic guitarists love this genre. I had a hard time striping my arrangement down to guitar, vocals and percussion. But I will produce this to the very end.
😥Future Pop//I wish I could produce this, but I fail! That is strange, because future pop is connected to trance music.
😊Gothic Pop2Seven Days To LiveDark, soothing, melancholic pop music with a bit of electro. Just my thing.
😕Hip-Hop(2)/Programming beats is harder than I expected. I did two, but I’m stuck. Two ideas are in production.
😊Indie Pop1Going My WayI never intended to try this but I liked it. Even more than folk.
😊Pop5PromisesWriting pop music is quite easy for me, but my tendencies go to adding a touch of rock. Pop with synthesizers and synthetic beats is hard for me.
😥Pop Punk2When I’m GoneI love to produce and arrange pop punk, but I have troubles writing it. So my band did most of the songwriting, but I’m sketching some own stuff.
😄Pop Rock4Don’t tell me if it hurtsWhat I like about pop rock is the possibility to use simple hooklines in a rock arrangement. This genre is simpel for me.
😄Trance Pop3Daylight Means EndeavourSome years ago, I figured out that trance around 100 BPM with a pop chorus sounds very pleasant. Maybe I end up here again?

Rock & Metal

Since 2006, I love writing rock music. After a couple of years, the connection to metal has been given. My guitar playing and singing is not good enough to record the song on my own, so I am dependent on other musicians. I am mostly composer and producer here.

FunGenreAmountExampleExperience
😄Alternative Rock5HauntedAlternative rock became my second home genre. My songwriting has a lot of influence from grunge and pop. I love doing this.
😄Alternative Metal1Wrench In The WorksI never wanted to write some alternative metal, but I loved it. Now I’m planning more compositions that cannot be put into any specific subgenre of metal.
😊Classic Rock1Fight For YouListening to old classic rock music helps, but I just didn’t get the vibe. My first idea worked – and I had tons of fun.
😥Djent(1)tbaI love listening to djent, but composing this without alternate tuned guitars is heavy. I succeeded once and we’re recording it.
😊 Folk Metal2PyromancerAnother genre, I didn’t plan and enjoyed. Medieval instruments are very inspiring. I don’t take myself serious but it’s fun.
😥Grunge//I thin it’s impossible to write grunge without playing electric guitar. It’s all about the noise, mess and aggression. I will try again, when I learn how to play.
😕Hardcore Punk//Hardcore punk is harder to write than punk rock because it’s very fast and has aggresive shouting. This is why I haven’t succceded in writing.
😥Indie Rock//I am influenced by indie rock music but I was not able to write a song sounding completely like this.
😥 Metalcore(1)/This is something new for me. We are recording a draft, but it needs some time. Hope it works.
😕New Rave//Shortly after new rave has been born, I also had the idea to mix indie rock with rave. It is hard. Especially the drumming patterns are insane. I give up.
😄Nu Metal(3)Where does it end?Writing and producing nu metal is harder than alternative rock, but I’m trying to understand. Two songs are in recording.
😥Power Metal(1)/I love writing heroic lyrics, but I got no song that sounds typically power metal. Maybe “Pyromancer” is quite close to it. Does it count?
😥Rock n Roll(1)tbaAnother unintentional genre… and we will produce that sketch.
😥Ska(1)The World’s Most Simplest ManWell, I never planned to be involved in a ska song but it just happened. It’s been fun to arrange the brasses. I am not sure if I will create an own song.
😥Stoner Rock(1)/“Wrench In The Works” has been written as a desert rock song, that turned into metal during recording. Does it count?
😊Symphonic Metal(2)tbaOne of the hardest genres to write songs is symphonic metal. Bombastic arrangements are fun, but it’s hard to find people. Let me know if you’re there I got something ready.
😔Synth Rock3So what you rockComing from electronic music and enjoying rock music it’s been quite obvious that I try to mix it. But it is harder than I expected. Synthetic guitars don’t sound good and my melodies don’t work on a real one.
😊Progressive Rock1TruthAnother very complex genre has been progressive rock. I loved writing the harmonies, but I often end up doing metal.
😊Progressive Metal4At your commandSpeaking ot this, I wrote lots of badass songs that are recorded now. I loved doing this.
😄Post Grunge3Let Me GoWhen I try to write alternative rock, I often end up in post grunge. It’s hard to write, because I’m mostly a pianist, but I really like it. I hope I can go this way as guitarist asap.
😊Punk Rock2When I’m GoneIt’s fun to write punk rock, when I have a idea. But having a simple lick is a crucial point, cause I love going complex. Writing lyrics is no problem. I enjoy writing punk rock songs with my band, but doing them on my own is hard.

Blues & Jazz

I must admit, that I never came to the idea of writing blues and jazz. I barely listen to this music, but it catches my interest. The more I speak about it, the more I want to try and understand.

FunGenreAmountExampleExperience
😔Acid Jazz//I found this genre some time ago and I like this mix. I wish I could write something like this, but it seems to be hard.
😥Boogie(1)/Yes, I have written a boogie on piano, but I cannot play it properly. This will take some time but I will finish that song!
😥Blues(3)tbaAfter a couple of years I start to get a rough idea about blues. But it will take me years to write something completely on my own. A first try is in production.
😥Blues Rock2Turning Back To YouWriting blues rock without playing guitar properly is impossible. I can groove along with an organ, but I need more practise in guitar playing to do something completely on my own.
😥Cool Jazz1Good Morning BluesI would have never tried it if I didn’t enter that collaboration. It been fun to jam along, but I cannot imagine being the lead instrument or composing everything on my own.
😊Dark Cabaret(1)tbaThis was not planned and worked surprisingly well. We will record this!
😔Funk//Some songs have elements of funk but I listen to it too seldom to write a funk song. Maybe I try again when I have that vibe.
😔Fusion//Wow, that’s a very complex genre. Kudos to everyone who tries. Maybe I dip a bit into it in a collaboration but no way I gonna start something on my own.
😔RnB//Finding the right sounds is very hard for me. I get the groove and the vocal phrasing, but there is nothing nice I could show. I’m short before giving up.
😊Soul(1)/Yes, I ended up writing something soulful. It is very hard, but we will record it.
😊Swing(2)/I love this kind of music, and after a few years, I did something… which is still in production.

Other genres

There are some other genres that are not connected to modern music. I am sure that this is not the kind of music I want to write or produce.

FunGenreAmountExampleExperience
😕Soundtrack(2)/Some years ago I have been asked to participate on a soundtrack for an independent horror movie. It has been interesting to deal with themes and soundscapes, but I gave up after a couple of weeks. It’s not my world, sorry.
😥Symphonic(2)/I dived deep into orchestral arrangements to write better epic trance songs. Two orchester versions were created, but I am not contented with the sound and arrangement. However, that deep dive helped me to open my mind for writing symphonic metal.

Final words

Did you count along? No worries, if not, I succeeded writing and producing songs in roughly 40 genres. Most songs I produced were electronic dance music, but my songwriter soul is bored. Right now I feel best with rock and metal, but I lack of experience with guitar techniques. As instrumentalist, I have no idea where my journey may take me, but as songwriter I feel best in that square of pop – rock – metal – electro.

4 Comments

  • Joseph Rubiano

    Wow!
    It’s interesting to know the amount of music genres you’ve produced and tried out, the journey of a unique artist that never stopped dreaming and always continues believing in music.

    Music has lots of different expressions, some of these expressions are quite complicated to interpret, some of them just don’t fit in our rhythm. But whatever the case, it’s always an escape to our non artistic routine through these artistic expressions called music!

    Cheers!

    • Nadine

      Thank you so much! I agree to your words saying that you are not able to align to all rhythms and styles. I am happy that there are so many genres. Many things to discover!

  • Douglas Roossien

    I am simply a singer/writer who is developing his old and new music (no music theory experience whatsoever …) neve saw anyone play an instrument live until I was aound 20 in the Air Force . went to Nashville in 1988 to sell my songs for a week …came home dejected … thought this is not gonna work. (almost 25 years no playing or singing) so having a site like yours is very helpfull to learn many things I certainly overlooked. I love the completeness of your approach here …shows a great amount of reflection (saw you on soundcloud on a few friends sites …today

    • Nadine

      What a story! I’m happy you found your way back to music after all these years. I don’t think that music theory is mandatory. Musicality is mandatory. No matter which style, instrument or language, it’s all about the connection you have with music. Emotions and rhythms, that’s all!

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