This is something I’ve thought about for years and routinely wrestle with. Some of the things that my hands and brain do most naturally when I pick up an instrument or sit down to program are the things that I am least interested in ever doing musically - and some of the things that I most want to actually create or do musically feel the most unnatural or even unpleasant, like I have to work against my rotten intuition to actually steer away from what I want to do naturally in favor of what I actually intend to do.
My first instrument was guitar and to this day, my fingers want to play the wankiest blues riffs and solos when I pick up a guitar. I hate the blues and never want to intentionally do this and yet if I let my mind wander, my fingers’ first intuition is to start bending those notes and vamping those sevenths like John Mayer backing up Michael Bolton and Bonnie Raitt at some godawful Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute. I hate that stuff! Why does it feel so good and natural for my ape-hands to do it? Even back when I was writing songs on guitar, it always felt natural and intuitive to do things that were farthest from what I actually wanted to do on the instrument and it felt difficult and against my nature to, with great effort, do the things I actually wanted to hear.
I encounter this with electronic gear just as much. If I just went with my gut, with my intuition, first thought best thought, whatever “feels good” to my hands, I’d churn out music that I do not want to intentionally make or hear. To create what I want to hear is possible, but it takes attentive work - and as soon as I start improvising or jamming, all of a sudden I’m back to making something that feels good to my nature and hands but is not what I actually want to accomplish. There are times that, like some sort of hypnosis, I get a few minutes down this wrong path and kind of snap myself out of it and go “no, man, you were working toward an intentional vision and now you’re wanking that filter tweak like DJ Bobby Bitcoin at a plague rave in Ibiza!”
Does anyone else experience anything like this? I knew a guy once that could only write the great, heartfelt songs he wanted to through immense effort but could practically freestyle entire obscene/parodic/silly-stupid songs in realtime that he would be mortified to ever have associated with him.