I can’t lie – I haven’t always been a rock fanatic. I used to just listen to trendy, mainstream pop music like most people. Now I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with liking this type of music, in fact I still enjoy it myself sometimes. I believe that all music is special in its own way and some styles are more appropriate in certain situations than others.
However, a large majority of people are too tied up to the commonly liked genres, like pop and hip hop, and don’t consider exploring other types. I want to point out that if you’re one of those people, you’re missing out on a lot!
It all started three years after I started playing the guitar. When I was 12, I made the switch from learning acoustic to electric guitar, and so my teacher naturally suggested some rock music to listen to so that I could get some ideas of what I would be learning. I specifically remember the first band she recommended to be Green Day. So, I went home, listened to ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ and fell in love. From there, I kept delving into the rock genre and discovered some of the musicians that are still my favourites up to this day.
Rock is a unique genre of music made up of many sub-genres with some examples being hard rock, grunge, alternative rock and punk rock. Its origins are thought to be in the 1940s when the popular categories of music of those times, such as blues and country, morphed into one unique sound accompanied by a drumbeat and an electric guitar.
While other genres were considered to be safe and conformed to social norms, rock’s bombastic sound gave the idea of freedom and rebelliousness in an era when this wasn’t so common. In this conservative age, rock’s aggressive sound was considered to be shocking by most.
However, it quickly became popular as its versatility gave people the ability to express their individuality and opinions. With the help of rock, people found themselves to be less suppressed. As a matter of fact, through rock, many musicians were even able to spread political messages.
Rock music generally takes more work and talent to create than most of today’s music. In fact, if you dive deep into what the music is made up of, you’ll find that most popular pop songs repeat the same simple chords, maybe in a different progression, which is why they sometimes sound similar and repetitive. While this familiar sound may be why these songs are so loved and commonly played, in my opinion, they get boring after a while.
However, the way rock is made up of many different styles, thrilling riffs and compelling techniques makes it such that it never sounds the same or gets monotonous.
Another reason why rock music is more complex to produce is that while most tunes in genres like rap and hip hop are created by a few people using a computer and artists very rarely write their own songs, rock music usually involves the collaboration of a band using a variety of instruments with the inclusion of self-written lyrics.
This creates more difficulty as importance is given to the meaning behind the lyrics and all instruments have to be in tune and in sync, making it take more time to write and effort to record. Also, while a lot of today’s music relies heavily on auto tune, rock doesn’t and depends more on the raw talent and skills of the musicians instead.
One of my favourite things about rock is that it hasn’t just remained the same, but evolved throughout the years, with the help of many talented musicians that gave it a style of their own of course. Pink Floyd added psychedelic elements to its sound which created progressive rock while Led Zeppelin contributed to the common heavy metal style by including dark and heavy tunes in their music.
In my opinion, the many styles of rock music enable it to be enjoyed by all, making it a way for people to come together. The messages in rock songs are also usually deep and meaningful. I know you might be saying – “But, I don’t even have a clue what those heavy metal singers are saying!” Look up the lyrics and trust me, I’m sure that what you will find that they have significance and will make you think. They are also often open to various interpretations, making them more relatable and further giving them the ability to be enjoyed by anyone.
In general, once you’ve heard one pop song, you’ve basically heard them all. A pop song might be popular for a while, until a new similar one comes out and the previous is completely forgotten.
Contrastingly, rock songs never get old and when hearing a rock track, one can always expect something new and exciting. This is why many classic rock songs are still considered to be iconic masterpieces up to this time. Works of bands like Queen, Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones still impact us and are relevant to our society today.
While I can think of some pop artists that are good, I can’t help but think that many rock artists are legendary and on a league of their own. And let’s be honest, even the people who claim not to like rock can’t help but sing along to sensational pieces such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ I recommend that you listen to a classic rock song and judge for yourself. It will probably still sound fresh, exciting and you will find that it still relates to our society today!
Obviously, I don’t want anyone to think that I’m speaking negatively about any type of music here because the truth is that I genuinely love all music. I’ll probably want to listen to some electronic music if I’m at a club, I love listening to some mellow jazz while dining and if I’m having some time to relax, I prefer listening to some romantic ballads. With that said, rock will always be my go-to genre as I find it fits in most situations because of its diverse styles.
If you feel like you’re always stuck in a loop of listening to the same pop songs, I suggest you try listening to some rock music. I’m positive that you’ll find a style that strikes you.