INFP and ISFP can be tricky types to differentiate. They both share Introverted Feeling as their primary function. As a result both types tend to think very subjectively and can come across similarly.
They primarily judge things, including their music, according to how they feel about it within themselves. Consequently it can be very difficult for them to delegate responsibility to other people. When something doesn’t feel right to an IxFP it can be very difficult for them to get past it. This being the case, many IxFPs are band-leaders or solo artists.
When we’re trying to discern whether a person is one type or the other, a good place to start is with the temperaments.
An ISFP is of the SP or Sensor-Perceiver temperament. Sensor Perceivers tend to orient to the physical world. They’re more likely to be pleasure seekers and their art tends to be of a more sensory nature. They also most often more physically talented than INFPs and can be very good dancers.
INFPs are of the NF or iNtuitive-Feeler temperament. INtuitive Feelers tend to orient more towards people and social causes in their work.
Both types can be great humanitarians and may do a lot to help others get their needs met. Where the difference is often most evident is in their art.
Here are some differences you’ll likely see between the two in a musical context:
- More virtuosic musically
- More physical performers and more likely to be talented dancers
- More oriented towards here-and-now sensory beauty
- More likely to talk about sensory pleasure
- Usually more about the message than the musicianship
- More likely to talk about human rights in their music
- More likely to write about possibilities than an appreciation for things as they are
- More interested in meaning than pleasure
All things being equal, one thing to keep in mind is that ISFPs greatly outnumber INFPs both in the general population and in music. ISFP is most likely the most common type for musicians.
ISFP Musicians Include:
- Lana Del Rey
- Kate Bush
- Michael Jackson
- Lady Gaga
- Pharrell Williams
- Kurt Cobain
- Jim Morrison
- Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction)
- Jimi Hendrix
- Kylie Minogue
- Charlie Parker
- Herb Alpert
- Richie Kotzen (Poison / The Winery Dogs)
- Eddie Van Halen
- PJ Harvey
INFP Musicians Include:
- Bob Dylan
- Ben Gibbard
- Joni Mitchell
- John Frusciante
- Neil Young
- Corinne Bailey Rae
- Lenny Kravitz
- Bob Marley
- Sarah McLachlan
- Ronnie James Dio
- Elliott Smith
- Sixto Rodriguez
- Zack De La Rocha
- Tracy Chapman
- Ben Harper
For more on INFP and ISFP, check out the online course, Myers-Briggs for Musicians.