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How to stay productive when making music

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Today I want to talk a little about remaining productive when making music. These days, when everyone has 354 plug-ins, no studio hire costs and the ability to have infinite tracks, it is often easy to fall into the trap of tweaking forever and never actually doing something productive, like say, MAKING MORE SWEET MUSIC. Another thing that must be considered here is that having such a vast amount of resources, it can become difficult to get into making music because you just can’t choose what to use.
So here are a few things that I do to make sure that my music making sessions are productive.

1. Limit your resources

Having a whole bunch of plugins at your disposal is very tempting. Having a whole bunch of sounds makes you think you have more options. The reality though is that you’ll spend hours finding that perfect bass sound in your plugs, but by the time you find it you’ll forget what your musical idea was.
Same with samples. Do you really need 3000 snare sounds? Are you ever going to go through all of them? Find a few sounds that you love, and learn how to tweak them to your will, and you will actually end up having a lot more options, because you won’t worry about finding sounds, but more about writing awesome tunes.

2. Set goals

Set yourself some goals before you sit down and start making music. Decide what you are going to do beforehand and jump straight at it. Having manageable goals you will get the feeling of accomplishment sooner, and more often, keeping yourself motivated to keep going.

3. Make sounds from scratch

This might be a little counter intuitive when compared to what I said above about limiting your resources, but it works together with it. Don’t use presets and hundreds of plugins. Learn one or a few of them so well that any sounds you come up with in your head you can make yourself. That’s when you will truly start understanding your music and the interactions of the different sounds. Importantly, you won’t spend hours trying to find the right sound, you’ll just make it yourself and get on with writing music.

4. Don’t let yourself get distracted

When you sit down to make music, and the ideas don’t come, it gets easier and easier to get distracted. You start thinking about checking your emails/facebook/news/favourite porn site… whatever. When making music I deprive myself of any means of getting distracted, and for a set amount of time all I can do is sit in my music making chair. Drink coffee/water (which I have with me so I don’t need to get up), and make music. If I don’t get any ideas immediately, I will a few minutes later, by virtue of the fact that I can’t do anything else. It works a treat. Try it for yourself!

How do you keep motivated and productive when you make music? Let me know in the comments!
Also, if you would be so kind as to like this on facebook, stumble it or twitter it. It would really help me out. Thanks!

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Written by majorshake

June 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

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