Music production is much about combining art with sound engineering, but there’s also a psychological factor which is necessary to excel in any science or art.
Creative ruts are common and being constantly productive is a challenge faced by many people in the creative industry. Being a pro music producer means achieving quality sound and doing it fast. Knowledge and discipline lie at the heart of it.
Here are a few tips that will help you become faster and better at music production.
1. Avoid Getting Stuck on One Project
Sure, having many unfinished projects can be viewed as unproductive because you can’t really get an unfinished track out there for people to listen to.
What good is it to have 20 unfinished tracks just lingering there?
By the way, what if I told you that you can make 4 unfinished beats in ONE DAY?
Yes, you can, although you won’t do it if you linger on one project a whole day trying to get it right.
Still, the end goal is to actually finish your projects so that you can send the demos to record labels (or release them yourself).
Time is your most valuable resource, which is why you should..
2. Set Weekly or Monthly Goals
Whether it’s finishing songs or learning new techniques, you should avoid long gaps that might make it harder to get in the zone again.
Promise yourself you’re going to finish one track a month.
Commit to watching a new tutorial twice a week.
Feel bad if you don’t follow through.
3. Time Your Actions
It’s easy to fall into the trap of playing with effects for hours without really achieving anything.
Try to balance the time that you spend on each music production process.
Trust your mood. Some days may be better for mixing and other days you might be more inspired to create sounds.
Related: How to Set Goals
4. Give Yourself a Really Short Deadline
Try making a basic beat from scratch in two minutes or less.
That leaves no time for judgement or second thoughts.
Give yourself another minute to create a groovy bassline.
This way you’ll quickly create the foundations of a track and you’ll become quicker at making music.
5. Train Your Ear for Music Production
Creative ruts may occur because you’re doing something wrong but can’t exactly pinpoint what it is.
Listen to lots of professionally produced music and pay attention to the sounds in the mix. Pay close attention to volume, depth, and panning.
A good way to increase awareness regarding these details is to compare your project to a properly mixed and mastered song.
“Scientia potential est” is a popular Latin aphorism meaning “knowledge is power”. You’d better believe it because to put it frankly, the more you know about music production, the better you can produce.
Related: Learn Music Production Online
6. Learn Music Theory & Audio Engineering
Do you know what a diminished chord is and how it sounds? How about a Minor 7th?
Can you play any chord progressions on your MIDI keyboard?
Are you familiar with the structure of the genre that you’re producing?
It’s easy to load a couple of loops and see what happens, but it’s very limiting and quite boring.
If you want to better express yourself as an artist, you should put some time into learning the technical and theoretical aspects of music production and sound in general.
7. Take Breaks
Think of music as a romantic partner.
A week passes by and you haven’t seen each other.
How do you feel when you do see each other again?
Time apart isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Take a walk, read a book or do any other thing that fills you up with energy.
8. Have Fun With It
It’s good to not take your music too seriously from time to time and play around with it.
Experiment and try to create something fresh.
Avoid limitations and you will surely surprise yourself.
What are your thoughts? Do you have tips for being more productive?