Most Artists, Djs, and Producers who come to work with me land in 1 of 3 categories.
Group 1 feels a bit overwhelmed with the music production process, and struggles with dealing with the technical issues of creating the music they are so passionate about making. They find themselves frustrated of the amount of time it takes for a basic idea to come together, they rather just have some one guide them through the process in a way that makes sense to their circumstances. They have the passion for it just not the patience.
Group 2 have a good understanding of how to create their music, but struggle with getting it to sound the way they want it to. This group has a tough time getting their music to reach its full potential and have it sound radio ready. This group also suffers from “lots of great ideas… but no finished songs syndrome”. In which they struggle with finishing ideas and structuring out the arrangement, and mixing process to get the song done and ready to be shared with the rest of the world.
Group 3 are Singers/Songwriters, Djs, and Music Producers who have been working on their craft for sometime now, but struggle with building a fanbase, monetizing their content, or building their brand to help market their music effectively. Sometimes burnt out or turned off completely from the burdens of the music Industry hustle they feel like there is no hope in getting their music where they want it to be, wether its getting placements or reach.
Here is the plan I put each of these groups on, while focusing more on the *starred sections for those in group 1, although all Groups walk through all 5 steps for the best results. These Step are aimed at helping you break free from those chains that keep you from being inspired.
Step 1. Your Peak Time*
You might be surprised about this, but depending on what time of the day you create music can play a big part in how productive that time will be. If your a morning person you might find easier to come up with better ideas early on in your day, rather than pulling all nighters in the studio. I like to call this “Your Peak Time” Find that time of day when stress levels and distractions are at bay. I used to stay up late night till the early dawn in studio sessions when I first started out, which at that season of my life work out fine. But now, I cant even imagine working on music past 8:30pm. I set a voice recorder by the table in the morning which is my peak time, and just let the ideas flow out and save them till I get in the studio, which is in the early part of the day as well.
Step 2. Build Up Your Library*
If you have no ink in your pen, then you have no words on your paper. Building up your sound library can be essential in helping you have a more productive and creative workflow. having the right sound from the very beginning helps get the creative juices flowing faster. So Take a day in which you are not working on any new music, and use that whole day to focus on creating, organizing or building up your sample library. For my singer-songwriters try taking some time to playlist a bunch of songs that greatly influence your sound, and songs that are currently inspiring you to write.
Step 3. Using A Reference Track.
Having a reference track in your session can be a HUGE help in getting you to the finish line with your ideas. This can help you in arranging your track/song, giving you a bird’s eye view sort of speak of what elements to add or take away at certain times. This is also very helpful when it comes to the mixing stage of your song writing. I like to have a reference track in my project to help me stay focus and reach my end result without getting too distracted and begin second guessing my ideas.
Step 4. Ear Training
One big hurdle for a lot of those I help, is knowing how to practically navigate through chord progressions. Ear training is as important as technique, especially for pitch. Ear training is the process of learning the major, minor and pentatonic scales which most pop, rock and R&B songs use. Imagine a guitar player trying to play without knowing their scales? Not a good scenario. It’s no different for singers, and music producers. For those who have a background in music theory and ear training know that it can be a big help to getting over the frustration of writing music. If your not familiar with where to begin in practicing Ear training, try just playing Major and Minor chords of each note of the C major scale for at least 30 min before starting any new ideas.
Step 5. What Is The Vision?*
And the last step is Goal Setting. Sometimes remembering where you are headed, can help you from wondering around in the woods. What I mean by that is having simple goals in place can really help you get out of the writer block funk. If I know I have to write 4 songs a month, I break it down to 1 song a week, which helps me stay focused on what should I should doing with my time. That pressure can sometimes keep me away from the distractions of working on projects that do not line up to my monthly goal which will tie into my yearly goal. Have some realistic goal’s in place to help you stay on track with what you want to accomplish with your music. You would be surprised how many music producers especially do not have this one simple thing down, which hurts them in the long run. If you need some examples of how to practically apply this into your everyday workflow checkout a session which I shared some steps in goal setting Watch it here
So What’s Next?
These are just a few steps I normally coach my artist with to help break through common creative roadblocks. But there is always a next step forward, one that helps them go the distance. If your asking yourself what that next step might be then lets setup a call to find out. Click here to book a strategy session