May 15, 2018 at 12:01 am #3842
I have limited time to dedicate to production and want to make the most of it! What are some best practices for setting goals, being productive, while having fun?
May 15, 2018 at 1:52 pm #3849
We’ll definitely talk about this more in a webinar, but here’s a few ideas to improve productivity.
1. You have to stay inspired. Listen to a lot of music, and if you’re not feeling a certain project file one night, don’t keep pushing through it. Cycle between 2 or 3 different project files. That way you can ride the wave of creativity, not fight against the current.
2. If you have limited time, then work on a timer and try to beat the clock. Go buy one of those kitchen egg timers and try to work against the clock. Set a goal. Maybe I want to have a good melody in the verse section down by the next 20 minutes…or something like that. And the idea is you want to eventually get to beat the clock, that way you can become more efficient.
3. When tweaking something specific, remember the 5 minute rule. Don’t tweak and tweak and tweak. Sometimes adding FX onto a sound to get a better sound isn’t the right answer. After 5 minutes of tweaking or adding FX to a certain sound, and you’re still not happy with that sound, chances are you might consider replacing the sound/instrument all together with a different sound. I find this true a lot with mid bass sounds.
4. Progress comes in spurts. If you only have a couple hours of time that night, chances are you’re not going to get to start a song and finish that song. If you only have a few hours, focus on prep for producing, much like a prep cook would in a kitchen. So work on organizing files, learning a new synth or fx plugin, picking out presets you like. That way on that Saturday when you have several hours to write a song, all your tools are ready for you.
May 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #4024
Great topic! Will definitely cover this in a webinar. You might also watch the previous webinar I did on How to Finish Songs & Produce Great Music.
Here’s a few quick tips I find useful producing…
1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. HAVE FUN. You’re not likely to write a Grammy hit song every time you go to the computer, so give yourself permission to make mistakes you’ll likely tweak later.
2. Don’t try making everything “perfect” when working on a new track…such as tweaking the same knob over and over until you’re lost in knob-land and become less productive making music.
3. Set a timer. I find that between 35-45 minutes of hearing the same thing gets redundant, and is a good time to step away for a quick break.
4. Take your music places. You’ll get inspired listening to tracks while at the gym, driving in your car, and hear things and get ideas to throw down later when you’re at the computer again.
5. Collaborate with other people. When I get stuck on a song, I’ve started hitting up friends and other musicians with my half-finished track, asking if they’d be interested throwing down on it. Working with other people creates a personal sense of “urgency” and forces me to complete tracks.
These are only a few ideas. Hope it helps!
May 17, 2018 at 11:50 pm #4067
Thank you, Ben and Dan, for lots of great advice! Keen to try making your suggestions into habits.
Dan, I really liked your webinar, and that convinced me to join your site. I’d love for you guys to succeed with this project.
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