-Efficiency and Productive Mindset- Cognitive Approach to Music Production.
Series of articles about structural guidelines and practices to get the most out of your music production.
A few years back I embarked on a hobby that has gotten the best out of me recently. It has managed to stick through out the years enough to shape me and make me reconsider a lot. Music, both instrumentation and digital production, has turned into an ongoing thing that lead me to immense hours of reading, listening, watching countless videos, learning, practice and even made me change to a fine arts school to make the most out of it. As it became a part of me, the more psychological and personal aspects became the most fundamental and structural of all. I took it upon myself to write my personal take on principals, details, and behavior far from what you expect to make you efficient on your work and goals.
Part 1: Personal Fundamentals
Helpful insight which builds and boost productiveness, confidence, potential and helps get rid of frustrations that keep you from your work.
-Breaking Bad Habits
As we start music production we immerse ourselves with so many factors that influence us both rightfully and wrongfully which stick with us as we learn to expose our music. So many external factors are actually the cause that drives us into bad habits and insecurities we are not aware affect negatively on our execution. We bombard ourselves with tons of video tutorials, plugins and samples download, extensive hours working on tracks, trying to create that perfect low shivering bass or that crispy tight snare and so on goes the endless list of actions that makes us think it will enhance our performance and productivity when in reality it doesn't build a comfortable personal system in which we can fluently manage ideas, progress rapidly on our work, and motivates us to make the most out of our talents. The fact is taking care of the technical details without ever understanding what helps us reach our productive capacity will actually do the contrary. We should concentrate and learn what builds a rich environment, focus, and mind to maintain clarity and productiveness during all our sessions. This is what I consider the most beneficial, crucial, and important aspect we must take in mind to be able to produce effortlessly, comfortably, and enjoyably. It achieves consistency, motivation, awareness, and one of the most important tools you will ever have...creative flow.
-Establishing Commitment and Goals, the Strongest Connection Between You and and You're Work
To grasp Music Production as a serious thing one does and consider it as something you want to be successful at plays the biggest part on how far you get. If you understands what you want and hope to achieve while constantly reflecting it somewhere your mind will become clearer on what it has to do to make it happen. It will become more than just an off and on thing a lot of people have, it stirs away the mind clutter that makes us end up on producer's/musician block in which one can't finish nor start a track (and that's a thing we REALLY want to get rid off, once and for all). That commitment you can establish by yourself will set and accept the challenge to do and reach where you want to. It's the biggest fuel, the biggest motivator you can have that will aid you along the way.
Once you know what you want to get out of producing and what you are willing to do you must make it take place not just in your mind. Having a physical visual stimulant that shows the commitment you made will really comfort you and support you. It will determine in your mind that it is real, it takes a physical form outside of your thoughts and reassures you Music Production is not just a small hobby anymore. It reflects your thoughts, effort, and ideas about what you do and why. A very practical way that's efficient and simple (I picked this idea from one of Ill Gate's Methodology workshop, definitively worth watching) is to make a written contract with yourself establishing that commitment and having it placed wherever you produce, work, or make your music at. Seeing it there will constantly remind you of it and how well you're keeping up.
Established goals are the very next thing one must have along side your commitment to progress. Goals can vary depending from person to person, having the clear picture on which are yours will become very beneficial. Taking time to break down long and short term goals helps us maintain a great amount of mental clarity which is needed to produce, it concentrates us on what we are aiming for with our work. It results in distributing time well and makes it easier to work with ourselves. Having them in a written form, similar to the commitment, will help set and achieve them at ease.
-Motivation and Organization
Let's admit it, most of us have gone trough it, that period of not being able to create material, stuck without finishing those tracks, as well as difficulty to get our heads into new ideas. We can't figure out what's going on. The cluttering factors in our mind that I explained above are the major causes of such hard times in our execution and performance, as we restructure and build a system that is personally shaped to our potentials we achieve the greatest amount of mental focus which drives away distractions and preoccupations.Then the achievements and stability of our work starts to build up. This builds confidence on oneself, motivation which will assure you that you can and will make great tracks, that you can get them out there for people to here, work on that EP you've been thinking on starting, and all of those goals we establish once we get serious.
Another important aspect I incorporate into my production is organization. Managing a well organized, practical method of arranging thoughts, ideas, motives, and projects not only helps keep track of time and resource, it also a great source of motivation since it shows the systematical progress of our work. It helps develop ideas into full blown projects and enriches our creative thinking. Keeping a handy notebook in which you can log your work, write ideas/concepts down, plan tracks/practices/sessions, and do frequent free writing is very advisable. It enhances our creative process and is a great way to sort out our mind before heading to lay a track down.
I look deeply forward for your feedback, opinions and thoughts on my writing. I wish for it to be helpful and encouraging as it has been to me. Soon hope to follow this with a continuation that will approach Work Flow and Creative Process but would love to hear your take on this material first!