So, yeah, how do you do it. I live in a shithole, where everything has turned upside down, and those hour or two i manage to steal from a day i just sit there staring at the monitor not being able to produce a single pattern, and eventualy fall asleep. I have to work overtime just to keep my pieces together, and then i feel like that much work has taken its toll, and maybe its time to leave music, who knows. Sorry for a rant, and for a weird “introductory” post, seems like yesterday i registered to ask a couple of questions
Hi there! I’m in similar circumstances, but still maybe not as severe. I found some good advice for getting into a creative flow despite the demands other parts of life put on one. For one there is this small ebook “The 12 Days of Creativeness” from Mike Monday: http://www.mikemonday.com/creativity-training/ - you have to send your e-mail and subscribe, but it’s worth the effort and completely free (free as in: trade your email adress for an ebook Anyway, the book gives many good advices on managing your creativity and find a good view on life.
Next I found a very inspiring video, which seems to be chapter 1 of a larger workshop (which is not for free, but focused on ableton anyways), comes from ill.gates (some dubstep artist as i found out later). His workflow does not map very well to mine, but his advice is still very useful. For example starting a journal can help a lot with clearing your head off un-useful thoughts and keep it as open for inspiration as possible:
These two gems helped me forming a workflow that fits into a very tight schedule. I only got around 3-4 hours of time for focusing on a track in the last weeks, but those hours I was able to work straight on it without any big blocks.
ill give you some tips that works for me
1)listen to new music all the time , expolre new genres , can help you with some inspiration … sites like 8tracks.com and mixcloud.com and also soundcloud could be great for that (also discogs.com for indexing music) …
2) get fresh samples and vst’s , sometimes a new breakbeat or vocal sample can be a good start for track … try to keep those folders fresh and orginized… (www.freesound.org) (http://sampleswap.org)
3)save every your idea you are writing … even one pattern sketch could be halpful in the future …
4)try to do some remixes … take a challenge to take a bad track and make it worth listenning …
good luck… dont stop tracking
and another last thing … dont “force” yourself to write music , do it with smile , otherwise you’ll lose the purpose of tracking - having fun
what I do is I clean up my room and apartment, do the dishes and take a shower. seriously, this is my most bulletproof “method” whenever I hit a wall. or I try to flip around my sleeping cycle, like I’ll get up really early in the morning instead of sleeping til noon. also pumps your brain in a different way.
Thanks for all replies. This somewhat “defeats me”, i found that constantly trying new vst’s and reading CDM was taking a lot of my time. Instead i think ill focus on sampling, and field recordings as soon i get some recorder.
the other option is something I do regularly… Take a VST you think you know well and make a track using JUST it, or if it’s a sampler then ONE sample.
Finding ways round problems can be superbly inspiring and you get to know your kit better,
The best advice Is right here: http://blog.dubspot.com/10-tips-to-fight-writer’s-block-increase-studio-productivity/
Surprisingly the oblique strategies are very inspiring…
I had a bad case of writers block, and I hated everything I’d ever written. I stopped writing altogether and started restoring antique bicycles. I haven’t written any tunes for over a year and feel so much better. I realised I actually hate writing music. I still renewed my Renoise licence though.
If I have a week off work I will try to make a track only to find I have writers block. On the last day off I will usually start making a track but not have enough time to finish the whole thing in one go (which in a way is good because I can hear it with fresh ears next time).
Doing collaborations or compos would probably get your creativity going.
Good question. Good answers.
I’d add only this. Don’t feel bad about blocks. Don’t beat yourself up over any kind of inability whatsoever. Accept where and what you are, first - literally accept it - then give yourself permission (or find a permissionary(!) to do it for you) to move forward. Focusing on or qualifying the block only strengthens the block. Giving yourself permission to move forward in whatever simple, single, seemingly insignificant way is the tow truck with the long cable that will pull you out. Sometimes it takes days or weeks. Sometimes it takes years. But if you believe and accept permission, one day you’ll open your door and there will be your inspiration with a cheesy grin and a bouquet of flowers.
elmex: great video!
Here is also a small motivational quote, which helps a lot when you can’t find the sound or the certain something that you search:
Haha, really nice and to the point, just made my day brighter.
In addtion to playing guitar and keys, I get a lot of inspiration from ACTUALLY SAMPLING from records, CDs, movies, etc!
I don’t mean to sound condescending but sampling is an art-form in itself and downloading ‘2000 greatest breaks ever’ detracts from the auto-biographical selection process that embodies the whole ethos of turning existing material into something of your own. Try limiting your resources to something that you have personally chosen from the point that it catches your ear.
Stephen Moffat (the screenwriter) once said…
I’ve met a lot of people who go around touting the one script they’ve wriiten and if you’ve written one script you’re not a writer… You have to write and write and they’ll all be bad and then after a hundred or two hundred scripts you’ll write one that’s mediocre, and then a hundred later one that’s good.
With a fucking hammer, that’s how.
How’s this for inspiration?
Things seem to come up periodically in my life where I have to put music making on hold, but I never plan to abandon it completely. I have taken several years off. I moved to a new location, didn’t have my gear setup, etc.
I turned to photography for the past 2-3 years for a creative outlet. I find it a lot easier then writing music, because lets face it, beauty is all around us and capturing it with a camera is much easier than sitting down and trying to bang out a track that is good (not some bullshit remix of someone else music, but something that is somewhat original where you don’t have any direct ties to something else brimming in your mind)
I am exciting about renewing my license today and getting back to what I love.