I’ve been seeing a lot of producers give up on their careers because of all the work and motivation that is required to be a music producer, even if it’s just a hobby. Often, however, you’ll ask yourself if it’s all worth it, but that only happens when the fun you have producing starts fading away. Therefore, here are a couple of ways to keep your music production fun:
5 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Take the pressure away from your music. One of the key problems of music is that we easily shift our goals from making music to releasing music, and from developing our skills to making perfect songs, and that comes with a lot of pressure and frustration. Music production is hard and it takes time to master, but it becomes even harder when you put your mind against yourself, like when you start setting goals that are too big for your current stage, e.g having a release with only the top labels. Instead, lower the bar and focus on giving one step at a time. Instead of a release, which depends on labels and you have no control over it, focus on finishing a song people like, which is something that fully depends on you. Instead of trying to make one hit song out of one idea, try to make one hit song out of 100 ideas, and that will make you more prone to take chances, which could then make you your hit. Instead of putting all your effort into making one perfect song, try to make 10 songs at 60% and finish the ones that you like the most. The more you can put the odds to your side and lower the risk of ‘failure’, the more you will be able to take the pressure of succeeding away, and this is what lead you to make good music.
2. Learn and/or apply something new to every new song you make, or you will go into a rut. If you’re struggling with something, fix it or that will make you start resenting your music. Often I see producers making mixing mistakes that they don’t know how to solve, and that drives them crazy, which leads to music not being fun as they always go through the same issue over and over, which with time will even prevent them from starting new songs. In this case, (1) seek professional help, on youtube or with a mentor, as this can help you unstuck yourself and break the pattern so you can move forward. At the same time, if you’re always just making the same music over and over just to get signed and not really trying new things, labels can start thinking your song is ‘generic’, as has happened to me, and that can really take the fun out of making music and even make you frustrated. Instead, try to apply or do something different in every song that you make to always bring something new and that excites you, which can be from a new technique to fixing an issue you had in your songs. In general, when you don’t make progress and you’re on auto-pilot mode, it’s REALLY easy to go down the rabbit hole when things start, or continue, to not work out the way you want them to. That’s why it’s crucial to always make small progress and have the feeling that you’re developing since even if you don’t achieve your main goal with this song, at least you achieved something, and the sense of progress will motivate you to keep on going even when times are bad.
3. Don’t compare yourself to other producers and focus on your journey. It is soul-crushing when you discover that a producer friend or colleague has been producing for fewer years than you, but getting way better songs than you. Or, when you compare where you are to where your idol currently is, it could make you feel like ‘you can’t make it that far’, or ‘you’ll never be as good as XXX’, or even that you don’t have the skills for that. First, have you spent the same amount of hours and have you spent these hours the same way as these people? Are your conditions the same? Probably not.. so, how can you compare yourself to them? When you compare yourself to someone, it adds pressure to you by making you feel you need to ‘finish music faster’, ‘finish better music’, or it just takes your perspective away from your current state to how long it will take you to get from A to B, and that will make you start questioning your skills, if you can achieve it, which will suck the fun out of music. Instead, when you catch yourself comparing yourself to others, refocus your mind on what you need to do to get better, and not how far away you are from achieving something. Remember why you became a producer and compare yourself to how you were a year ago, and that will bring back a sense of progress, which ultimately can boost your motivation to keep on going.
4. Join a community and network with other producers to avoid feeling like you’re the only one struggling. When you’re trying to achieve a goal alone, it sometimes can feel daunting to go through with it because it can make you feel lonely and like you’re the only one struggling with something. However, when you meet other producers that are having the same issues as you’re having, or you are able to see their growth and what they have achieved, it can really help you boost your motivation and your will to get back to your music. Joining a Facebook group, or discord community like ours (click here to join), you’ll meet a lot of like-minded producers that are going through the same thing as you like struggling with time due to work, struggling to be creative or correcting their mixes, and that helps uou by making you feel part of a group that will grow together. In these communities, I’ve met people that later became close friends with, producers who later became collab partners and who taught me skills that I was lacking, and producers who helped when I was struggling to find motivation and suggested things that later I became passionate about. Therefore, make sure to join communities like this to interact with other producers, and I’d recommend to you also check Bound to Divide’s discord as well.
5. Go out and change your environment. Lastly, if you’re not having fun making music, something has got to change in your process. In 2019, I was feeling miserable about my music, ALMOST quit it, as said in this post, and I only came back to it because I decided to switch genres and started to produce house music. However, the spark to produce house music came when I went to a club and had a LOT of fun listening to house music, and decided to make it. When things are bad and you’re not having fun, it’s time to change, and the easiest change is changing your genre. Go to Spotify and start listening to music and try to find something that excites you when you listen. Then, switch gears and start making it. You don’t need to make it perfectly at first, but check if that gives you the fun you had when making music. If not, you still haven’t found ‘The One’, so keep on changing until you’re like “Hell yeah, that’s it”. Even a small walk can trigger this will for change, but this change is crucial to keep your ‘having fun’ alive.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
Why are you not having fun making music?
1. Is it too much of a challenge for you? Hire someone to help you along your path, or follow youtube channels that you see yourself learning the most from
2. Are you in a creative rut and don’t feel like it? Switch gears. You’re not enjoying making the music you used to make, and it’s time to consider some changes.
3. I don’t have time for it, and that makes me unhappy about it. Go to bed one hour earlier and wake up one hour earlier to produce. Music is challenging and will require some sacrifices, but it’s all really fun as it progresses