Most people that want to make music do it because they want to express themselves artistically. But, some are not aware of the many things that you need to do and learn, and the many issues that can knock your motivation towards music down while you’re learning. Therefore, to help you achieve what you want to achieve with music, here are a couple of thoughts:
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. You need to figure out WHY you’re making music and what keeps driving you. Understanding why you’re making music is critical to avoiding career frustrations, but also key to understanding how hard you need to push yourself with your music. For example, if you want to tour the world, your strategy and effort will need to be completely different than if you want to make and release music for the fun of it. And after laying down your strategy, it will be easier to understand how hard you need to invest yourself in your music, and also to understand if that is too much for you. However, without this, you’ll be riding a boat without a destiny, which can make you over or underwork simply because you haven’t taken the time to understand what is your goal with music. And, without a goal, and it’s a lot easier to quit and lose motivation when this happens simply because it has no real purpose. For example, if you face a bad rejection, that could lead you to be crushed and quit, but if you have a strong WHY for your music, this can motivate you to be better. Therefore, ask yourself… Why am I producing? What is the goal of my music? What do I want to achieve, and by when do I want to achieve this? This will help you in a few ways: (1) it will give you a destiny and a path to follow, but it can also help you (2) understand when you’re running late with your goal, or ahead of it, which would require more or less work; (3) It will give you a sense of purpose, and purpose helps you dust of the bad moments; (4) It gives you a reason to sit on your DAW and even commit further on why you have to do it every day (that’s how I started to produce daily).
2. You need to be constantly developing your skills and always keep on learning. Being a music producer means that you’ll constantly need to seek out new challenges and experiments with your music, otherwise, this can lead you to be bored with doing the same thing over and over, or even for your fans to get bored with your music since you became outdated. My rule of thumb is: for every song that I make, I have to experiment with something new in it. Therefore, (1) Try a different arrangement with the instrumental, (2) or with a vocal, (3) learn sound design and get a weird sound inside your songs, (4) practice songwriting by creating melodies ‘like a favorite artist’ of yours to understand their thought process, (5) try producing a new genre, (6) do a collab, (7) mix and master with a self-imposed limitation (time or plugins), (8) produce outside of your studio and in a place that you’d never consider producing, (9) get feedback on your song or fixing previous feedback, (10) avoid your go-to plugins, etc. All these methods mentioned above will create challenges that will help you develop as a music producer, but most importantly, will keep you away from going into a rut. Therefore, for your next song, experiment and set yourself to do, AT LEAST, one thing different than how you are used to
3. You need to make networking a part of your music journey. Depending on your goals with music, you’ll need to set aside some music production time to network with other producers in the industry, especially if you want your songs to be signed and/or become a big producer. Networking can help you a lot with creating new opportunities for you in the industry, but also, at the very least, finding people that will give you feedback on your song, which can enhance your music and develop your career. For example, (1) you can meet a producer that can later introduce you to a label, or (2) you can meet a producer that can introduce you to someone who books DJs at clubs and someone can then book you to bigger events from there, or (3) even meet a producer that will help you with feedback, as mentioned, or (4) that will do a collab with you that will help your exposure and developing your skills. Now, the best way to network is in-person, so going to events like ADE or Miami Music Week are really nice because a lot of big artists attend these events, and you can eventually meet them in a more personal level, which can help you tremendously as an artist in the future. But, if you’re not up for this, you can always join forums and become friends with other producers this way. For example, a former student from Abstrakt student became friends with Daniel from Fatum by playing ‘Among Us’ with him, which lead to Daniel giving him a class for free afterward. If you don’t know where to begin, join our discord and there you’ll meet a lot of like-minded producers that are willing to help you with feedback and talk to you about music.
4. You need to hustle through the hard times and take these moments as learning opportunities. In your career, you’ll have hard moments where you will feel a bit lost and possibly want to quit, but that is not a bad thing if you take advantage of them. Normally, these bad moments have an underlying message which is ‘something has got to change for you to move on’, and not doing so can become a problem for you in the future. That is because these issues can make producing music boring and not fun if you don’t push through, which essentially will kill your motivation to produce, and will drive you away from music. Some of these bad moments can be when (1) you’re facing a production issue and you don’t know how to get out of it, so you avoid facing it and, eventually, stop producing because you don’t want to face it, or (2) you don’t have time to produce, and the less you produce, the harder it gets for you to go back, (3) you’re not being able to develop your music past what it already, and producing stops being fun since you always end up doing the same. If any of these is true to you, my first recommendation is to find a mentor who can help you solve your music and/or productivity issues since a mentor can help you understand how you can develop your music, which might not be so clear to you when you’re stuck, and knowing this answer can bring your motivation back as you’ll know (1) what to fix and (2) how to fix. But, if you can afford a teacher, I highly recommend, as mentioned before, joining a forum where you can talk to other producers since most of them probably have already gone through the same thing, and can give you an idea of what you need to develop. Then, go to Youtube and search for what you need to fix, but that can take a bit more time than doing a 1-on-1 lesson. In the end, this issue that almost made you quit can be the thing that pushed you to become a better producer in the end, so always appreciate the message these moments bring with them.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
What does being a music producer means to you?
1. Making and releasing music without caring about the result? The best scenario ever since you don’t need to worry about the most boring part of music… Marketing. Make sure to focus your time on developing your skills, but also make sure to network to further develop your skills and expand your horizons when it comes to what is possible
2. Releasing at a major label? You’ll need to do a lot of networking and you’ll also to work a lot on your marketing as well, as releasing on a major label not only requires an amazing song, but also some amazing contacts to help you get in there.
3. Tour the world? You’ll not only need to network a lot, but you’ll also need to develop your brand as something people want to follow, and that is really hard. Not only this, but you NEED to be consistent and always to always release good music to always grow your audience and, eventually, be able to book shows around the world.