I’m seeing a lot of producers lose interest in music recently, and for various reasons, so I decided to make this post to help you if you’re thinking about quitting your music and how to prevent yourself from experiencing these possible quitting triggers…
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. You need to make progress to keep yourself interested in music. One of the most common reasons why producers quit music is that they don’t see progress in their music and then question if they’re good enough to ‘make it’ in music. That happened several times to me, including one time when I even questioned if I should quit everything. As with any other skill, you will have bursts of progress and dips where you feel nothing really is developing, as mentioned in the book ‘The Dip’ by Seth Godin, which I highly recommend to any musician. During those moments, it’s important to understand how you can get out of it, something I mentioned in a recent post about why you’re not developing as a producer. The first recommendation is to get feedback from producers or from us, which you can do here, but sometimes even with feedback, you don’t know how to tackle the issue that was given to you. The second recommendation is to dive into start-to-finish videos on youtube to figure out how to solve these issues, but that requires time and effort to watch through a long video, and that may not be for everyone. Lastly, try to find a mentor that can work with you 1 on 1, identify and locate what is making you stuck, and correct it, or find an online course/academy that can do something similar with a paid course that can help you understand your mistakes and how to solve them. Remember though that 1on1s are normally more personalized and can help you solve your problems faster.
2. Recover the fun of producing, or you’ll pull yourself away from music. Having fun is crucial for music production because it’s what drives us to go through this really tough learning curve that is music production. However, I see a lot of producers making choices that lead to them having less fun, because they’re “trying to find their sound” or they put a high degree of pressure on themselves, which makes things become a task or a chore, instead of finishing music, and enjoying the process of making something they enjoy. As mentioned in a recent post about having fun while producing, a lot of having fun is taking the pressure away from your music and actively experimenting while producing, as this will keep you away from creative ruts and becoming bored while also helping you keep on making progress with your music, as mentioned above. Additionally, jamming with other producers live, going to live concerts to refresh your head and regain motivation, and even not stressing over ‘not producing for a while’ can help you regain your motivation towards your music and can set you back on track. Lastly, and my favorite recommendation, consider changing genres and try to make something completely out of your comfort zone that will require you to be a real beginner again as this will take the pressure away from ‘having to make hit songs’ and get you back in learning mode.
3. Commit to a time schedule with music as if it was a side job. Most producers I know have a main job and produce on the side or as a hobby, but sometimes the lack of commitment takes them away from even having music as a hobby. Even if you have a family in addition to your job, what if you produced 7 hours per week (4 hours during the weekend + 30/40 mins per weekday), or 10% of your free time per week? If that is your fun time, it’s as important as your gym time, or even your sleep time, and you should make time for it during your week. And, the best way to commit to a ‘time schedule’ is to make a weekly time goal and track it. Why? When you wanna cut on spending, you set a spending limit and track your spending, right? Therefore, it’s the same with time. Start by counting how many free hours you have per week and commit to working on 5-10% with your music. Then, use apps like Toggl to track your progress on being able to achieve this goal. In addition to that, remind yourself to try to produce every day, as this helps you A LOT by making music a habit, which also helps in your commitment and ability to develop new skills.
4. You need to find a community of like-minded people to surround yourself with and motivate you. A lot of producers quit because in addition to one of the topics mentioned above, they also feel alone and without people to talk to, which often is not motivating for anything that we seek to do in life. At the same time, they don’t seek or sometimes don’t even know of places where they can meet people and network, which makes production a lonely hobby for them. But, being part of a community is really fun as you can discuss music topics like plugins and technicalities that you probably can’t even comment on with ‘non-producer friends’ as they wouldn’t understand you, and there are plenty of groups online that you can benefit from not only from a social/motivational side, but also from learning/opportunities perspective as well. For example, we have our own Abstrakt discord with feedback, motivational, and ‘general chat’ threads. Most importantly though, all these communities will bring a sense of belonging to you that is really nice to have, and also a sense of support, which will help you keep on going during hard time as we’re all struggling with similar issues and learning our way to the top of music production.. Therefore, get onboard into one of these groups and start making friends in the industry that can support you through your journey.
What if you need help finding a solution for any of these topics? We, at Abstrakt, help some musicians with 1on1 lessons regarding all 4 topics mentioned above, so feel free to reach out to us if you’re in this spot. Even if your budget is limited, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll help you find the best solution with our partner music production schools and mentors.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
What other reasons do producers quit their music?
1. Can’t deal with rejections; Music production is hard and it comes with a lot of bad feedback and rejection, and that sometimes knock us down hard. Remember that a rejection or bad feedback is not a reflection on your future self and only reflects an opinion about that piece of art. Dust it off and take them as ‘what do you have to do to get better’. As Dory says, just keep swimming…
2. Other hobbies take over; If you’re not having fun with music, but you’re having fun with something else, go do something else. Music can always wait and if your will to produce comes back, you can always return.
3. Can’t finish a track; If you can’t finish a track, you likely won’t see progress, but the problem I hear often is “I can’t finish a track because I don’t feel it’s perfect”. Perfectionism is a curse, as mentioned here, and finishing tracks is exactly what will drive you forward to progress and keep making better songs, and, most importantly, it will give you a huge motivation boost after saying ‘MY TRACK IS DONE’, which also will help you keep on making progress.