Many years ago, I started writing music. It became my greatest passion and it still is. I love to get inspired by something from my environment, to create sound and listen it evolve. Every time I sit in my room to compose a piece of soundtrack, I try to relax and keep my mind open. There are a couple of rules I’d like to share with you today. I hope you’ll enjoy this post
1. Don’t force it
Don’t try to “clog holes” with shallow sounds if you are not satisfied. There’s no hurry. Give yourself time to work until it’s fully valued. Perhaps you chase obligations to the label, or anything else, but remember – every artist needs inspiration. Take your time. Just that you’ll look for inspiration and go for a walk, read a good book or listen to good songs. You will see that your head will be full of fresh ideas.
2. Take care of the order
It’s said that disorder promotes creative activity of the artist. But if your keyboard is covered with piles of papers, notes, magazines and empty packs of cigarettes – it’s worth to tidy up. If you work yourself, make a clean workplace. Everyone needs the atmosphere of creative activity. Please remember that your place of work is conducive to the emergence of new pieces. Eternal truth about man is that each change affects the smallest progress. So, allow yourself a moment – hang your favorite inspirational music poster somewhere near your desk. Change your wallpaper on your desktop. Make a refurbishment. There are plenty of opportunities!
3. Do not listen to one loop for more than 10 minutes
When we are stuck while in the middle of creating soundtracks, we put the part on loop to get the creative juices flowing. You can press the spacebar – give yourself a break. Sometimes it happens that your brain just gets off when it’s attacked by mad beat steadily for an hour. I assure you that the longer you listen to this, the less chance you have to come up with something catchy. Hit the spacebar. Do something else such as audio editing or arranging song.
4. Choose only those themes that sound best
In the ocean of riffs and drum patterns we often find very valuable pearls. I know I have fun when I dig in my mobile voice recorder and find a guitar riff that rocks. Then I get a kick, which encourages me to continue working. It’s a good opportunity that we can evaluate our musical ideas from a distance – so this sounds cool, that’s quite good, but that is total crap. The principle is so simple and it’s grounded in the rule number 1.
5. Listen to the effects of your work at the various stages and in different places
Of course, everything in moderation. Nothing prevents you to make two or three versions of arrangement, make a remix, assessed its quality after a few days. Musician needs rest. When you work on a mix or arrange a soundtrack in real time – keep your mind and ears open.
Actually, I do not know whether you mix death metal song or you’re an RnB producer. But I do know that the brain of every human being is getting accustomed. Therefore, if you have already heard the third hour of the same four-minute piece – I guarantee you won’t catch any significant detail. One more time – take a break!
6. To improve the sound, ask expert for advice
Don’t be afraid to write to a famous producer or sound engineer. Sometimes it’s worth to put part of your work at professional forums and draw some advices from other musicians and producers. You might also have access to music magazines containing the heading such as “Send Us Your Demo”. There’s one magazine for sound engineers in Poland where several well-known producers evaluate soundtracks submitted by readers. I think this is a very constructive approach.
It is said that the world is full of experts, but in the experiment play your piece to a friend. It’s worth to note the observations of the person who has nothing to do with music.
7. Keep the distance to your work
This could be the masterpiece of your life, but for another man – it’s just music. Just a song. Remember that, when someone will judge your work. Even if it’s the most intimate sphere of your personality, there’s always someone who wouldn’t understand you at all, and begin to manifest his dislike.
So, get ready for a confrontation with haters so their reviews were not painful for you. Most important is the process of creating and sharing music. You’re not forcing anyone to listen.