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Let go of expectations that your music has to sound a certain way. Forget about judgements that you are not good enough. Step to the side and let the criticism that says you can't do it pass on by. Come back to happiness. Come back to the joy of creativity without judgement or expectation. It exists there within you. Love your music. It's worth it. Trust that you don't need to be harsh on yourself to make something worthwhile. The happier you allow yourself to be with your creative ability, the happier you will be with the things you make and the faster you will improve without even realizing it. I don't need to tell you to go make something amazing. You already do.
(let me know if you need tough love and I'll write an aggressive version)
For anyone who might come along and read my posts or my reviews, I often feel very passionately about the potential to help people in some way and I write a lot of stuff and then I feel very foolish. But I leave what I wrote in the hopes that my idiocy might prove useful or at least entertaining to someone else. Hopefully useful. :) I don't worry about miscommunicating when I write music, I'm totally confident in my intent. But when I write like this I worry that I get too lost in my head and become full of myself and that is a drag. Lost in my own inner echo chamber. I worry that I get in my own way of trying to be helpful. It's tough for me to figure out how to be confident and humble and friendly and mindful in my writing. I feel stupid because I read what I write and I wonder who I think I am to write like that. I wonder if I am an idiot to imagine that someone would find what I say useful/helpful. Despite the tone of this post, I want to be light and friendly and informative and entertaining. For this post I’ll settle for clear and honest. Cheers!
I just had something happen that shook my self confidence and interrupted my song writing flow and I wanting to jot down a little about my experience just in case it may someday help someone else.
After the emotionally difficult incident, at first I just sat with it for a while and tried to distract myself, mostly just feeling bad. Then I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. Mostly because I couldn’t concentrate on anything I was trying to distract myself with. I decided I might as well try to actively make myself feel better. After all, I knew that if I did nothing, I definitely wouldn’t start feeling better very soon. So I opened up my text editor and I started writing.
I wrote down how I felt and what I was thinking while I was feeling bad. I wrote about the pain I was feeling. I wrote about acceptance of the things that shook my confidence. I did the scary deed and explored my inner world looking directly at the things that hurt and then describing those things in words.
Then I made myself start writing what I wanted to be thinking and feeling. I wrote about the real, good things that I omitted when I was tearing myself down. I know that not only am I'm flawed, but I accept and work on those flaws actively. When you are feeling bad about yourself, it’s easy to forget about the great, amazing things about you. I even wrote down positive affirmations, taking care to really feel what I was writing and not just think it.
So I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote, until I could feel that I was starting to see a bigger picture and much to my relief my confidence and desire to make music started to return. I’m still a little raw from the experience, but I’m moving forward. It’s nice to know that, though it sometimes very hard, I can take direct action to help myself move forward and feel better when I’m beaten down emotionally and feel hurt and a little lost.
What a surprise! :P Shorter/simpler songs are definitely better for my sleep schedule.
2017-02-21 23:52:43 by nomubiku
I'm seriously thinking about doing a weekly series on creating music. It’s about how to be happier and more satisfied with your musical creativity. It’s not about your DAW and plugins or which style or genre you do. It’s about creative techniques that have helped me to be much more confident in and satisfied with my music.
If you want the quick tldr and are a self starter, I’ll tell you my “secret” is to write lots and lots of music with as much total abandon and fearlessness as you can muster. If you do that you are going to discover the things I want to write about plus tons of your own techniques and tricks and become an amazing producer. You know, “practice, practice, practice” and all that.
However, if you go that route, I have two pieces of advice for you.
First, don’t waste time creating “practice” songs or uploading “test” songs or parts that “need work” unless you just want to throw some paint on the canvas and see what shape it takes. In my opinion that opens the door for substandard creations or at least creations you will feel that way about in the back of your mind. Learn to be confident that your creativity is worth your joy and happiness, excitement and acceptance.
Stick with an idea until it is “finished” or you are satisfied if you never find your way back to it. Every song you create is the best you have to offer at that instant and that's awesome, you should be proud of yourself! You should have faith that you always put your best creativity and skill that you are capable of at a given moment into what you are creating. I will admit that I have occasionally uploaded a “work in progress”. So far I have not gone back completed those works. Too many exciting new ideas! And that brings me to my second piece of advice.
Ideas. Be an idea machine. If you turn off your inner, unhelpful critic, you may find that you are a wellspring of ideas. If you are not worried about how bad or stupid or weak or annoying an idea is, I hope that you will find that your idea mechanism becomes free and ideas will just flow constantly and endlessly. Don’t worry if it sounds like this or that. Don’t worry if it’s not your style. Don’t worry if it’s similar to something you’e done before (some idea shapes become stylistic glue). Just grab ideas and go. If you are still worried after reading that, I’ll say that when new ideas consume you, you can pick and choose what you will bring to life and let go of the ones that are just not as exciting or evocative to you.
Just do that over and over all the time as much as possible. :)
If you want still want to hear what I’ve got to offer, I think I’ve got some useful techniques and tools for creating music and I think they might actually be useful to other people I look forward to sharing them. Cheers!
Just got off my ass and hooked up my monitors, which have been sitting on my shelf collecting dust, to help improve my mixes. Well, the struggle is real. I want it to sound good across a variety of listening devices. Not too much high end, not too much low end, thick pronounced non-grating rhythm synth sounds. Punchy, fat drums. It's tough! I've produced a ton of tracks mixing on small speakers. I mean embarassingly small. Not because I had to, but because I just want to focus on composition.
Then I started realizing that I was pushing too much bass to compensate and it was overwhelming the rest of the music on bigger speakers. I was so lost in composition that I totally overlooked common sense. So I started mixing in headphones in addition to the small speakers which no doubt helped immensely. Now I've that I've decided to add these monitors to the mix (no pun intended), there's even more variation in what different frequencies are emphasized across my listening devices.
These monitors totally favor low end and where I have them situated favors low end and at first it sounded totatly boxes and boomy with a murky high end. But after tweaking and adjusting both the monitor controls to try and flatten them out and the mix level and eq and going back and forth between headphones and small speakers and monitors, I'm starting to calm down. I just want to do my best to ensure that no matter where someone tries to listent to the music I make, that they'll hear as good a representation as I can squeeze out of their listening device. Sometimes I feel like I'd rather just embrace whatever poor mixing style I have than risk making it worse. Ignorance is bliss right? The devil you know is better than the devil you don't?
I know what's really important is to remember what I'm trying to do and why I've been sitting at my computer all day. Because I love making music. The core of music making is what is most important to me. Melody, harmony, rhythm, riffs, arrangement; that's the meat. That's where I live. That's where the foundation is laid and the body of thoughts and emotions is expressed.
And once I'm comfortable with where a song is in those terms, then I can use the tools at my disposal to attempt to give myself and whoever may listen to it the best experience I can. Then I can put the icing on the cake. And I just have to trust that I will always produce the best that I'm capable of and everytime I do it with confidence and keep an open mind, I will improve at it.