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Thursday
Jun112015

How to Stay Motivated to Make Music

In the age of internet 2.0 and social media basically taking over our everyday existence, it’s easy to get distracted. On top of all of the issues facing our every day lives, we have to provide for ourselves, loved ones, etc. thus a day job or something substantial is quite important. How in the heck are you going to find the time to continue expressing yourself through music and also, how will you stay motivated?
Well, I’ve truly been there and honestly, get stuck quite a bit. Being a business owner and running Symphonic Distribution brings me great satisfaction but every now and then, I wish I had the time and energy to make music. Before I started in the business, I was a full time musician and now, it’s easy to hear what is out there and think, “I can’t make that type of music at all, I’m just not that good!”. Thinking this can really get you to be unmotivated but I have been trying some things lately that are helping me to keep motivated to make music again and here are some random but helpful things you can do to stay motivated and accomplish music making while dealing with the all of the daily going ons of the world.
Set a schedule
I have been guilty of saying “I’m just too busy” and I often hear people saying “Oh man, been so busy” yet, I see folks on Facebook and frankly, wasting time. If you don’t treat your music making like an activity that you must do at a certain time of the day then you will lose the fire and love of making material. Evaluate your daily activities and try and set 1-2 hours daily to experiment and explore musically. Wake up early if you have to in order to balance exercise, your job, and your music career because if you treat it as serious as you do to your health with all the marathons and juicing you may be doing, then perhaps you will be able to get a consistent workflow of music making without losing motivation to explore.
Listen to what’s out there
I always recommend you listen to various different types of genres and explore new music but go back to old classics you used to love. For one, I’m a major Plump Djs fan, I was honored to have them remix work that I produced and every time I listen to basically any tune that they have put out, it just gives me the drive and motivation to make music again. It’s something that can’t be explained but listening to your favorite tunes and artists really takes the crap that happens everyday out of your mind and you just get thoughts of incredible music making coming out of you.
Explore new possibilities, not just sampling!
There’s a ton of sample websites out there and I think it’s great for the industry. It’s made folks that previously could never dream of making music to make the music and start their career. The con of this is that its completely unoriginal and I know MANY producers that have done it, and continue to do it. I think one key to staying motivated to make music is to explore new technologies, sounds, and devices. I still gravitate to my Korg EA1 because the sounds to me are timeless and can be manipulated in any which way possible. On top of this, we live in a world of apps and mobile devices and there are TONS and TONS of free and cost effective devices that allow you to play with instruments on your iPad, iPhone, Surface, or whatever the heck you may have. If you just play with those you will realize new sounds and styles that truly will make you motivated to make new and original music without having to shell out thousands to do it. On top of this, if you actually produce something with these devices, you will receive respect from your fellow producer peers. Of course, the music has to be good and not suck too!
Be yourself when making music
I often struggle making music because when you’re in the process of an album or a remix, you wonder, “Will people actually like this because I’m going in this route?”. Here’s the fact of the matter. Make music for yourself, because you want to, and because you like it. Sure, people may not like it but it will be MUCH more rewarding for you to make a song that you truly enjoyed making by yourself and from yourself. If you do this over and over, your music will continue to evolve because you will be exploring new areas and possibilities so don’t ever let anyone influence your material, just do it and do it because you want to have that feeling of making music, not just because people may want to buy it.
Believe that you can do it and accomplish it!
I leave this point for last but it’s really the first. Wake up every day and say to yourself, I will make music today and actually believe that you will. It’s very difficult to balance everything accordingly, I get it because I’ve been there and am always there. If you actually just believe in your material then you’ll keep the fire alive so to speak and will be able to bust out one, two, or however many songs you’d like to bust out. Take the process of making music to be one step at a time and set a goal to accomplish the task at hand. If you visualize and attack (I think that’s from a movie too), you will accomplish it and feel the reward of making music and join a community of millions around the world that are expressing themselves in the greatest form of art. Good luck and I too will take these tips as advice right into the studio!
By Jorge Brea
CEO and Founder of Symphonic Distribution
Jorge@symphonicdistribution.com

Reader Comments (4)

Thanks for the inspiration, a lot of us need it. The struggle between survival and creativity is always in play and before you know it a few weeks have gone by without any musical productivity. I absolutely agree that we should write to please ourselves first, versus writing it to "try" to please others or whatever is in vogue at the moment.

I keep reminding myself of something I heard on The Voice recently from one of the guest mentors, "Don't impress me, move me". I think these are timeless words of wisdom for songwriters.

As the man once said, "Don't stop believing..."

Jeff Ro

June 12 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Ro

Thanks for the post -- great advice!

June 13 | Unregistered CommenterTim O'Reilly

Thanx for this. I was experienceing a little bit of a crisis of faith and identity. This just helped reinforce for me that I need to stick to creating what is mine, and not try to meet somebody else's agenda or goals.

June 14 | Unregistered CommenterChris Leide

Just a short comment. I agree with what you are saying and want to add one thing. Sometimes it is good to get away from writing or playing for a little while to recharge.. Like a pro golfer that gets burnt out and takes a few weeks off...You can't write as well when your hearts not it...! But don't give up.... That great song is just around the corner!! TheAmericanHillbilly

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