Where do you even start?
Listen, we’ve all been there. You just finished your latest track. You’re feeling amazing about it! You’ve started to prepare for promo and when you’re going to release this great work of art! A couple of weeks go by and you’re feeling inspired.
It’s time to open up your DAW and get to work… or so you think.
One of the biggest issues producers have is coming up with fresh new ideas. Creating creativity itself can be more frustrating than the act of writing a song. This week, I’d like to spend time talking about how you can keep your stream of creativity going
Timers that keep you on schedule.
A massive benefit in the world of technology is the fact that the small computers in our pocket can maintain all of the time in the world for us! The next time you load up your DAW and you have a blank project, set a 5-minute timer. As soon as you press start on that time, get working.
But what should you work on? Segment the parts of your songs out. Spend 5 minutes on the beats, i.e. drum patterns, samples etc.
Once that timer goes off, reset it. Move on to your next part. Repeat this with your leads, bassline, chord progression. You’ll hit that 30-minute mark at the start of your new track (which is arguably the most important time in a new track) and you’ll almost have the layout of what your track is going to be.
At this point, you’ll be surprised at how quickly new ideas start coming to you. The creativity almost jumps out at you!
Why start on a blank project?
Have you ever opened up a super old project and thought, “Why would I throw this one away? I wish I kept going because I know exactly what I need to do!” You’ve got the inspiration right in your old track! Sometimes you change a melody, here, a melody there.
The lead might just be off a little so you adjust it. Import some new and improved samples. Next thing you know, you’re finished with this track in just a few hours.
If you do this with old projects, why not do this with a new one?
Get rid of the stigma as if this is “cheating.” Writing a song is being creative, being creative means there are no rules (other than plagiarism, although that’s not really creative; that just means that there really are no rules!), if there aren’t any rules, THEN STOP WASTING TIME!!!
Take the last track you made, save it as a new project, and start fucking around. Change your melodies, change some of your leads, do the same with your bassline. For the time being, keep your drums, sweeps, risers, and FX the same.
It’s best practice to keep these the same so that your ideas and creativity keep flowing as you’re changing up the song. We can always change the drums and FX later.
If you want to change the key of your track, make sure you use a drum sampler at all time so that you can quickly swap your sampled kick and change the key.
This is a super useful technique, it’s one of the best ways to keep the creativity flowing. Your stream of creativity and inspiration will be strong by the time you end this project.
Organization, organization, and even more organization.
You might be saying to yourself, “Yeah, Christian, I am organized. I get it. I don’t need to read this part.” If this is what you’re thinking, you need to read this part more than the last points.
How organized are you?
Do you twiddle with your leads, or start creating a new preset every time you start a new track? Are all of your samples un-labeled in random folders, with no keys matched to them? What about your project? Do you just start with a blank project with nothing in it, no templates (unless you’re working on the previous point)?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then I hate to say it, but… you’re not that organized, buddy.
Take time out of your week to focus on these tasks. Organize your sample library. Design new leads in separate sessions. Create project templates with your most used plugins already loaded in there. These are all non-creative and interrupting tasks.
All of these tasks need to be done outside of your songwriting sessions. If you start a new track, and the day prior you worked on these things, you know how beneficial this is.
You know exactly where your drums are, what drum you want to grab. You have fresh new leads to play around with, which you don’t have to adjust.
Your best plugins are ready for you to quickly pull open and adjust settings. This FUELS your creativity. You don’t have to stop your idea train to work, look, or adjust anything. It’s all ready for you to grab and go.
I recommend spending 1-2 days to ensure that everything is organized, adjusting project templates to best suit your needs, and designing new sounds to work on the next project with. You’ll be amazed at how well this structure can help you.
Well, what are you waiting for?
BOOM! You’ve made it to the end. So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading this e-mail right now. Start organizing your sessions for your next track. Get inspired and do the heavy lifting so that you can focus on creativity in your next session!
Interested in a free creativity guide?
Click the button below to signup for my newsletter and you can download my free one sheet guide to creativity! This guide is perfect for hanging up in your studio! Whenever you feel like you’re lacking in creativity, check out the guide and choose something that will help you get back to it!