I take that because you’re on this website and you want to become a better producer. You want to make better music and you have long term goals.
Things that we think “If I do this it will be a waste of time” It is mostly because there is no immediate reward. But if you do it anyway it will pay you in long term and you will enjoy fruits of your “Not that cool” activity.
Invest in time activities are sometimes those which are “boring” while you are doing it.
So what are the best habits to become a better music producer
Remaking seems the waste of time sometimes because you are not creating anything new, you are just recreating another’s song. But doing this you will learn a lot. chord progressions, song structures, DAW techniques, Beat making, Making synth patches, Basslines it is endless. It is the No.1 practiAny kind of effort brings tension, and this is bad in long run, so make your workflow as effortless as possible so you will go much much further.ce if you want to improve your production.
2. Synth Patches
The track you are making is going just dope, the groove is so right, and chord progression is from like heaven! and above that the synth patch you’ve just made after two and half hours of experimenting is totally killing it. So! Save it. Not just in that session but in that synth also. If you got free time, use that time and save patches.
3. Making Templates
This will help you when you just got an idea and want implement in session as quickly as possible. not wasting time on creating tracks, routing, adding effects ( Delay, Reverb Etc.)
It will sure take time to create the template with all instrument loaded, tracks routed with and basic inserts like eq, compressor, but take the time and make it, an hour? two hours? you just saved a hell lot of time on setting up the whole session from blank – EVERY TIME!
4. Making / Using Keyboard Shortcuts
We all know our DAW or any software’s basic shortcuts. Good! Learn more! and if your software allows you to make the new ones, then take some time to figure out where you waste time or wat to speed that part and make a shortcut for that. the time you spent figuring out and making the shortcuts is invested time for the future time waste.
5. Practicing Your Instrument
This is not a new thing and it’s very obvious to say that practice your instrument daily.
But practicing your instrument is the best investment you make in time.
It will help you improvise new melodies, harmonies when deadline is very tight. When you regularly practice you will find easy to improvise and stretch your boundaries of playing and composing music in general
No doubt music theory helps and you need to apply that on musical instruments. So with time it will become easy to create new chord progression, new melody, new scale for particular mood.
It is the best investment of time.
Any kind of effort brings tension, and this is bad in a long run, So make your workflow as effortless as possible.
Too much plugins, softwares will not only take your hard drive space but it will also create huge mental clutter. At some point you will find yourself stuck choosing which plugin to use, This is happening because you have given yourself too many options. Limit your options so you don’t have to worry about anything else besides creating great music. Yes you can have countless pieces of gear, but sometimes that amount of gear becomes a problem.
There are two main areas to declutter.
- Software Plugins/tools: keep one or two plugins to serve the one purpose e.g. One plugin for compressor, one or two for EQ, and so on for the reverb, delay and other inserts. Don’t waste time to go through every tool every time, you would never get any work done. Try this, pretend you have hardware console, you can’t change new effects every time. Use this idea in your DAW, if you have console you will not go and buy new hardware effects for every new project. Treat your DAW as console. You install countless tools just because you can, is pointless. Keep few but best tools.
- Hardware stuff: Same thing goes for your physical stuff like your instruments. Keep your signal chain simple. Too many stuff is too much hassle. Limit your instruments, effect pedals, amps, cables. This will also help your studio look more clutter free. Use less but use it fully. Use one hardware tool and tweak every possible combination to create a tone rather than having 10 and never touched any button on them. With simple signal chain you’ll make decisions faster.
Minimal mind-set: Minimalism is lifestyle. It helps us focus on what’s important. If you take a close look in your system and your studio you will find that we unknowingly own things that we’ll likely never use. Strive for a minimal setup and you feel light because now you don’t carry so much junk, you don’t own so much junk and you can focus on what’s really important to you. By keeping your choices limited you can use all your energy for the most important thing, “creativity”.
Like in other areas of life productivity is important, the same way it is important when it comes to composing. Composing is creative process. And creativity can be time consuming. Creating something new means messing with lots of ideas. And if you don’t have some planned structure it can take forever to create something new. Here are some ways to reduce that time.
- Decide what and for whom you are going to compose today before actually sitting down. Just sitting in front of computer and pressing random chords and notes on midi keyboard not going to take you anywhere. Have a purpose or goal in mind. Is that a 30sec music or full 3 minute song? What structure will be needed? What instruments to use? What chord progression will go with melody Decide thing like these before turning on your DAW.
- Keep your samples and synths handy. Have your samples and sound folder structure in mind. You will not waste time in finding the right sound. If you need that reverse cymbal sound you should know where it is located in which folder and sub folder. When ideas are flowing it is not a good thing to searching the files in the mess.
- Be specific. Experimenting is good thing but it has its limits. You can mix n match instruments and styles forever. Be specific with genre choose instruments as per the genres requirement.it will also save your computer’s memory from loading heavy unwanted plugins and make your session heavy unnecessarily. And if you are going to use software synths know what synth is good for which sound.
- Practice not only composing but your theory and instrument playing. The more you practice the more you compose fast. If you got melody in mind you will quickly know what chords will fit. Also, you will reduce the takes while recording, by practicing your preferred instrument.
- Make schedule of daily composing time. It will help your creative mind to flow even more smoothly. Benefit of scheduling is your mind get in habit to use those hours fully and not thinking about other thoughts. And by practice your mind will also get active for composing ideas. If your schedule start at 5 for one or two hours, your mind will automatically get in the composing state between those hours.
- Take breaks! Productivity does not mean always working and torture your creative mind. It needs a long breath, go out, enjoy a cup of hot coffee, I prefer green tea (it’s amazing). That will generate new and fresh ideas
For many guitarists its frustrating to apply theory on instrument. These are both different things that learning any instrument and learning music theory. And to apply theory on instrument means using your physical ability to play guitar and theory knowledge will go hand in hand. Here are some main aspects to start with.
1.Know all notes on fret board the open strings are from lower to higher are E(1),B,G,D,A,E(6). So if you choose 3rd string that is G count G as open string and then press the first fret that will be G# the next fret will be A and so on till 12th fret G note. By this way practice knowing all frets and its notes.
2.How to spell chords chord spelling means the notes that make chord. E.g. spelling of C major chord is C,E,G. F major chord’s spelling is F,A,C. Once you learn the notes on the fret board you can easily apply this theory.
3.Play major and minor chords after knowing the notes in chords start practicing major and minor chords. try simple progressions like C,F,G or D,A,G play slowly but clearly.
4.Try scales major and minor first try C major scale first. learn the shapes of scale there are mainly 4 types scales
- Major Scales
- Minor Scales
- Harmonic Minor Scales
- Melodic Minor Scales
Start from major scale then master others.
5. Arpeggios helps us to play more fluently in the key. Arpeggios are notes from chords one benefit is you will play more notes in short time. Like in scales we have same parts in arpeggio
- Major Arpeggios
- Minor Arpeggios
- Harmonic Minor Arpeggios
- Melodic Minor Arpeggios
These are some basic points you can add in your guitar practice schedule, Make weekly schedule for each topic for best results.