Creating music relies not just on technical skills but also on imagination and creative thinking. The creative side of making music involves bringing your imagination to life.
At first, you come up with an idea, then you break that idea into a process, and finally, you solve the puzzle bit by bit using your technical skills. All these stages rely on practice and creativity.
To be creative is to be original. You can be a very skillful music producer, with the ability to compose all that already exists. Still, you won’t be able to compose something out of your imagination, something original, without creativity.
Research conducted by George Land shows that in a group of 5-year-old children, 98% were highly creative. When he again re-tested the same group at 10 years, only 30% scored as highly creative and at 15 years, only 12%.
When he tested 280,000 adults, only 2% scored in the highly creative range.Thus, the researchers concluded that it is not creativity but non-creative behaviour that we learn as we get older.`
With music (or any other art form), it is different. Music producers, musicians, and artists are comparatively more creative than others because their work requires them to be. But sustaining that creativity over a long stretch can be quite challenging, and this article will help you with that.
In this article, I am sharing the Top 10 Tips For Music Producers to Stay Creative.
Top 10 Tips For Music Producers To Stay Creative
Here are the Top 10 Tips to Help Music Producers To Boost Their Creativity:
#1 - Imagine & Create
Creation relies on imagination. Let’s just say imagination is the first step toward creation. Using your imagination to create music will lead you up a creative path and to something original. Put your imagination into your work and you will be surprised by the results. Imagination will help you stay creative and will add magic to your music.
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”
– George Bernard Shaw
#2 - Go With the Creative Flow
The “Creative Flow” state requires complete involvement in the task at hand. The creative flow takes you to a state where hours pass as if they were minutes, where the activity becomes its own reward. This state is a sense of ecstasy and inner clarity.
Getting into a creative-flow state is a big challenge, especially in the age of digitalisation. Because distraction is a significant factor that prevents music producers from producing their best creative work. To stay creative, make sure to turn off all your devices, or at least the internet access, and choose a place to work where distractions are minimal. Especially when you are working in your studio, turn off the internet and the notifications to avoid distractions. This will help you stay in the creative flow for a long time.
“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”
– Csikszentmihalyi, 1990
#3 - New Perspective
We work and see things in predictable ways. To break free from these habitual patterns, we must first acknowledge their existence and then try to change them one by one. Changing these patterns requires a new way of looking at things and experimenting with new methods.
There are many ways to gain a new perspective, such as travelling to unknown places, reading a book, changing your work environment, taking up a new hobby, participating in adventurous activities, or whatever works for you.
When you step outside of your comfort zone, your bodies and minds are tested. This allows you to break free from old habits and gain a fresh perspective.
“No problem can be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it.”
– Albert Einstein
#4 - Long Walks
Long walks are beneficial, especially if you spend the majority of your time sitting. For music producers, the best way to unclog their brains is to go for a long walk or run outside.
Most musicians claim that they get ideas for new albums while walking in nature. Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Steve Vai all went for long walks with a notepad in hand to jot down creative ideas.
Walking can boost creativity by 60% on average, and up to 81% in some cases, according to a study called Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking.
A walk in nature can help remove creative blocks caused by overthinking and distress. A long walk can help you clear your mind, refill the well of your imagination and stay creative.
#5 - The Art Of Imitation
Imitating the music of great composers and legends that you admire, can help you to channel your inner creativity. You will learn many new things just by simply imitating and studying the works of the legends that you admire. You don’t have to imitate everything, as you can add your own touch to it. Change some elements, remove or add your own, reshape and build on something that has already been composed. You will be surprised by the creativity and originality that will arise through this process.
“All art is mimetic by nature; art is an imitation of life.”
#6 - Keep A Journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to have a record of your ideas and imagination. Writing down your thoughts can help you record unintentional ideas for future projects and can help you become more self-aware.
It allows you to unclutter your mind by writing down your thoughts without censoring them. You can inspect these written thoughts for self-awareness and use your judgement to change your thinking patterns. This procedure assists you in identifying and correcting errors. As a result, it assists you in removing mental obstacles to your inner creativity.
Every day, the average person has between 12000 and 60000 thoughts. The majority of these thoughts are usually mixed up. However, a few of them may be life-changing ideas that you do not want to forget simply because you did not record them.
A journal filled with creative ideas will help you stay creative when it gets difficult for you to come up with new ideas. It will boost your creativity by refilling the well of your imagination and creativity.
#7 - Decode Your Favourite Artists
Whenever you feel like you have run out of creative ideas, decoding your favourite artists can teach you a lot of new things and give you a push to make something unique of your own. As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.".
Decoding other artists' work is a great way to get an insight into the framework of other music producers and get inspired by their work. This process will boost your creativity by inspiring and motivating you to do better.
#8 - Taking Regular Breaks
For music producers, staying creative doesn’t usually mean more music. This is especially true if you are working continuously and are unable to stay creative or even motivated. When something gets jammed, you simply move it. This is why most people benefit from taking a break.
Taking a break in this context means that you are not permitted to think about or do anything related to your work, such as music. Take a break from your job, your workplace, and even your working environment. This has to feel like a complete detox from work-related stress.
#9 - Get Inspired
Making music is not an easy job. You have to come up with new ideas for melodies, rhythms, and everything else every now and then. There are hard times when music producers run out of ideas and don’t know what changes they can make to their music structure.
Getting inspired by the work of other artists is a great way to channel your inner creativity. Listening to new music genres, your favourite artists, or something completely new will help you come up with new ideas. As inspiration plays a major role in the creative process, getting inspired will help you stay creative for longer.
#10 - Pickup A New Hobby
Find a new hobby to stay creative as a music producer. Sounds unusual, right?
Well, as Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Everything connects to everything else.” A new hobby like running, painting, illustrating, cooking, etc. can unclutter your mind and enhance your problem-solving skills.
Perfectionism, stress caused by overthinking, and fear of failure are the most damaging blocks to creativity. A new hobby may help you get your mind off your project, release stress, and boost your creative thinking.
If you like, you can learn to play an instrument too, which will be a bonus for music producers. Guitar is one amazing choice.
Check this article to get access to our completely free beginner’s guitar course.
Unfortunately, there is no single solution for staying creative. Continue to experiment with all these tips to see what works best for you.
The good news is that creativity, like any other skill, must be developed and is not an inborn talent. So let go of your fears and live your life to the fullest.
Suggested Read: TOP 5 BOOKS FOR MUSICIANS TO BOOST CREATIVITY