Constructive Feedback for your Music: How to Ask?

In my last article I talked about questioning your tracks and wondering if what you are doing is any good. I briefly talked about asking people for their opinion on your track. I was asked to dive a little deeper on this and wanted to share some things I have learned along the way about asking for peoples opinion.

 

The first thing to keep in mind here is what my last article talked about, and that is staying true to yourself. Of course, some people will like it, some people will hate parts about it. Everyone has their own taste in music. Let your taste be your final guide.

 

There are some great advantages in asking for people’s opinions though, and when you ask the right way you will get some useful information.  Here are the 6 things to practice when looking for feedback to your music.

 

These concepts can be used any time you are looking for feedback for any creative endeavor, not just music. The same ideas apply when asking for feedback for a painting, poetry, or anything else. (more…)

By | 2017-06-28T19:57:40+00:00 April 11th, 2014|Creative Process|2 Comments

Questioning Your Tracks?

There is a point in making music where you can start questioning everything you are doing. You wonder if your bass line works, or if that synth is crunchy enough. It can become maddening.  In these moments you might also wonder if anyone will like the track.

This quote puts it best:

Qestioning and keeping other people happy

Always be true to what you think and feel as an artist. If you start double guessing everything you do then you will be caught in a loop and never feel like you have accomplished something. I think the key to success isn’t making something perfect, it’s knowing what “perfect enough” is for you.

Another thing that happens a lot when you got a track fairly done is wanting to share it with a bunch of friends and get their opinion. This can be really helpful, but it can also hurt your confidence. There is one thing I have seen over the years and that is people will always want more. If you give them an unfinished track they will say…

 

I loved it, but I want more womp.

I loved it, but I want a violin in their.

Great track, but can you add some vocals? (more…)

By | 2017-06-28T19:57:54+00:00 April 6th, 2014|Creative Process|0 Comments

The Creatives Scheduled Their Days

Yesterday I saw a really inspiring post by Info We Trust, that lays out how famous creators have spent their day. They took old correspondences and information about the person and made an easy to understand info graphic.

When we are creating and deep in our process sometimes we wonder if we are spending our day correctly. That is why I really appreciated these images. It very succinctly conveys how ingenious people throughout history has spent their time. (more…)

By | 2017-06-28T19:58:02+00:00 April 1st, 2014|Creative Process|0 Comments

Many Paths to Creating Music

I have been in the studio for a few days and wanted to share my process of actually starting and finishing an album. In short, never get obsessed with one thing. Keep things moving and keep the ideas coming.

Over the past three years I have taught a private course on music production that takes you from the start of a track to completion. I’ve used the image below to help explain my process. If you want, you can right click and save the image. It is much bigger than shown on the blog.

Stages to completing a music track (more…)

By | 2017-06-28T19:58:07+00:00 March 26th, 2014|Creative Process|4 Comments

Frustration and Letting Go

After my last article I was really excited to start producing music. I sat down, thought about the story in which I wanted to create and was ready to go. Then something unexpected happened. Life!

To make a long story short, I got in a fight with my partner. The thing that sucked is I felt as if all my creative energy was sucked out of me. I was pissed because I lost all the inspiration I just had. Instead of running home and still producing I went on a walk. During that time I let my mind move on to another idea.  I contemplated why I got mad, processed life, and so on.

Later I still had some angst so I did what only any sane person would do. I made deep dark Dubstep. Like shit in your brain robot sex on a psychedelic spaceship type of Dubstep. Man it felt good… and it is total rubbish.  I will of course not share the track with you. It’s not worth polishing up. It was just to let things go. So here is my point. When life takes away your creativity just let it go. It always comes back around so chill out. I also got to let it go by making music I never do while the full intention to not do anything with it.

Now another day and another story. I feel creative again and back in the music flow. I’ll sit down and repeat the same steps of thinking, relaxing into it, and letting the music come out.  I’ll leave you with a video I watched on Ted Talk the other day on creativity. It gives some deeper insight into the creative process and “the muse”.

By | 2017-06-28T19:58:11+00:00 March 25th, 2014|Creative Process|0 Comments

The Creative Process: Starting A Track

After a few months of teaching, gigs, and other lifestyles of the rock and roll I have separated a month for making a new Album. During that time I want to write some articles on here about my creative process so you can see how I navigate, making music, finishing music, staying inspired, and such.  I also want to inspire you, as I am being inspired, by the process of making music. This is a very personal perspective, I am glad to share with you.

 

So lets start at the beginning of making new music.

 

The best way to start making music is to start off by not making music. Seriously. Spending a few days by yourself and in contemplation will go a long way.  You need to take a moment to look at the larger picture of your art, music, why you are doing what you are doing. If you start by thinking;

 

I need to finish this new album.

I will lose fans unless I make something great in the next few months.

I think people would love a new album that  is dark, and uses this one synth sound, and like the other artist I love.

 

If you think like that going into making music it will be mediocre at best.  The reason why is you are coming from a place of fear. You will compromise your own expression and artistic integrity. Now what would happen if you asked other questions to start with;

 

What am I feeling of late and where am I at in my life?

What is really important in my life and experiences that I want to share with others?

What inspires me to make music? Why even make it?

 

These questions are much more existential, but I can guarantee you that everyone thinks these things and can relate. By exploring this yourself, you will be able to get into a much deeper and more creatively rooted place. Think about what music would sound like if it was diving into the questions and core feelings of the human race as compared to a song that is trying to be popular.

 

For me personally I escaped the city and went to Orcas Island with my partner.  I have been writing in a journal, taking walks, talking with friends, and taking moments to myself. Another thing that helps is making sounds for the fun of it. I just bust out my autoharp and play it for hours and explore the wonders of music. This way I have started to formulate thoughts of what my music is.

 

Creating Story

 

Another way of staying creative and motivated is thinking about the story. I have created an epic with every track and album I make. I have a whole mythos of the Subaqueous character. People might not get it, or even know about it, but it creates a sense of place and purpose that helps move my music.

 

Try to think of what room the music is in. Is it in the desert, a cave in Africa, a festival at twilight, or what.  This will add life and story to your music that people might not consciously get, but it will affect them.

 

So with that I will leave you with this podcast I did a while back about my artistic process. It walks through what I was thinking with my past music.

Over the next few weeks I am going to go deep into what making music means to me, some techniques for staying in the flow of things, and my process to help inspire other artist.  Register on the site to join the newsletter and get the newest updates in your inbox.  

By | 2017-06-28T19:58:18+00:00 March 23rd, 2014|Creative Process|0 Comments
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