As someone who writes, records, and produces his own music, I run into plenty of writers block. This article is about one simple way to get past it. The secret is to limit yourself.
Yes, you heard me right. And I can hear you yelling back at me about how limitless music is, and how we should never put limits on it. However, it can be counter intuitive at times. By limiting your instruments, styles, and techniques, you are able to focus. Sometimes I’m a little ADHD when it comes to composing. One moment I’m working on an ambient track, and the next moment it has morphed into a heavy industrial track.
Things I Choose to Limit While Writing Music
1. Limit Your Instruments
As an electronic producer, I have access to nearly unlimited instrument preset banks. I also have access to real instruments. When I produced the album LeveL, I used the same drum kits, bass, and guitars for almost the entire album. This resulted in a solid sounding album that felt more like a performance, where people play the same instruments throughout. It also helped the album to sound like each song belonged.
2. Limit Your Styles or Genres
Okay, I am well known for releasing hard core industrial tracks along side mellow ambient tracks. Sometimes that’s okay. But sometimes, you have to break things down into genres, like on Ctrl+Alt+Del. This album and LeveL both kept the food in their own side of the plate. Keep the food separated. You may find that doing so helps you get more done faster.
3. Limit Your Time
Limiting your time goes hand in hand with using scheduled time. If I don’t limit the amount of time I spend on a song, it will never be released. Why? Because I will tweak it, improve it, and ultimately destroy it through editing. In short, musicians can be perfectionists. Perfection is enemy of publication. You need to set a deadline, and publish – ready or not – and then move on.
Now it’s up to you to tell me what you do to write better music.
My secret is God, my might and strength, my Father who lives.