overcoming perfectionism

Overcoming Perfectionism and Nurturing Music Creativity

“The fear of doing things imperfectly turns what should be fun and creative endeavors into worrisome tasks.” -Chris Baty

Ah, the Inner Editor of perfectionism…we all have one. Some of us know how to keep this guy in a straight jacket but others seem to let him bounce around the walls of our studio, whining and complaining about every detail until he’s left us tired and uninspired. There’s a time and place to let your Inner Perfectionism have the reigns but when you’re first working on a production or creating new music it is not the time. As creative people we all have to learn the mental personality called the Inner Editor and choose to control him and use him what he’s made for: Editing.

If you are not editing but actually CREATING then the Inner Editing should be locked in your bathroom out of ear shot and not even a thought in your mind. If you have not mastered this, than it will take time. Like a heroin attack some of us love to over-use our Inner Editor any time, any place to critique and analyze our music and of course, others’ music. If this addiction is leaving you stuttering and drooling in front of your computer every night, than it’s time for rehab, my friend. Kick that Inner Editor to the curb and have some fun creating!

When you’re in the delicate stages of development you must resist the urge to edit vocals, doubt your melodies and second guess your sounds. You must keep in the flow and keep moving. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn to use your mistakes to make your tracks sound more creative and funky. Resist perfectionism and spend only moments on each process of creating and recording. Keep your Inner Editor gagged and bound and watch how much your creativity will flourish and grow and pretty soon you’ll be keeping company with a whole other, more enticing, more satisfying friend: Mrs. Creativity..

Mrs. Creativity and the Inner Editor don’t get along too well. They actually fight like cats and dogs and need to be treated completely differently. Mrs. Creativity is a diva, a goddess that needs pampering, a safe environment and lots of loving compliments. She enjoys being splurged on, fun toys and gadgets and revels in spontaneity. The Inner Editor on the other hand, has a type A personality, loves perfectionism, a rigid schedule to keep, and a keen eye for detail. Keep these two vital characters in separate parts of your brain and learn to use them to your advantage. When Mrs. Creativity comes and sprinkles magic fairy dust on every thing she touches, she’ll wine and dine you till you’re giggling like a school girl. Let her have her way with no rules and no restrictions, allowing her to play. Once she leaves, allow the Inner Editor to come in and clean and tidy up her mess. This is where the Inner Editor flourishes! Allow him to tweak and edit, refine your sound choices and clean up messy lyrics. He’ll have a ball working with all of Mrs. Creativity’s gold-spun art.

As you can see, these two mental characters can work together beautifully if you allow them their own space and regulate their coming and going. Learn to acknowledge and respect each of their timings and you’ll reap the rewards with a more balanced and productive  approach to your music. Overcoming perfectionism and nurturing music creativity for the hobbyist,  students or child geniuses will bring out the giftedness and talent in any music production, making beats and recording.

Tutorial: Overcoming Perfectionism and Nurturing Music Creativity
1) Schedule time to create and stick to it. Discard all phone calls, emails or personal distractions (lock your door). Do the same with your mind.
2) When creating, do not listen to the inner critic giving advice on edits, arrangements, how things should sound or any thoughts that are not on the subject of your current creativity/project.
3) AFTER, your scheduled time of creativity, bring the technical critic, think of what others might say, then find references to compare and make objective decisions on the technical work. Remember, creativity is at its perfection when it is first allowed to breathe, edited and then this process loops until you are truly satisfied with your work.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

Get Rid of Music Business Failure Once and for All

Get Rid of Music Business Failure Once and for All

“Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.” -Bruce Mau.

These are words of wisdom from the celebrated graphic designer, Bruce Mau. He knows the secret to keeping things creative and innovative while pushing the boundaries of change in his industry.

How do you view your creative and music business failures? Do you think of them as your own ‘ugly children’ and love them anyway or do you allow them to sabotage your creative flow? We all know this all too well but few acknowledge the fact that most insight and revelations come from failure not success. So count all the things you’ve been learning about music through your experiments of music production, recording, creating, mixing, mastering and let yourself have some fun!

Your music business can be as creative as your music. Keep that ‘F’ word in check and remember, we are to play music, not ‘work’ music – especially in music business. I know when you get serious about your message and art form, you tend to forget that. If your latest “hit” actually turned into a “flop” then you’ve discovered what you shouldn’t be doing and trust me, you’re that much closer to the pursuit of what you should be doing.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

the secret to music production deadlines

The Secret to Music Production Deadlines

Are you in a place of your life where you feel stuck? Do you find yourself bored, nothing to look forward to and it seems like nothing changes? Chances are there are things that need to be finished so you can move to the ‘next level’ of where you’re at. By setting deadlines, you’ll start to see change and movement towards the direction of where you want to go.

Music Production deadlines are a musician’s secret weapon. It’s a catalyst that will bring out the untouched and dusty talent in you. Deadlines bring focus, momentum, and a teeth-gritting ambition for reaching beyond what you may think is possible. A deadline is hope, in the deepest sense. It’s optimism and faith rolled all into one.

If taken seriously and with dignity to vows made with one’s self and others, deadlines are a force to be reckoned with. If you ever need a nice butt-kicking way to get yourself motivated to start a project or finish it, a music production deadline is just the thing you need.

Tutorial: The Secret to Music Production Deadlines
1) Figure out the most important thing you would like to see completed. Then start with this project only. You’ll notice how many unimportant details you don’t need to do, especially when seeing new results from your deadlines.
2) Each project has many tasks to complete before the project can be completed. Pre-think the obstacles you may face with each task and give yourself time to solve them. I have found thinking through items saves me time and completes the project in half the time.
3) Work hard, give yourself breaks, have fun and most importantly, follow through. If you’re tired, discouraged or can’t see the end in site, go have some fun! Take yourself out on a ‘date’ – do something you would normally say ‘I don’t have time for this’.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

how to be a pioneer

How to be a Pioneer in the Music Industry

It can seem like a daunting challenge breaking through in music. These days, it seems like everyone and their mother is doing music. With new technologies its even easier to make great sounding beats and vocals sound amazing ‘out of the box’. However, there is no replacing a Pioneer.. No matter what challenges they face, Pioneer’s find a way to make it work…

Pioneers are innovators, the people on the cutting edge of research. They thrive on new beginnings and uncharted territories. They look for new ways of doing things and offer a fresh approach to new models. Pioneers are few and far between. Most people are followers but pioneers are free-thinkers, researchers of truth and radical in their creativity. They are born to question and made to give answers to life’s most unsolved problems.

Here are 6 ways on how to be a Pioneer in the Music Industry:

1)    Face criticism.
Criticism is a tough reality to face but it is easy to navigate with the right mind frame. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is key along with acknowledging that not everyone is going to see what you see. Trusting your instincts without doubt, never wavering in your convictions and knowing when to shut the door on your critics.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You’ll be criticized anyway.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

2)    If you fail, try again.
When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb he was praised and acclaimed but not much is mentioned on how many times he failed before he finally got it. Edison once stated, “I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that don’t work.” Since pioneers are breaking new ground, trial and error should be expected. So don’t be surprised at failure and don’t let it get you down. Mistakes are sometimes the only way you learn. This is especially true when it comes to marketing your music. Thinking outside the box can bring rich rewards or giant belly flops. Don’t allow failure to deter you, instead, cultivate tenacity and acknowledge your discoveries.

3)    Ignore lonely, it’s a choice.
“Is there anybody out there…there, there, there…anybody!?!”  Pioneers can tend to get isolated, especially when your hard at work at projects. Lots of late nights can have you eating alone at your computer at times and editing for long hours can leave you wondering what planet your on.  You can often think, “Surely, no one’s struggling through this like I am.” Well you are wrong. Ta da! There are thousands, maybe millions of pioneers feeling the lonelies just like you – nothing that hot date or night out with friends can’t cure. Loneliness is an illusion, it doesn’t really exist. Crawl out of your hole once in awhile and participate with society, get refreshed, then go back at it.

4)    Stand on the shoulders of others.
You can’t do this alone and you shouldn’t. Being a pioneer in the music industry is hard enough, doing it alone is not necessary. That’s why we offer the Computer Music School Network so you can connect with others on the same road. Also, there are tons of books, teachings, friends and elders out there that can inspire your dream to fruition. You must be on the look out for other pioneers that have made it and are doing what they love to do. Then walk in their footsteps. Success always leaves a trail. Search out those people that have walked the journey ahead of you. Open your eyes, they are all around, so humble yourself and take advantage of them.

5)    Count the cost.
Pioneering and personal risk go hand and hand. If your heart wasn’t on the line 24/7, you wouldn’t be as passionate, do you agree? Your blood, sweat and tears should be all over this thing and if it ain’t then you’re not trying hard enough. Other people may never understand this lifestyle and they’re not meant to. If they want to dress in beige and mow their perfect lawns within the comfort of their boring 9-5 jobs, good for them! That’s not for pioneers! Mothers should be scoffing at your insane schedule and fathers should be preaching to you about health care… Pioneers make ripples in families so when you do, don’t be surprised! You are unique and talented but the music industry is not in the business of ‘patting little baby bottoms’. If you want a job that’s safe and doesn’t ruffle any feathers, you’re in the wrong field. Personal sacrifice is part of the game.

6)    Illuminate.
When all is said and done, the music is released, and the snow ball effect is initiated then it’s truly your time to shine.  Most people just see the end result of the beauty of music and want it without all the hard work that comes with it. Well, we burst bubbles every day here at the Computer Music Production School and GotchaNoddin because we’ll be the first to tell ya, if you really want it, you’re going to have to work for it. The best things in life come with hard work. When the finished product is there and people are listening to it, vibing with it and inspired by it…everything mentioned above will be so small in comparison to the eternal rewards. Music soothes the soul. You’re here to inspire and light up the world with your gifts. So go and dig your own way through… and let your light shine.

Tutorial: How to be a Pioneer in the Music Industry:
1) If you haven’t already, designate a computer document or notebook for planning. Once a day/week set aside some time to think through some of the projects and goals you would like to achieve in music.
2) In each of the 6 steps, find one thing you can improve on and write it down. Set aside an hour a day/week and research books, articles or blogs that help this area in your life to be stronger.
3) This is not something that has to take a long time. Give yourself a month to create new habits. If you spend 1-3 hours a week, you’ll see significant improvement.

Doing music is a progressive journey. Be easy on yourself and remember, progress not perfection.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

(Adapted from A Practical Guide for Pioneer Parents  by Mary E. DeMuth)