Being a musician is just like having any other job, meaning there are good days and bad days. Making music – especially original compositions – rests almost entirely upon your creativity, more so if you are a young artist who lacks relevant experience to be able to come up with fresh ideas easily.
But bringing out your creativity and maximising productivity as a musician is easier said than done. So in order to help all aspiring musicians out there, I’ve made a list of ways that you can achieve and maintain both creativity and productivity.
This step pertains to the entire process, from creating melodies to releasing your work. Collaborations are necessary to thrive in the music industry, but realistically speaking, they don’t always pan out smoothly.
Hence, finding the right collaborators is crucial. Astrid Baumgardner who teaches at the Yale School of Music emphasised that for a collaboration to be effective, you have to know your creative voice. To do this, you need to: realise your values and principles, learn your strengths and how to use them, find your passions other than music and create a purpose from all of these things combined.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t apply only to other musicians, but to the channels through which you’ll be reaching out to your listeners as well. For instance, I’ve shown in a previous HTSR post how you can pick the best digital distributor for you. To put it simply, you must know the pros and cons of each platform, examine how each one operates and weigh up your options before committing to a partnership.
The best examples in this regard are the tools I’ve listed in the post ‘An Online Checklist for New Artists & DJs’. Considering the global reach of such mediums, mastering their use is a vital step towards creating a strong musical presence.
There’s nothing wrong with being dedicated and passionate about your craft. But once you’ve lost the balance between working on your music and resting, your productivity will suffer.
For example, the importance of sleep for musicians was highlighted by Musical U where it was mentioned that acquiring new skills and abilities are affected when you’re sleep-deprived. Regardless of whether you’re trying to master an instrument or learning remixing techniques or honing your songwriting skills, your improvement is dependent on how you much rest you’re getting. All the new information that your mind has gathered while working on music is stored in your short-term memory and everything gets transferred to your long-term memory in your sleep.
Furthermore, sleep also plays a role in retaining your “emotional memories.” The sleep research relayed in a blog post by Leesa explained the correlation between every life experience and the sleep you’re getting during the time it happened. As you well know, most – if not all – musicians create many of their songs based on personal experiences along with the emotions they felt at the time. So if you’re always in need of rest, you’re going to have trouble remembering the things which will certainly impact your productivity.
On top of everything else, you should always find ways to inspire yourself. Technical abilities are only useful to a certain extent, and even highly skilled musicians are fuelled by their inspirations. This is how you find your true self in terms of musicality and that’s what will define you as an artist.
Like I’ve mentioned in another HTSR post, this is actually one of the good reasons why self-releasing your music is beneficial. You have more creative freedom to express yourself as well as your inspirations. There are many artists who have lost their musical identities after getting signed up, especially with big labels.
To learn more about the process, check out the article ‘Getting Started with Self Releasing Music’.
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