File Under: Creating and Making Your Music

This article is part of the Creating and Making Music series: how to create and produce more music for the new streaming world.

As an independent artist today, you have so many things to take on such as growing your fan base and making money with music. It's easy to lose sight of why you're in music in the first place: to make music. But to balance the music part with the business part, we're going to share two of the most powerful music production skills of all. You won't find either of these in any recording book or available as a plugin.

Today's article will tackle the first skill, which is best introduced through one of the most asked questions we get about successfully creating, recording, and releasing 365 songs in one year at is: "Did you ever sleep?" And although most of us in the band didn't get the standard eight hours doctors recommend, it wasn't only sleep we were cheating to get the hours we needed to come up with and produce all the new music. When we said "yes" to music, we said "no" to those other activities making up most people's day-to-day lives:

  • watching TV
  • playing video games,
  • browsing the web
  • hanging with friends at the bars or a restaurant
  • going to movies
  • and more...

During project, we didn't do the usual things everybody else did. What we did was get together each weekend and write songs . Good songs. Bad songs. And, every once in awhile, a great song. Each weekend we'd challenge ourselves to get 10 songs written or recorded. Or, if you're our awesome drummer, record 26 songs in twenty-four hours. And, on most weekdays, after putting in a full day of work at our respective daygigs, we opted to head straight to the studio to make the best use of four or five more hours before bed so we could record additional parts, add vocals, mixdown or master our music.

We were driven. We went "all in" on music and ended up turning our songwriting sessions into our hang-outs. It was hard work, but as musicians, it was more rewarding than a movie or watching TV, and it was rewarding, invigorating, and just plain fun. We were passing time too, but in our case, we had something tangible to show for it: 365 original songs totaling 14 hours 57 minutes and 22 seconds to share with the world.

Underlying all of this, was one of the most important music production skills: focus.

The ability to say "no" to distractions so you can say "yes" to creating music is one of the most important music production skills you need today. And, it's more critical today as a musician than ever, since the internet and the new streaming world rewards consistent and regular releases of music. After all, without songwriting and producing new music, you can't regularly release it.

Which leads us to the second most powerful music production skill...which we'll tackle next week. Check back next Wednesday for the second part, or follow us on Twitter @indieguide.


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Photo credit: Nate Steiner