The 5 Best Ways To Stay Motivated
Over the course of many years, I’ve had lots of producers and beat makers tell me that they’re burned out, or have lost all interest in making music. This is weird because we’re all in this for the love of music, right? That’s true, but there are many people that end up in a situation where they feel that their beats just aren’t good enough anymore, or they have lost all motivation to bang the pads and play the keys.
If you’re at a point where you don’t feel like making music any longer, or you feel that you need some sort of change, fear not! There are many ways that you can get over this hump and get back on track of making some banging beats. Here’s 5 ways:
1. Re-Think Your Strategy
Most of us make beats with a certain goal in mind. For example, maybe you make beats just for fun, or maybe you make them purposely so you can sell them to emcees. Whatever your reason is, maybe it’s time you aim for something completely different.
Let’s say you make beats and you sell them on myFlashStore. You’re making a nice profit and you’re starting to get good at what you do, but now you’re at that roadblock. Maybe you could take a step back and instead of selling your beats, you could make beats for an album. Make your own instrumental album with just a bunch of your beats. This will give you a nice change, plus you can use that album to help promote yourself and your music once you do get back on track.
By doing this, you might start having fun making beats again, rather than making beats just to sell them. You have to remember that making beats is something you first go into because it was fun, so why not go back to that?
2. Make Other Genres Of Music
This one can be tough, especially for Hip Hop producers. I’m perfectly comfortable making beats just for Hip Hop, but if you’re at a roadblock, then maybe making something else will do the trick.
The first genre that’s close enough to Hip Hop, is R&B. You don’t have to necessarily make beats that sound completely different than what you do, but you could for example, just take your current style of beats, but give them an R&B twist. Instead of getting a rapper, try to link up with a singer instead.
You could also actually just focus on the beat itself. If you have a beat in mind, why not throw in some smooth keys, piano, or strings? Add some bell chimes, or something similar, that will help it sound more like something else.
The whole point of doing a different genre is so that you still get the chance to make beats, but instead of the same boring stuff you’ve been doing, now you’re challenging yourself.
3. Sample From New Sources
The traditional way of sampling is to go record digging, find a hidden gem, then bring it home, sample it, and flip it. But what if you were to sample in a totally different way? Instead of sampling from vinyl, why not sample from MP3? You could also sample not just different formats, but different sources.
Instead of sampling nothing but Jazz and Soul, try sampling movies, TV shows, 70’s Rock, or Polka music! Anything to change it up and be different. Again, you will be giving yourself a challenge and a break all at the same time.
4. Try A New Program
We’re all creatures of habit, and we all have our favorite DAWs. I for one, have always prefered Cakewalk’s software, but I’ve also tried Cubase, and Reason. At first I tried these different programs just out of curiousity, but then I realized that by trying different programs, it has opened me up to other manufacturers.
I had a nice run with Reason, and I actually came up with some decent stuff, but I always went back with Cakewalk’s Sonar. The same thing can be said for plug-ins. There’s millions of plug-ins, yet there’s always just a few that really stand out, but that can change.
For example, if you’re used to using the Waves bundle of effects, why not try a different set? There are some that come with your DAW built-in, and there’s many free and paid plug-ins that can do the job as well.
As for DAWs, if you’re used to a program like Reason, why not try Logic? Cubase instead of Sonar? There are plenty of situations where you can try something new, and this will only enhance your experience.
5. Take A Break
There have been times where I literally took months, sometimes close to a year off from making beats. I know, I know, you’re probably wondering if I’m some sort of weird person for doing this, but the fact remains that IT WORKS! For me, there were times where I had no choice but to take time off because I had other things going on in my life, and making beats was low on my to-do list, but I also recommend it to people because I know from experience that it’s probably the best thing to do.
What happens when you’re making beats regularly is that you get really good at it. What can also happen is that you become stagnant and get stuck doing the same thing day in and day out, which means your beats will sound the same.
To combat this, take a break. It could be a day, a week, a month, or a year. It really doesn’t matter, just as long as you stop making beats altogether. You need to step away from your studio, go outside and do something completely unrelated to music. You must also not even THINK about music, because the whole point of this exercise is to clear your head and empty it of all music-related thoughts.
What happens after a while is that you start to get excited again and you start to get that itch. Kind of like a drug addict, I guess you could say. Once you finally go back to making beats, it might take a few days to get back into the routine, but at least you’ll be fresh and ready to dive in and make some dope beats.
No matter what the case may be, the bottom line is that you have to give yourself a break. Even though these points are for someone that’s already burned out, you can still use them daily, before you do. Why not take a break every day and do something non-music related? Why not try a new program every day, or every week? Why not sample from different sources on a regular basis? Why not make other genres of music every once in awhile, just to keep yourself on your toes? And why not rethink your strategy each week so that you always start fresh? Think about it.