The average hit song in 2015 is just over three minutes long.
Only three minutes to fill with hit material! Easy right? But we all know that making tracks takes Hours. Weeks. Months….Years.
Sure there’s a few exceptions. Like Max Martin’s mind melting pace of #1 hits. Or Jamie Jones’ biggest hit that was made in just 45 minutes.
But are these just exceptions? Is brilliance fleeting?
Does Creativity Have to Take a Lot of Time?
Maybe. But finding that one magic idea means diving deep. David Lynch put it best when he said:
“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure.They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”
Going deep can make it hard to come back up. Finishing your track gets delayed. Delayed again. And all of a sudden your idea is drowning. The roadblocks start taking over:
- Doubt: When you open up an old project, you might start doubting your initial idea. And after you open it for the sixth time, the idea might be completely lost on you… Even though the initial idea was brilliant.
- Confusion: Sometimes, a great idea needs to be wrapped up in the moment to capture the spirit behind it. Think of photography. Can you imagine composing a picture for days? You’d go crazy. The longer it takes, the harder it is to understand.
- Weak results: When you spend months toiling over one song, you are literally ignoring hundreds of potential songs. Think of how many other songs you could have done in that span of time?
Don’t get bit by the perfectionism bug. Being prolific is a skill. And you only get skilled through practice.
Here’s how to counter the fear of creating:
- Start TONS of projects: Don’t think about it. Don’t tweak things. Just freekin’ do it. You have an idea for a melody? Open a project, write it down and save it. Give yourself an objective to do three projects minimum in an evening instead of finishing one average song. Use the Pommodoro Technique to get a drive.
- Record live: Perhaps you’re not the best performer just yet. So start by recording live takes into your DAW. This will give you spontaneous and fresh ideas that you can edit later. Plus it makes you practice. Start new projects, save them.
- Harvest: This is where fun begins. Put all of those unfinished songs in a folder. Now you can combine that melody you made one night—at 4 AM—with the percussion idea you had one sunday afternoon with your brother in law.
So there you go, have lots of ideas, Combine and harvest ideas, you’ll get to a level you never thought you’d get.