Productivity Tips

Stay creative in your music making with this one simple change

Stay creative in your music making with this one simple changeWhen you make your own music, one of the biggest challenges that you face is to stay creative.

That’s because once you’ve found something that works, a great way to EQ vocals or compress a guitar for instance, you can fall into the trap of repeating that method on every new song.

Unfortunately, this lack of variation will soon lead to your music sounding monotonous. So it’s important to stay creative.

In this article, I’ll show you the quickest and easiest way to FORCE your self to stay creative in your music making.

Stay creative by restricting your options

One of the most effective things that you can do to stay creative when you make music, is to limit your options. By taking away some of the options, you are restricted from relying on your old methods of music making. As such, you are forced to innovate and to find new ways to get the best results.

Stay creative in your home studio

For example, if you always opt for a three-band EQ plugin, then limit your self to a one-band version for a few of your tracks. Now, your tried and tested EQ settings, the ones you’ve used for years, are no longer available to you. So you have to get creative. You are forced to explore different ways of equalising instruments. Doing so will undoubtedly lead to a greater level of creativity in your mix.

Similarly, if you usually record with an eight channel interface, then limit your self to using only two channels. Now, that three mic combination that you’ve been using on your guitar for years is no longer an option. You have to find an alternative. Imposing this restriction will force you to find different methods of recording which will open up new creative opportunities to you in terms of the sounds that you can achieve.

A few ideas for restricting your options

Here are a few ideas of the restrictions you could impose on your recordings or mixes to help you stay creative:

  • Restrict the number of parts you record
  • Reduce the number of mics you use
  • Limit the number of plugins in your mix
  • Cut down the number of instruments in a song

Each of these will place limitations in front of you. In turn, you will have to get super creative to overcome them.

Find the balance

As with all things, this approach requires balance. If you go too far with this, then you run the risk of rendering your self unable to produce good work. So don’t go overboard and start restricting everything to the point where you can no longer make music. Instead, pick one specific area and put a subtle limitation on it. One which forces you to find a new way to do something rather than allowing you to opt for your usual method. But don’t go so far that you can no longer produce good results. Find the balance between something which boosts your creativity and something which hinders you entirely.

What are a few key areas that you think you could restrict which would help you to stay creative? Leave your ideas in the comments.

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