We’ve all been there… It starts off with a flash of inspiration, butterflies fill your stomach, you feel on top of the world with a creative high that this 8 bar loop idea is a banger. You get so wrapped up and focus on the sound design or the chord progression for hours, feeling like monumental progress has been made…
Turns out, after hours of getting drunk off your flow high, you’ve only made a maybe catchy loop, but that’s it. Then you hit that brick-wall realization: “How do I progress this song?”
We’ve all suffered from this countless times, but over time this has become a thing of the past by following these simple techniques.
Here are our top 3 ways to get out of the “producer’s rut” and churn out kick ass tunes.
Reference your favorite songs that inspire you
Start off by creating your very own “playlist” and add any song that either inspires you or has a particular element you would like to recreate. Maybe it’s the catchy melody or the next piece that should go into your particular genre’s song structure. Whatever it is, capture it into your inspiration playlist. Now!
Next, get the actual audio file of your reference track and slap it onto your DAW of choice, so you can break down each segment of the song structure and reference as you go. All BassGorilla courses provide our Pro Members with these precious audio files so you can massively accelerate your learning. Alternatively, you could also use Beatport or Soundcloud.
Over time build up an arsenal of referenced, analyzed tracks that you can quickly go to or even start off new ideas with by loading up a pre-analyzed project file as a template. All of this alone will massively speed up your production flow and allow you to bypass that roadblock of not knowing what goes next in the song.
Start with the harmony or chord progression of your idea
Here at BassGorilla we like to experiment and often disagree on the best way to achieve that perfect sound. But one thing we can generally agree on is that starting off with a chord progression of a loop provides a much easier way to generate a melody than starting with a melody. Most the time it’s much easier and faster to get a loop going and build that killer hook over the top.
Before we had figured this out, it would often be the case that lead melodies or hooks would be enthusiastically written down, but then nothing……would……happen……the momentum was gone. After switching it up and starting by building the harmony, we’ve been able to crank out killer tracks at a scarily fast pace.
One of the fastest ways to get over this is just to simply buy MIDI packs that have pre-made chord progressions. Or if you want to get going now we have done the hard work for you and collated a bunch of free Midi files for you to download. Too often we waste time trying to make everything from scratch thinking it will create that unique sound we need, but one thing is for sure, if a track isn’t finished, you are not going to get heard!
What used to take an hour to make a great sounding chord progression takes mere minutes using pre-made MIDI packs and this will surely speed up your production significantly.
Force yourself on a “challenging”, but realistic deadline
There’s a productivity adage called Parkinson’s Law that, in the producer’s context, it means if you don’t set a deadline for finishing a song, regardless of whether you like the final product or not, it’ll either get dragged out or never get finished at all.
Setting deadlines, particularly challenging ones that made you feel uncomfortable, forces you to focus on the key elements and finish a song completely. Not only does this increase your completed projects, which boosts your repertoire and confidence, it also refines your skills.
Try these out three tips out and we guarantee you’ll see the number of finished songs skyrocket.
If you struggle to complete tracks, our start to finish courses can help you uncover the exact workflows and methods that A-list producers are using to write chart smashing tracks step by step.
Until next time,