Getting into music production isn’t necessarily easy, but it doesn’t have to be a vortex of disappointment unless you make it one. It’s normal for a new producer, stuck on a lack of knowledge, skills or creativity, to become unmotivated. Being in a rut is the enemy of productivity though. Here are the common objections I’ve heard from new music producers, or have been guilty of myself, and tactics to help you get past each of them.
The 4 Common Complaints
“I don’t know enough about music production”
It’s OK to be new at something. I get that it sucks and feels unproductive, but if you don’t start somewhere, you’re not starting at all. No one is born with the experience—and certainly not the practice—it takes to be well-versed at anything.
Own it. You might actually get the help that you’re looking for. The other day I was out to beers with an experienced music producer and sound designer. It ended up being invaluable that I admitted my shortcomings as a producer. He gave me some great tips and advice that I took back to Ableton that very night.
Recommended Read: 47 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers
“I don’t know how to play an instrument”
While some background in music can certainly help you feel more productive as a new music producer, you do not need to know how to play an instrument to become one. Mastering an instrument takes literally years and years of practice. If you don’t know how to play one at this point, don’t let it hinder your journey into making music. Make music production, your new synth, midi controller, Ableton or other DAW your instrument.
There are plenty of accomplished and professional music producers out there who were not classically trained musicians. Computer music, on it’s own, is an instrument.
Recommended Read: Music Theory for Computer Musicians
“I don’t have the right gear”
More gear, more problems. Just kidding (sort of). We love gear, but all you really need is your creativity and a computer. When you let the need for gear get in the way of producing music, there’s a good chance you’re simply stalling. After all, gear is expensive and may take time to acquire. If you must purchase something, keep it simple and learn that piece of equipment inside-out. You can always graduate to another piece of equipment, but if you’re new to music production, you want to focus on building a solid foundation first.
Recommended Read: The Ultimate Ableton Guide
“I don’t have time to make music”
Make time. If you list making music as one of your top priorities, you should be devote time to it weekly, if not daily. Otherwise, your priorities and your reality are misaligned. Every lives a busy life, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Commit to one hour—that’s only 4% of your day—to music at your own pace (per week, a few times per week, per day). As you make producing a habit, you can increase your commitment and pace.
Recommended Read: The Power of Habit — Why We Do What We Do In Life & Business