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Starting out, do you keep a schedule
Old 29th October 2013
  #1
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Starting out, do you keep a schedule

Hi everyone, i just joined the forums here and i searched teh internets and couldn't find much about this so i figured i'd ask. I'm just starting out producing my own electronic music. if i had to label it i would say it's progressive house/dubstep. Anyway, I'm wondering how you all started out, especially in regards to marketing. Also did you ever have any kind of schedule that you tried to keep? I know making music has no real rules and you do what you want when you want, but sometimes i need to have a little structure or i won't get anything done. I'm thinking about something like getting one rough song done every two weeks or so and trying to get together an EP within three months. is that reasonable? I totally expect my music to be mediocre at the start, but hopefully it won't be too bad!
Old 29th October 2013
  #2
If you want to produce and records music as a career it is essential to treat it as a 9-5 job. Maybe not by working within those hours specifically, but being regimented and having a schedule where you say "from 10-12 I'm going to work on these drums, from 1-3 I'm going to work on this melody" forces you to get **** done and eventually finish tracks.

In terms of banging out a song every 2 weeks, some tracks might take longer than others to be considered "finished" (they always feel like they're missing something right up till the end) but this is more than enough time to get one song recorded and out the door
Old 30th October 2013
  #3
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That makes sense to treat it like a job. Unfortunately thanks to my current desk job I don't have a lot of time to set aside for music, but I'll see what I can do. That's also why i said two weeks for a song. I'm sure as I get more experience things will go faster but at first i expect to chug along slowly. Thanks for your input!
Old 30th October 2013
  #4
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Barfunkel's Avatar
 

If you're just starting out I'd worry about having fun with making music instead, you don't want it to become a chore. If you set schedules and strict goals you'll probably just end up disappointed with the whole thing.

Worry about schedules and stuff once you can do it at least as a part time job, and can actually make music from 9 to 5, instead of just a few hours here and there.

Regarding marketing, worry about that once you've written a hit song. Marketing if something is a real chore and can easily burn out a person. When you're a hobbyist you should basically worry 0% about marketing. Just post tunes on Soundcloud, then make a few topics on GS and some genre-specific forums, read the feedback carefully and try to learn something from it.
Old 30th October 2013
  #5
Join the army and learn discipline!


I try and do something everyday...if its not actually tracking or mixing ill make drum kits, sort out my samples...watch a tutorial or read up on something...it all counts

Try not to sweat it in the beginning just enjoy, and get a few projects under your belt...nothing better than finishing a few tracks and enjoying the process...even if theyre just simple things
Old 30th October 2013
  #6
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treating it like a job in the beginning especially, is a sure way to kill any passion for it,,,

just do it at least an hour or so a day,,,,, learn as much as possible.
Old 30th October 2013
  #7
No way would I treat music like a job unless it paid all my bills.
Old 30th October 2013
  #8
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Stingwray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dionysiananarchy View Post
treating it like a job in the beginning especially, is a sure way to kill any passion for it,,,

just do it at least an hour or so a day,,,,, learn as much as possible.


Surely nobody gets good at anything by spending just one hour a day doing it?!

IMO the difference between people at the top of their game and those who are not, whatever it may be, is the sheer amount of hours spent learning and actively doing it.

It depends on what you want to achieve with music, and how seriously you want to take it but I think getting some routine, and treating it like a career is definitely a good idea. (And not a passion killer either!)
Old 30th October 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingwray View Post
Surely nobody gets good at anything by spending just one hour a day doing it?!

IMO the difference between people at the top of their game and those who are not, whatever it may be, is the sheer amount of hours spent learning and actively doing it.

It depends on what you want to achieve with music, and how seriously you want to take it but I think getting some routine, and treating it like a career is definitely a good idea. (And not a passion killer either!)
People have schools, jobs, kids, wifes or girlfriends, pets, friends, other hobbies etc. Only the select few can afford to spend several hours a day honing a craft that might never lead anywhere or pay the bills.

Particularly since OP is a beginner I would seriously advice treating music as a FUN hobby instead of a career. Once (or if, if you want to be realistic) you reach a level that is pretty good, then maybe change your plans and start to put in lots of hours and treat it like a job instead.
Old 30th October 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
Join the army and learn discipline!


I try and do something everyday...if its not actually tracking or mixing ill make drum kits, sort out my samples...watch a tutorial or read up on something...it all counts

Try not to sweat it in the beginning just enjoy, and get a few projects under your belt...nothing better than finishing a few tracks and enjoying the process...even if theyre just simple things

Haha, I'm actually just coming from a few years in the Army so I can be disciplined! Right now I would just like to take it easy though and not kill myself over schedules.

I like what you guys are saying though, I guess for now I should put whatever amount of time I can into making music, and do my best to progress. When/if i get to the point where I can actually dedicate a large portion of time just to music, then I should start setting hours just to keep myself on track.

The reason I asked about setting a schedule is I don't want to fall into the rut of starting a song, writing a couple of cool riffs and then getting stuck so I move to a new song. I want to set reachable goals so I can see progress.
Old 30th October 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
People have schools, jobs, kids, wifes or girlfriends, pets, friends, other hobbies etc. Only the select few can afford to spend several hours a day honing a craft that might never lead anywhere or pay the bills.

Particularly since OP is a beginner I would seriously advice treating music as a FUN hobby instead of a career. Once (or if, if you want to be realistic) you reach a level that is pretty good, then maybe change your plans and start to put in lots of hours and treat it like a job instead.
Well I do understand where you are coming from, however I did say it depends on what you want to achieve in music. If it's a hobby then it really doesn't matter how many hours you put in or not. However I got the impression the OP wanted insight on how to take it further and treat it like a job.

If that's the case then regardless of day jobs, wives, kids, pets (seriously!? Pets!?) then you have to find time from somewhere otherwise you'll never progress or get to the point where you can earn an income etc

That being said it's not easy, and I'm certainly not advocating trying it!

And hey, that's just my opinion.
Old 30th October 2013
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihavea4 View Post
Haha, I'm actually just coming from a few years in the Army so I can be disciplined! Right now I would just like to take it easy though and not kill myself over schedules.

I like what you guys are saying though, I guess for now I should put whatever amount of time I can into making music, and do my best to progress. When/if i get to the point where I can actually dedicate a large portion of time just to music, then I should start setting hours just to keep myself on track.

The reason I asked about setting a schedule is I don't want to fall into the rut of starting a song, writing a couple of cool riffs and then getting stuck so I move to a new song. I want to set reachable goals so I can see progress.
I think it's a good idea to set some goals, keep the ball rolling etc it's easy to loose interest if you don't. Aiming to finish or complete riffs/ideas is also a good habit to get into IMO.

Finding the time to dedicate your energy on music is hard, but hopefully not impossible. Good luck with it :-)
Old 30th October 2013
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingwray View Post
Well I do understand where you are coming from, however I did say it depends on what you want to achieve in music. If it's a hobby then it really doesn't matter how many hours you put in or not. However I got the impression the OP wanted insight on how to take it further and treat it like a job.

If that's the case then regardless of day jobs, wives, kids,pets (seriously!? Pets!?) then you have to find time from somewhere otherwise you'll never progress or get to the point where you can earn an income etc

That being said it's not easy, and I'm certainly not advocating trying it!

And hey, that's just my opinion.
Dogs need to be taken out for a walk several times a day. That takes some time.

I know, having a dog is a choice, not mandatory. I do actually have one. No kids though, if I had them I very likely wouldn't have any time for music.

Then again, I'm not aiming for a professional music career. I don't think anyone just starting out a hobby should, really. Hobbys can sometimes become careers if you're talented, work hard and have a bit of luck, but most of the time hobbies are just something you do for fun. I personally don't consider schedules, deadlines and such fun. Others might of course.
Old 30th October 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihavea4 View Post
Hi everyone, i just joined the forums here and i searched teh internets and couldn't find much about this so i figured i'd ask. I'm just starting out producing my own electronic music. if i had to label it i would say it's progressive house/dubstep. Anyway, I'm wondering how you all started out, especially in regards to marketing. Also did you ever have any kind of schedule that you tried to keep? I know making music has no real rules and you do what you want when you want, but sometimes i need to have a little structure or i won't get anything done. I'm thinking about something like getting one rough song done every two weeks or so and trying to get together an EP within three months. is that reasonable? I totally expect my music to be mediocre at the start, but hopefully it won't be too bad!


Whatever type of energy you put into your music is what you will get out of it.
Old 30th October 2013
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
Dogs need to be taken out for a walk several times a day. That takes some time.

I know, having a dog is a choice, not mandatory. I do actually have one. No kids though, if I had them I very likely wouldn't have any time for music.

Then again, I'm not aiming for a professional music career. I don't think anyone just starting out a hobby should, really. Hobbys can sometimes become careers if you're talented, work hard and have a bit of luck, but most of the time hobbies are just something you do for fun. I personally don't consider schedules, deadlines and such fun. Others might of course.
Kids are my biggest fans! If my daughter is dancing to it...It is releasable
Old 30th October 2013
  #16
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CocaineAudio's Avatar
if structure helps you go for it.. but don't over analyze things.. I can see you going down that path already..
Old 30th October 2013
  #17
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There are definitely some good thoughts on both sides here. Personally, i do need some structure, but like you said CocaineAudio I don't want to over analyze. That's very easy for me. So for you guys who don't set aside specific times to make music, how do you make sure you actually finish songs? Or do you just go with the flow and if you finish songs, great, but if not then you'll just keep doing what makes you happy?
Old 30th October 2013
  #18
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grasspike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihavea4 View Post
There are definitely some good thoughts on both sides here. Personally, i do need some structure, but like you said CocaineAudio I don't want to over analyze. That's very easy for me. So for you guys who don't set aside specific times to make music, how do you make sure you actually finish songs? Or do you just go with the flow and if you finish songs, great, but if not then you'll just keep doing what makes you happy?
I make music for me, if other people like it that is just a bonus. Currently the cost of entry into "releasing" music is zero. So there are hundreds of thousands of "producers" trying to sell millions of tracks of crap. The end result is no one really sells anything unless they can rise up from the muck and mire

Don't figure you will ever sell anything, don't figure you will ever release an EP, or LP.

Instead spend as much time as is fun for you making music and trying to get better at your craft. If you can get good at that then worry about releasing things.

Over the years I have discovered that the best way to make a small fortune in music is to start out with a large one
Old 30th October 2013
  #19
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dionysiananarchy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingwray View Post
Surely nobody gets good at anything by spending just one hour a day doing it?!

IMO the difference between people at the top of their game and those who are not, whatever it may be, is the sheer amount of hours spent learning and actively doing it.

It depends on what you want to achieve with music, and how seriously you want to take it but I think getting some routine, and treating it like a career is definitely a good idea. (And not a passion killer either!)
i said that time because of the reason mr. funkel pointed out, basically,

if you have tons of time go do it all day, that's would be faster for sure. but i noticed with myself that when i first started i would get tired of it and burnt out much easier than i do now, its like a muscle a bit,,,, but a bigger thing is that after you learn more, there becomes more stuff u need to do... i miss the days when i was younger, doing everything pretty much wrong, but enjoying the hell out it,,,,,, now i have to do all kinds of stuff to track, to get the proper sound.


its good to come up with a plan as well, about learning certain skills, i would be sooo much better if i had practiced keyboard and vocals from the start.
working with guys who know their stuff shaves sooo much time off.
Old 30th October 2013
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik View Post
Kids are my biggest fans! If my daughter is dancing to it...It is releasable
That's pretty much my measuring stick as well. 5 year old girl.

<jamming in the car to one of my favs while she car-seat dances>

Her: Daddy why don't you make music more like this?
ME: I'm trying honey, daddy does his best.........<hurts a little>
Old 30th October 2013
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
That's pretty much my measuring stick as well. 5 year old girl.

<jamming in the car to one of my favs while she car-seat dances>

Her: Daddy why don't you make music more like this?
ME: I'm trying honey, daddy does his best.........<hurts a little>
lol

almost 4 here - they all must be on the same wave length
Old 31st October 2013
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihavea4 View Post
There are definitely some good thoughts on both sides here. Personally, i do need some structure, but like you said CocaineAudio I don't want to over analyze. That's very easy for me. So for you guys who don't set aside specific times to make music, how do you make sure you actually finish songs? Or do you just go with the flow and if you finish songs, great, but if not then you'll just keep doing what makes you happy?
Usually after I'm about to finish a session, I just turn on the recorder and play a 5-6 minute version of the tune, even if it's a bit unfinished. I don't have the time (or the skills either) to finetune my music for weeks or months, raw takes is where it's at.

Even though I only have an hour or two a day to make music, Iactually do finish like 3-5 tunes a week. Not all of them are great of course, but I have a simple workflow (just an Analog Four) at the moment and there's simply a fairly limited amount of variables I can change, so endless tweaking is out of the question.
Old 31st October 2013
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
That's pretty much my measuring stick as well. 5 year old girl.

<jamming in the car to one of my favs while she car-seat dances>

Her: Daddy why don't you make music more like this?
ME: I'm trying honey, daddy does his best.........<hurts a little>
My wife does that, and shes 41


heh
Old 31st October 2013
  #24
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Ok here's some thoughts. The first thing is of course just start doing it and get to know your utilities well. RTFM! That will speed up the learning process. Then I suggest you to approach everything you do as a sketch for a song. It's ok if you just get some riffs or a skeleton of a track done but remember to save everything. And keep returning to them and force yourself to turn them into songs even if they turn into a completely different track. Then release them in Soundcloud, here in Gearslutz, everywhere and always ask for opinions. Let the people guide you so you know what's already good and where to improve. Always try to outperform the last track you made. And forget the business side of it for now but try to hook up with the local community and ask for their opinion or maybe try to learn from them. Try to get your tracks played in your local club environment or get some local radioplay.

I don't have any musical career but I started making music with computers at the age of 12. Before that I already knew to some extent how to play piano and drums and how to read notes. I started with Protracker (Soundtracker clone for Amiga computer) and spent a lot of time learning it. When I got a sampler for it everything kind of jumpstarted. I knew some of the Amiga scene and joined a group (I guess it would be similar to digital labels). I did of course a lot of tracks or sketches but forced myself to get something decent done once or twice a month, sent it to the group leader and asked for his opinion. I wasn't that much engaged with the "scene" but enjoyed going boozing at the parties. Apparently many of my tracks got released in demos which got spread around so I was always surprised when even some respected guys came to say they enjoyed some of my tracks. That helped to build confidence and get to the right track in my "production". Yes it was 4 channels of 8 bit lo-fi audio and for example my method of compression was to digitally distorting the waves and maybe crudely enveloping them afterwards (but it sounds a lot better with lower sample and bit rates than you may think). I of course hadn't even heard of the word compression in musical content. I later retired when the Amiga scene died (sorry ) but it still feels good to see my tracks (of style gabber, breakbeat/jungle triphop, proto breakcore) were played 10 years later in some rave and I still sometimes google for my "handle" and find my tracks in YouTube or some netradio playlist.

Anyway I never thought I could make any money out of it. I don't think it's much different today when record sales are so low. Bedroom dj's don't have to buy vinyl anymore and there's so much electronic music out there already from 30 decades already. But that shouldn't of course stop you to aim higher if you really want to!
Old 31st October 2013
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
If you're just starting out I'd worry about having fun with making music instead, you don't want it to become a chore. If you set schedules and strict goals you'll probably just end up disappointed with the whole thing.

Worry about schedules and stuff once you can do it at least as a part time job, and can actually make music from 9 to 5, instead of just a few hours here and there.

Regarding marketing, worry about that once you've written a hit song. Marketing if something is a real chore and can easily burn out a person. When you're a hobbyist you should basically worry 0% about marketing. Just post tunes on Soundcloud, then make a few topics on GS and some genre-specific forums, read the feedback carefully and try to learn something from it.
This. As someone starting out, this is all you need to know. Have fun, no need to think about marketing now.
Old 31st October 2013
  #26
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if you are fairly consistent in making music, you don't need a very specific schedule

its all about being flexible and effective at the same time.
Old 2nd November 2013
  #27
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CocaineAudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihavea4 View Post
There are definitely some good thoughts on both sides here. Personally, i do need some structure, but like you said CocaineAudio I don't want to over analyze. That's very easy for me. So for you guys who don't set aside specific times to make music, how do you make sure you actually finish songs? Or do you just go with the flow and if you finish songs, great, but if not then you'll just keep doing what makes you happy?
Just get up and do it.. When your in the mood to make music, just go ahead and make it..
Old 4th November 2013
  #28
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Mood seems like the biggest deal to me, creativity or even practice, the way I go about them are almost the same,

But if I am not in a good mood, no music is being made.

Unless you wanna be like B.T. And make music that is no feeling, just all technique, getting good at learning to express things thru music is hard enough.
Old 5th November 2013
  #29
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No.
Old 5th November 2013
  #30
rjx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingwray View Post
Surely nobody gets good at anything by spending just one hour a day doing it?!
Depends.

How you practice is more important than how much you practice. Spending just an hour per day can yield great results if you use your time wisely.
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