Music Production Tutorials

10 Tips To Staying Motivated With Making BeatsMarch 21, 2012

Music Motivation


So you're sitting in front of your computer or keyboard with a blank stare on your face. You are sitting there waiting for that magical hit song to come out, but.......nothing! We have all been there before. You just are not feeling the “music thing” today. So what do you do to get motivated when it comes to making music? This is a great question so this week I am going to give you 10 Tips To Staying Motivated With Making Beats.

The sun has finally come out after months of winter. It's time to go outside! Or maybe there is a game on the television that you really want to see. Or maybe you just feel like hanging out with your friends. Who knows what the reasons are for each person but the truth is that distractions can come from all areas of your life. These distractions can knock you off course from your beat making. Sometimes it is not one of life's little distractions, but simply you just are not feeling very musical. Well these tips should get you on the right track to making music again. Here are my 10 Tips To Staying Motivated With Making Beats.


  • Collaborate – Doing a collab with someone is a great way to get motivated about music. Rather you been away for a few days or a few years, setting up a collaboration with someone will force you to put out work because now there is accountability. This works a lot like a work out buddy. If you want to get in shape there is no better way then working out with someone. If you want to get into beat making shape then look for a beat buddy. There are plenty of music sites and forums where you will find a ton of people ready to collaborate with you. There are rappers, singers and producers just like yourself waiting to work on a project.

  • Alternate Projects – If motivation is limited try working on an another project for inspiration. I know what you are thinking, “How is working on more music going to motivate me to make music? If I could make music in the first place then I would just do that.” You're right, but sometimes working on a project that doesn't have a time line to be done by and no pressure to get it done will open up creativity. I always keep a few projects that were sung by my wife (she is not a singer) or sung by my daughter (she thinks shes a singer) to work with. These tracks are just for fun and there is no pressure when I work on them. I can remix them, rewrite them, add or delete tracks, it doesn't really matter because they are just for fun. When I am stuck and unmotivated, I bring these up in my DAW and experiment. It almost always brings up ideas that I can use elsewhere.

  • Acapellas – This is a great way to help you with creativity. Grab the acapella version of your favorite song and try to create a beat for it. This will really help with tempo, chorus changes, etc. because the lyrics are already there. Once you have created the track take away the acapella and now you are left with hopefully a really hot beat. No one will ever know that you used the lyrics to a famous song to create your beat. There are plenty of sites around for this. Just do a search for “song acapellas” and they will pop up.

  • Have A Routine – Having a routine for your music creation will get you in the habit of feeling creative at certain times of the day or week. Say you sit down to create a beat every Monday night for example. This will open your mind to creativity thinking and force yourself to make something once a week rather it sounds good or bad. This is a good tip for those just starting out because it will force you to create something and not wait for it to be perfect before you say it is done. Now a word of caution is needed here as this tip can backfire. It can put added pressure on you to create something and become an added problem instead of something positive in your beat making. Test it out for yourself first. If you find that you are having anxiety about your routine, then you should stop doing it.

  • Reward Yourself – This is something that you should do anyway, but you can use rewards for yourself as motivation to create more beats. So for example, let's say that you will buy yourself those shoes that you really want or maybe that new plugin you been eyeing. Give yourself a reasonable goal and if you make it, then reward yourself for it. You should get in the habit of paying yourself for your beats. Even if it is not monetary you will be used to getting something for your work and this will make it easier when it does come time to ask for money for your beats.

  • New Sounds – There is nothing like a new drum sound kit or a sound kit from your favorite producer. For most of us this is plenty of motivation to crank out that next hot beat. This of course is the same sounds that your favorite big time producer used so you should be able to make something from it right? Plus new sounds can give you motivation because it is something new to play around with.

  • Remake Tracks – Remaking tracks of your favorite songs is a great way to work when you just can not think of anything to make beat wise. Listen to your favorite track and then break each part down. Duplicate the drums, then the main instruments and so on. This works almost like making a beat by the numbers or coloring a picture that is already drawn. It will keep you on the path to beat making for sure. Then once you are done you can always change the chords or something else in the track and begin tweaking the beat to make it your own. Remixing beats could also work to strike motivation in your beat making.

  • Change Your Environment – Sometimes a change in scenery is just what you need to get those creative juices flowing again. If you always create music in the same location then try something different. Try a different room in your house or try a different location altogether. If you have a laptop or any other mobile device that you can create music on then head out the door (weather permitting of course). If the weather will allow it then the park, coffee shops, trains, buses, planes, etc. are great places for new music motivation. All you need is a device and a decent pair of headphones and your ready for your next hit!

  • Listen To Music – If you take a listen to other people's music for motivation you are sure to come away with something that can help you with yours. Listening to different styles of music can help you to grow in the style that you like to create. Try listening closely to the different styles of music that are out there. There are plenty of places to go like Soundclick, Soundcloud and YouTube. You can also listen to what others are doing in the style of music that you are creating. Scanning through the top ten tracks for your genre of music on Soundclick for example should be enough motivation. These are the folks at the top of their beat game so use them for motivation and you might soon be there.

  • Loops – Now some people use loops and some people say using loops in your beats is not really producing. I am not here to argue either side, but I will say that every producer should have a lease one set of loops in their toolbox. Even if you are not a loop producer you can use them to help create beats. You can try to copy them with your own sounds. Works just like trying to remake a track but here you are just remaking the loop. Don't worry the “loop police” are not going to come knock on the door of your studio and make you pay a fine for not being original. If you want you can always change it to make it more original sounding.


Lack of music motivation is something that we as producers will always have to deal with. It does not matter if you have been making music for ten years or ten days, there will be a time that you just share at the computer screen like a deer stuck in the headlights. When these times happen and they will you have these 10 Tips To Stay Motivated With Making Beats to refer back to. If you try them and still can't get motivated then don't worry. Music is a creative process and sometimes you can't force it. Let the music come to you. Sometimes creativity will just come out without much effort and other times, not so much. The main thing is to not get yourself down and keep trying.

Stay tuned for more weekly tips and tutorials every Wednesday.

Article written by Alex Butler

Alex is an audio engineer, studio producer and freelance writer based out of Seattle, WA.


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Comments

  • Great post, thnx! Check me out for live beatmaking at http://www.youtube.com/user/Mirakle306?feature=g-user-u

    Peace!

    Posted by MirakleAllure on April 05, 2013
  • I like to get inspiration from YouTube, some of the stuff on there is great but also, some is c***… Come visit me @ http://www.createbeatsonline.org maybe we could share some ideas?

    Posted by Steve on March 05, 2013
  • i love the tips, but what gets me down is hearing people that aren’t good and have tons of plays, that kinda brings me down.. idk why. It kinda kills my motivation.

    Posted by cjaybeatz on September 09, 2012
  • Yeah, Im in the same situation rite now staring at my mpd and my m-audio oxygen thinkin voila… and nothin. Strange cuz same days it just flows natural. guess today is one of those dayz uh? ill try your theory hope it works.

    Posted by Reghy Germano on April 12, 2012
  • Word. Fits my lifestyle.

    twitter
    @BeatsByDjSharp

    Posted by Dj Sharp on April 10, 2012
  • Ive been stuck in a rut lately, but last night I created what I think is a hot beat. Other people told me is one of the best I’ve made in a while. I think these tips will be very helpful in making more beats when I get stuck.

    Thanks for the tips,
    CGE

    Anyone wanna collab check out a few of my beats on YouTube, username “CGEbeats”

    Posted by CGE on March 31, 2012
  • Thanx 4 the tips. This is the post that I really needed to see.
    Lately, I just wasn’t feeling the vibe to produce anything new.
    These tips you gave has made me look at beat making from a
    whole new prospective.
    Well, gotta go. I feel a new beat coming on.

    Thanx Again!!!

    Posted by Groove on March 30, 2012
  • I needed this. Thanks.

    Posted by Carlito on March 29, 2012
  • Nice thanks for this! Gives me some ideas already!

    Posted by 10Aciouss on March 29, 2012
  • Thanks For Sharing The “10 Tips For Staying Motivated With Making Beats”

    Posted by #CAPONE on March 29, 2012
  • The Real J-Klipz :

    Do you want to collab on a beat? Check me out @ www.soundclick.com/RealJKlipz

    Posted by TheRealJKlipz on March 29, 2012

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