Time!

Completely and utterly unrelated.

Moderators: raboof, MattKingUSA, khz

User avatar
Michael Willis
Established Member
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:27 pm

Re: Time!

Postby Michael Willis » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:48 pm

I'm not the best at doing this, but the best advice I've heard is to make a little bit of time to work on music each day, even if it's just a few minutes here, a few minutes there. If you wait until you have an uncommitted 2 or 3 hour block of time, you'll never get to it.

A really important part of this is that you need a setup that allows you to quickly get to work. If you have 15 minutes available, but then it takes you 12 minutes to start the computer, turn on your audio interface, plug in your guitar/microphone/whatever, configure JACK, launch your DAW, wire up all of the signal routing, etc. etc., then you're not likely to even try.

I finally have a corner of the house dedicated to making music, with a computer not used for anything else and all physical wires all connected. I regularly have the computer suspended with JACK already configured and my current Ardour project already loaded. To get started, I wake up the computer, and flip the power switches on the digital piano and both studio monitors. I'm ready to work in probably less than 30 seconds.

User avatar
davephillips
Established Member
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Time!

Postby davephillips » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:34 pm

I had an adult student who was married with four kids. He had to get up 45 minutes earlier than anyone else in his house, then he'd retire to a far corner of his basement to practice guitar in the wee hours of the morning. He told me that from the time anyone else woke up all he'd get to hear from that point on was "Dad ! Dad, where are you ? Dad, I need you for something !"

But he got in his daily practice and he got better. Diligence and continuity are the keys. Find/make a time for yourself and stick to it, even if it's just 15 minutes per day. And if the Muse doesn't show up, at least you kept the appointment.

Best,

dp

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 1287
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: Time!

Postby GMaq » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:53 pm

Hi,

I find sleep is overrated... I mean look at all the good practicing and recording time there is in the middle of the night! With my work I occasionally have to work all-nighters so I can go without sleep for a night occasionally, if I'm in the studio and my mojo is working I just keep at it on into the wee hours. I realize depending on your job this is not a very common scenario. I'm fortunate to have a studio in a separate building so I can do this without bothering anyone, obviously this may not work within a household unless you have a sound controlled music room and are practicing/tracking with headphones, 99% of it is having an understanding partner that isn't jealous of the Muse when she visits :wink:

Seriously though, Dave and Michael are absolutely right you need to schedule time and stick to it, and make it an important priority, of course when you're a partner and father it may not always be easy and it will likely involve getting up early or staying up late to not interfere with family and work obligations but it is likely that you will (a) be proud of yourself for developing a new good habit and (b) see real progress as a musician (c) be a better partner/parent because you got some 'me' time to recharge your battery for others.

User avatar
davephillips
Established Member
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Time!

Postby davephillips » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:51 pm

One thing more:

Make an honest assessment of exactly how & where you're wasting your time now, then stop doing that stuff.

This world is filled with snares for the unwary. Take back what time you're giving away to entities that have only their own self-interests at stake, be it TV, YouTube, or Google News, they're all 1st-class time wasters. Spend as little time on-line as possible.

Avoid polemics.

Best,

dp

ufug
Established Member
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Time!

Postby ufug » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:52 pm

42low wrote:Ow mannnn. Do you have that too? Lack off time for producing?


YES!!! Thank you for saying it, 42low. It's a real challenge.

I wont bore you with my commitments, but my days are very long and I get overbooked, overcommitted and exhausted all the time like we all do.

A few years ago, I wanted to return to making music at home, and last year I finally got to work in earnest. I got about 40 new songs done in 13 months, 30 of which were "passable" enough to share online and maybe a dozen of those are solid ones. I am currently remixing them from scratch to see if I can turn the better ones into a proper album. Whether the music is good or bad I don't know, but at least I can say with some satisfaction that it has been a productive time.

Some strategies that worked for me:

1) Say NO to things. That is the single biggest way to make more time. Say no to social media. Say no to the TV. Say no to having more kids. Say no to invitations to things you "should" go to but don't really want to. Say no to anything that will steal your time from focusing on your goal. Saying no to joining more bands helped me a lot (I am down to only two, but a few years ago I was in five different band projects for awhile, which is really dumb unless you are a full time musician!).

2) This:
Michael Willis wrote:A really important part of this is that you need a setup that allows you to quickly get to work.
Being a Linux user was counterproductive to making music (for me personally, I understand other people could do it) until just a few years ago. It was more about spending time troubleshooting instead of making music. So many hours spent in frustration and I have almost no music to show for it.

The tools that have changed this for me are KXStudio and Mixbus. Re: Mixbus, I deeply dig FLOSS and the concept of modularity in a philosophical way, but I'm an old man with limited hours and I have to prioritize time and workflow over philosophy. Now I can just boot up and record and it is AWESOME. Everything is stable, it's a joy to use and it's easy to get the sounds I want in tandem with tons of the amazing open source plugins and tools. And as importantly, I can reproduce that stability and usability on different machines and distros in a way that never could have happened three or four years ago.

3) Use your downtime to prepare for your uptime. If I have an odd break in my day, or am stuck on transit (as I am right now) or waiting in a line, I use it for music. I read manuals (both the Ardour and Mixbus manual are works of art IMHO), research mixing concepts, record melody ideas, jot down lyric ideas, browse these forums etc. I've recently started writing drum patterns on my phone since programing drums is a weak area for me.

If you just sit down at your DAW and expect to "make music" it can be hard to get going and waste a lot of time. If you arrive prepared with a clear idea for a song (or maybe a whole composition!), you will start making music immediately. I think the modern way is to arrive at the DAW with nothing. If that works for you, great, but I think arriving with a song or a plan in place really helps.

4) Set a goal and stick to it. Old school and it works. I still think in terms of "albums" and so I frame my projects like that. It gives me a clear goal. I look at my calendar schedule and set a deadline, then go for it.

Think of it this way: You can spend weeks writing a song and a month recording it. OR you can write a song in 15 minutes and record it in an hour.

5) Amen!
GMaq wrote:99% of it is having an understanding partner that isn't jealous of the Muse when she visits.
There is a Rilke quote: “I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.” I have a lot to say about this idea, just ask my ex-wife. :D

Apologies for the length of this post but in truth I had already drafted most of it for a blog post, part of a project for *next* year.

ufug
Established Member
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Time!

Postby ufug » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:04 pm

42low wrote:1) i will try to say no more. But some things you can't say no to. School for the kids is important, so that unexpected broken bike has to be fixed.


Yes, kids are the hardest thing. Many musician friends have "retired" after kids have arrived. Good for you for continuing to produce AND fix the bikes! ;)

folderol
Established Member
Posts: 741
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:06 pm
Location: Here, of course!
Contact:

Re: Time!

Postby folderol » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:24 am

Never underestimate the bizarre effect kids can have on their parents :lol:

jonetsu
Established Member
Posts: 865
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Time!

Postby jonetsu » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:50 pm

Time is one thing, making good use of it is another I find. I spent much available time doing not-so-good things that now I can recognize when it's going nowhere, stop and do something else altogether. Eg. that there's no inspiration, be it in creating or mixing. OTOH it might be that the time spent bumming around with no inspiration also serves as experience. :?

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 1287
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: Time!

Postby GMaq » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:35 pm

jonetsu wrote: OTOH it might be that the time spent bumming around with no inspiration also serves as experience. :?


Hi,

I agree 100%

You touch on a point that ufug also made in his 'point 3', in the creative process there are absolutely things that depend on inspiration but there are plenty of menial tasks like setting up session layouts, trying synthesizer patches, auditioning sound libraries, importing samples, organizing session assets, updating software, practicing existing difficult or new musical ideas to make them smooth at tracking time etc. ad infinitum

None of it is wasted time as you say because indeed it feeds experience and ticks off a few more of those '10,000 hours' or whatever it takes to excel at something. In addition when the Muse appears you will be ready with the stage set for 'go time' and reap the benefits of those hours invested.

folderol
Established Member
Posts: 741
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:06 pm
Location: Here, of course!
Contact:

Re: Time!

Postby folderol » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:25 pm

In my case, there was one occasion where just pootling about with some new sounds suddenly triggered the saddest and most emotional song I have ever composed. It had acted as a catalyst for 'stuff' that must have been going on in the back of my mind for months. Here, for anyone interested:

https://soundcloud.com/soft-sounds/all- ... es-of-grey

User avatar
Michael Willis
Established Member
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:27 pm

Re: Time!

Postby Michael Willis » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:22 am

folderol wrote:...just pootling about...


Today not only did I enjoy the piece of music that you wrote, but I also learned the delightful word "pootling". May it ever find a place in my vocabulary from now on.

jonetsu
Established Member
Posts: 865
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Time!

Postby jonetsu » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:32 am

I'm pootling right now.

folderol
Established Member
Posts: 741
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:06 pm
Location: Here, of course!
Contact:

Re: Time!

Postby folderol » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:45 pm

:)
Would have delighted my old mum to see those responses - something she was always accusing us kids of!

User avatar
forestandgarden
Established Member
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 9:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Time!

Postby forestandgarden » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:20 am

42low wrote:The kids were the reason i picked it all up again. [...]


So in a way you have given the answer to yourself - all the time organization is good, but when it comes to setting priorities, togetherness is just a great thing. Maybe that's why you liked magicalex' "Our House" so much (I did, too). And if your kids are even displaying a desire to get creative all by themselves, you can have it both when you show them that you're the man who makes it happen. Forget about adult self-importance, serve their self-realization. If they feel how deeply satisfying it can be to do a project (*), maybe at one point it will be them who want to do concentrated work for a few hours. If that happens, you will have their understanding, you will be equals as artists.

(*)(small at first - getting one good loop together in LMMS can be playful, and how fascinating must it be to find out that you can play with yourself - two track! For guitars&kids I found it great to use totally open tuning, e.g. DADDAD - you can figure a melody to an ostinato by sliding your finger on the higest string, a bass line on the lowest, chords by putting your finger all across, or just pickin, a rhythm, or getting fascinated with the fat sound of a well-tuned chord. And usually they are bright enough to find out some of those tricks by themselves eventually, so they can be more proud of it.)
I have come to prefer https://clyp.it over soundcloud

User avatar
forestandgarden
Established Member
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 9:18 pm
Contact:

sp. offer!

Postby forestandgarden » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:39 am

P.S.: hey man, I make you an offer. If your kids put a quick, cool loopable 8 or 16 bar something whatever together, I'll add a track and send it back. They have the choice of el. or acoust. guitar or baritone guitar, tin whistle, recorder, ukulele, or a programmed bass or drums/perc. I'll follow their artistic direction if I can (and if there is any). You know the place to post it :) PM me if you want to make sure I notice.
I have come to prefer https://clyp.it over soundcloud


Return to “Backstage”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest