Losing interest in making music? Get re-inspired!
If your reading this right now, the chances are you are feeling a little bit down. A bit down about you losing interest in making music. Don’t worry. Everything will be ok. Us music producers, we stick together.
I’m sure all of us love music production and it resonates deep in our hearts, but sometimes we are confronted with barriers, and these barriers can contribute to us losing our interest in making music. It’s not a nice feeling at all. Knowing you love something so much, and feeling the passion and love slipping through our fingers and fading away. It cuts us down to our core.
There are many reasons why we might lose interest in making music. Whether it be because we think we are not good enough, or we fear to put in years of our lives and not achieve the goals we set out to achieve. These barriers are a crucial part of any creatives learning process and if we want to push through them, we must learn how to deal with them.
Reasons you might be losing interest in making music:
- Comparing your music to others.
- Being put down by others.
- Fear of failure.
- Thinking you are not talented enough.
- Not learning as fast as you might like.
We must keep our chins up. There are ways we can combat these lows. There are ways we can bring that excitement back into our lives and continue the path of musical self-discovery, and it’s a lot easier than you might think.
How to combat losing interest in making music:
- Remember why you started.
- Support from others.
- Learn from other producers.
- Think long term.
- Watch inspirational videos.
Let’s read on and learn how to find that inspiration and grab it by the horns.
Why you started
The first question I want you to ask yourself is why did you start making music in the first place? Did you grow up playing an instrument? Did you start making music with friends? Whatever that answer might be, it must be a constant reminder.
The answer for me is simple. And that is because I f*#king love music. I love every aspect of it. Music makes me feel happy when I’m sad, it makes me feel inspired, motivated, peaceful, present, and a bunch of other emotions I can’t even explain. It resonates with my soul so much I want to create those emotions in other people, and the best way I can do that is by producing my own music.
That core belief is always there. It’s always the one thing that brings me back to the beautiful light that music production shines on my life. Even if I stop producing music for weeks or even months, that is the one thing that always brings me back. It’s something I can’t shake. It’s so deep within my core it eventually rises to the surface again.
We need to remind ourselves of this reason when we are in our darkest times. It could just be the one thing that pulls us back from the depths of self-despair.
Each and every person on the planet put limits on themselves. Those limits generally come from past experiences and they shape the way we see things in the present moment. If we can become aware of these limits, we can implement practices to combat them. But the first step is being aware.
Limits such as comparison to others, fear of failing, thinking we are not talented enough are all limits we put on ourselves. So, if we put these limits on ourselves, can we remove them from ourselves? The answer is YES. We just need to learn how.
There are also outside pressures that are cast upon us, and sometimes these can lead to massive self-doubt. Pressures from family or friends saying, ‘you can’t make a living from music’, or saying ‘you’re not talented enough’. These things can bring us down and we must learn to deal with them.
We will talk more in-depth about these limitations in the next chapter.
As creatives, we are our own worst critics. We always doubt ourselves and that makes us second-guess and not be confident in the work we produce. This can greatly hinder our progress or strip us of our inspiration for creating music.
Let’s talk about some of the struggles we are confronted with.
One of the biggest mistakes we make as music producers is comparing ourselves to others. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think the comparison is a crucial aspect of producing high-quality music. It gives us a direction and helps us compare the quality of our tracks to professional tracks.
But if this comparison is taken on a personal level, it can turn into the devil and strip us of our confidence and interest in making music.
There have been countless times where I sit down for a good 3 or 4 hours producing a song that I thought was dope. It’s the best feeling ever. Then eventually I compare it to one of my favorite artists like ‘What So Not’ or ‘Droeloe’ and would instantly be disappointed. That feeling of joy that was coursing through my veins was sucked from my body and replaced with disappointment.
This is not a healthy way to compare. This is the worst thing we can do as music producers or any creative for that matter.
There is one thing that I remind myself of on a regular basis. And that is the fact that every professional music producer was once a beginner. They were once in the same shoes you are right now. They were also googling ways to find inspiration to re-ignite their creative flame. The only reason they are now a professional is because they learned how to deal with the struggles in their path, and move forward.
If we wish to stop losing interest in making music, we must do the same.
- Being put down
I’m sure most of us love our families and friends dearly and they support us in whatever way they can, but sometimes we are confronted with friends or family members who don’t see things the same way you do. They don’t share the same vision and that makes it difficult for them to support your actions.
Our personal doubts are hard enough to combat, and with the compounding weight of external criticism, it can make these doubts even more prominent.
- The people in your life who support you will have a great impact on your success as a music producer. The other people who put you down aren’t necessarily bad people, they have just had experiences in their lives that make it difficult for them to show that support.
- One of the greatest lessons I have learned, not just regarding producing music but also in life, is the realization that not all people who put you down are bad people. It is simply because they are not aware of their actions. If they were aware, the chances are they would not act the same way.
- Be careful when listening to people’s criticism. Are they putting you down because of a selfish feeling to make themselves feel better? Or are they offering constructive criticism because they have your best interests at heart?
Surround yourself with people who offer support and are not afraid to offer their unbiased opinion.
- Fear of failing
Fear of failure runs deep in our subconscious mind and is sometimes very difficult to become aware of. We all have it to some degree, just some more than others. It’s the same fear that stops us from asking out our crush or approaching a person on the street. We are afraid that we will get hurt and let ourselves down.
Well, guess what? It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. Failure is what makes us grow deeper as humans and evolve. Without failure we would never strive to be something more. We would remain in the same state without any drive to move forward.
Think about how many times you have finished a song and listened to it on repeat only realizing it’s not what you wanted it to sound like. In a sense, you have failed. So, what do you do? You try again right? You learn from your mistakes and have another crack.
The problem here comes when you do this for a long time and get sick of repeating this process because you think it will only lead to failure. This is toxic to our inspiration and is not true at all.
Try and see failure as a part of the journey and a way to learn from your mistakes. In fact, don’t use the word failure. Instead, use a less harsh word like ‘error’ or ‘mistake’.
How to find the passion
There are a number of things we can do to help inspire our musical drive. Some will work for you and some won’t, but we will talk about a few and you can see what works best for you.
Persistence is so important. Not when it comes to asking your crush out. That might lead to a restraining order and a court appearance, but when it comes to losing interest in music production it is crucial to be persistent. Have you ever heard the saying ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’? Well, that’s what we must do.
Practice is the only thing that will improve your skills as a music producer. Even if you are not happy with the music you are making, just keep making it. Finish your song and move onto the next, learning what you can from it. Doing this will slowly improve your music production skills and in return, generate inspiration and help stop you losing interest in making music.
Some of the world’s biggest artists still feel like they produce music they are not happy with. I recently watched a Flume interview where he stated he wasn’t happy with his ‘Disclosure – You & Me’ remix. He didn’t want to release it, but his manager supported him and convinced him he should. It ended up being a worldwide hit.
The only reason this happened is because he was persistent. He could have scrapped that song and started fresh, but instead, he chose to finish it, learn from it, and move into the next one.
We mentioned earlier that there will always be people in your life that won’t offer the support you need, so it’s important to try and surround yourself by those who will support you and encourage your journey as a music producer.
- Send these people the songs you are excited about and listen to their feedback. Learn from it. Even if the feedback isn’t what you are wanting to hear it can still be a valuable insight into how to improve your music.
- Support doesn’t just have to be for the music you produce. It can also be supporting you in following your dreams. I think everyone should be working toward their dream goals.
- We can even support other music producers and help them achieve their goals. Doing so will help develop a bunch of supportive relationships that can help you get through the tough times of losing interest in making music.
A good way to find support and to support other music producers is by using Facebook groups or forums. People always have questions that they need answering and you can help them answer those questions. You can post your questions on there and people will be more than happy to help you out.
Oh, and I support you too!
- Use comparison to learn
Comparison in a personal way can lead to massive self-doubt. Steer clear of this trap! It halted my journey as a music producer many times. But comparison can be a very useful tool if used in the correct ways. Let’s talk about a few.
- Reference tracks are the perfect way to compare your music to professional songs and learn from them. It is a tool used by nearly all music producers, including the professionals. Using reference tracks changes our mindset from a ‘comparison’ mindset, to a ‘learning’ mindset.
- Comparison can also be used to learn how chords and melodies are structured. If your song has a catchy melody that the listener will remember your off to a good start. Learn from the professional’s experience and capitalize on that.
There are so many ways in which you can use comparisons to improve your skills, but the most important thing to remember is to not take that comparison personally.
Check out my article dedicated to choosing the right reference tracks: https://www.off-the-beat.com/how-to-choose-the-right-reference-track/
- Think long-term
Learning music production is a very long process and can take years and years to reach a point where you are happy with the music you create. This can be daunting to some, but if you think of it differently it can be a form of reassurance about your skills as a producer.
Thinking long term takes the pressure of each time you sit down to produce, because your goal isn’t to make the perfect song, its to learn as much as you can over a longer period of time.
I have been producing music for over 12 years, and it has only been the last 1 or 2 years where I have reached a level I am happy with. Some people can reach that place in 2 years, some 5 years or some 10 years. Everybody is different but everybody can achieve those heights. Find out how long it takes you!
In my opinion, meditation is one thing that has the biggest impact on motivation and inspiration. Man, this one was a game-changer for me. For those of you who have previously meditated before, you are probably aware of its benefits. For those who don’t know too much about it, I will explain a little more.
- I have mentioned the word ‘awareness’ a number of times during this article on losing interest in making music. Awareness is basically how aware you are of your thoughts. Are you aware you are comparing yourself to others? Are you aware your self-doubt is messing with your inspiration? Meditation helps become more aware of these thoughts allowing you to see them as they arise.
- Meditation is also great for creativity. In the silence of a meditation session, musical ideas flow like a flooded river. Silencing the mind allows these creative ideas to come to the surface. This can help you to stop losing interest in making music because you are naturally thinking about music.
Put music aside, practicing some form of meditation is a great habit to get yourself into. Personally, I meditate for 1 hour every morning, and 1 hour every night, but if you don’t have the time even 20 or 30 minutes every day would make the world of difference.
- Inspirational videos, books, and quotes
“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
Watching inspirational videos and reading inspirational books can help so much when you are trying to find your musical inspiration. Watch interviews from your favorite artists and you will quickly realize that they have been through the same process you are currently going through.
There are so many inspiring videos out there on the interwebs. You just have to do some homework and search for them.
Some inspirational leaders:
- Gary Vee
- Tony Robbins
The video below is one of my favorites. It has pulled me from my depressive state many times, and I hope it does the same to you.
There are a lot of reasons why we can start losing interest in making music and those reasons are all a natural part in every music producers’ journey. If you can remember that then it will be easier to get past the barriers that we are confronted with.
These challenges never stop and continue to hinder our experience, so we must learn how to get past them. Everything I have talked about in this article is what I have learned over the past 12 years and is just my personal opinion. There is no right or wrong when it comes to these things. Only what works best for you.
Anyway, I hope this has helped bring that inspiration back into your music journey.
Good luck and happy producing muchachos.