Put your Brain to work
Your brain is a powerful thing. You hear this all the time but you forget just how amazing it is. Everything that has ever been accomplished has started as an idea or a problem to solve in the brain. Before I go off on a complete tangent I wanted to share some new ideas to boost your creativity.
I was talking to a friend who is awaiting confirmation on a release of one of his tracks on Richie Hawtin’s Minus label (fingers crossed). We’ve talked a few times about our approaches to music & productivity in general & we tend to both shy away from getting overly technical in our conversation. Instead we discussed training your brain for creativity & finishing what we’ve started as 2 of the most important skills to develop.
This friend of mine (who I may introduce to you in a later blog), has zero equipment besides his Mac. No outboard gear, no controllers. Just Ableton Live, Operator, 1 or 2 other synths…… and his brain. Imagine that, a guy with minimal equipment making minimal tracks 🙂 This proves that you could make and release quality music without having to buy all kinds of equipment, but that’s another blog….
So instead of talking about how he makes his songs specifically, I want to share with you his creative approach. He is already a successful guy in a non-music industry, so he uses his idea generating & problem solving skills from one industry to the next. Ever notice that some people are successful in most everything they touch? I think there is something to the way these people think.
This is the simple approach:
1. Have a notepad & recorder with you at ALL times. For many of us, we have this all in our iPhone. When you make an intention to record your ideas, your brain tends to give you more ideas. The more you take notes, write down lyric ideas, mixing & structuring ideas or melodies, the more your brain will feed you. I tend to use iPhone’s notepad & email the note to myself. I use an ap called Record for all my melodic & rythmatic ideas as well as field recordings. I also keep a notepad available to write things down. Usually when I’m making lists. It doesn’t really matter what you use. It’s more important to just try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
2. Treat your brain like a well respected & trusted employee. Your brain is really only limited to what you feel it’s capable of. Put it to the test. My approach is to throw a creative or technical problem at it to solve before you go to sleep. You’ll be surprised how often you come up with solutions by morning or within a couple days. I’d suggest starting small, just so you build a bit of confidence but once you get the hang of it, you can give it bigger & bigger tasks. Before you go to sleep, create a picture in your mind of the problem you’re facing solved & then let it go. When you sleep, you tap into some serious resources that simply aren’t available in your waking life.
3. Dream Log: Although this is completely not neccesary, I do my best to remember & write down my dreams, even if they seem irrelevant. The reason I do this, is that it trains your brain to tap into your dream state resources while you’re awake. I think that is the point where fresh new ideas flow the best.
I could probably go on and on with more tips related to these 3 but I’d prefer to stop right there and let you put these to use asap. I’d love to hear your results as well as ways you use to put your brain to work!
Happy music making,