Beating beat block
Whether it’s during one session or over the course of a week, there comes a time in every producers life where the inspiration stops flowing and creativity is hard to come by. Don’t let beat block beat you up, follow our tips and you’ll be making bangers again in no time.
Don’t be hard on yourself
Sometimes when we aren’t making the music we know we are capable of we can be hard on ourselves. Stop that now! Accept that creativity won’t always be at its highest and take lessons from each studio session. If you are just starting out understand that it’s a journey and you’ll get there in the end if you stick with it.
Take a break
Have you ever listened to the same beat over and over again for hours? Maybe not even the full song, just a 30 second section? You would soon get tired of listening to it. The same thing can happen when in the studio, that’s why it’s important to take breaks. Go for a walk, have something to eat, go the gym – just take some time to get away from your speakers for a bit so you can get back to your session focussed. Don’t have that volume switched up too loud either!
Use reference tracks
As I mentioned before, you’re going to be listening to the same section of a beat over and over again. Your ears will get tired and over time you will not be able to do things like mix down elements as well as at the start of a session. Have a couple of tracks in the same style as the one you’re making that you can switch between. So if you’re making Trap, try adding a couple of beats like the ones below. This will keep your ears from becoming to used to your own beat and will also give you a source of inspiration.
Creativity loves rules. Set some boundaries and you might find you can focus your creativity more easily. Try having a theme for your beat before you start, or even naming it. Use a photo as inspiration or a movie. Sometimes pushing your brain in a certain direction helps the creativity flow.
Remix one of your old beats
If you’re going through a beat block in the studio, sometimes loading up a project you made previously and swapping out instruments and changing melodies around a bit helps to get you going. You can change it enough that it doesn’t even sound the same.
Two heads are better than one – team up with another producer and bounce off each other creatively. Seeing how someone else works can help you spot things you’re missing and give you ideas on how to improve your workflow.
Keep at it
Even if it’s not going well, show up and stick with it. Work through your beat block and know your next banger isn’t far around the corner.
Use Melody Sauce
Adding random ideas to your beat can be invaluable. If you’re stuck for a melody, load up Melody Sauce and get some inspiration in a few clicks. You might choose to use the whole 4 or 8 bars generated, or edit and make it your own as I demonstrate in the video below. Adding fresh ideas t to your music can really help spark something special and give your beat that secret sauce.
A great way to break out of beat block is to have a few crazy VST FX you can put on your track to create happy accidents. Try Tap Delays, Pitch Shifters and anything that dramatically alters a sound. Adding FX like these can really help to change the direction of your session and give you inspiration.
Being stuck for ideas happens to the best of us at times. It’s how you respond that matters. Hopefully the tips in this post will help you overcome beat block and get back to business!