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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

I've talked about the act of repetition before, in the context of getting stuck in a four bar loop and how you should be aiming to complete arrangements rather than loops. That aside, this principle applies to a far greater variety of things. On a macro level, look at your favourite succesful artists, they've likely completed a lot of songs, in the hundreds to thousands, akin to the 10,000 hours principle. If you arent familiar with this, this is a principle which states that to truly master a skill you have to put in 10,000 hours of practice. Dedication is important in this regard as is goal setting and structuring your time. Divide your time into the following areas: learning, sound design, composition, arrangement and mixing. Then allocate time to each skill set every day or at least every week. But you need to invest a substantial amount of time here, try and turn up for work everyday. Nothing is going to progress if you simply dabble for four hours a week.

My rules for the above are as follows, I write a blog article ever week which forces me to learn and research whatever i'm going to write about. Then I try and compose a simple melody, sample something or I do some sound design everyday. I usually set aside an hour for this task. Then I also try and complete a track every month. Even if this track never sees the light of day it's worth completing it because i'm able to flex my arrangement skills in doing so.

So what are your work habits and how do you divide your time and enourage yourself to practice your skills? Sure, learning is important, however wouldn't your time be better spent in your studio right now making music? Get to it, practice those skills and practice having patience in the meantime. If you are disciplined and patient, you will suceede in whatever goals you set yourself.

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