This week I want to touch on something slightly bigger picture again. This would be, as the title says, not dictating to your creativity. So what do I mean by this? Well, have you ever wanted to work on something musical but felt that you have to finish a drum loop or something else first? Thats exactly what I am talking about. Making music doesn't need to follow any logical progression. Most people will start with drums when composing a track, however you can always put a "placeholder" sample in to hold your track together while you work on other ideas.
This is important and something that's often overlook or not discussed in music production. Everyone is so focused on the technical details that sometimes the creative gets lost. To combat this, here's a few approaches that I feel can be useful.
1. Create a starting template;
This will enable you to get going quickly and avoid focusing on repetitive tasks.
2. Create a folder of placeholder samples;
This could be basic drum loops from old projects and similar stuff like that, enough to get you started on an idea without having to resort to sound design or EQ'ing a snare in minute detail, for instance.
3. Add your placeholder samples to your template;
Linked to the above two, this way you can start experimenting with ideas really quickly.
4. Create other templates for different purposes;
For example, sound design or making drums. That way if you do feel like doing one of these tasks, you can open a session ready for this too.
5. Ask yourself before each session what you feel like doing.
This is probably the most important. Do you feel like making a pretty melody? Or maybe you want to get into the intricacies of designing and resampling bass sounds? Perhaps you've got a bit of a writer's block going on, in which case switching to creating and sculpting a drum loop or sorting out your sample library might be the key.