Few things are more frustrating than beat block. We’ve all experienced it. You set aside a portion of your day exclusively for making music 🎵 but once when you sit down at your desk, nothing seems to flow.
There are a few techniques that you can utilize to get out of that funk and get back into that creative money zone.
Here are seven tips for overcoming the dreaded beat block:
Tip #1: Browse Through Other Producers’ Beats
Whether you hit up YouTube, Beatstars, or other platforms where producers post their work, listening to other people’s beats can produce that initial spark of creativity you need to get cookin'.
If you do this even for a few minutes, chances are you’ll come across some kind of vibe that inspires you to get to work.
If you take the time to leave a genuine comment on the dope beats you encounter, other producers might reciprocate! You may end up with extra engagement while also getting yourself inspired.
Browsing through other producer’s beat catalogs is also a great way to make sure you stay up on the latest trends in music.
Know your competition 🤔
Tip #2: Watch Beat Making Tutorials
Team Producergrind's YouTube Channel has some of the best beat making tutorials on the internet. Spend some time browsing through tutorials relating to elements of production that you’re struggling with.
Whether you’re looking to improve your drums, your melodies, or your mixes, you’ll be able to find endless high quality walkthroughs on YouTube. Watching even just one or two of these can be enough to awaken your creativity.
Tip #3: Give Yourself Permission To Take An Extended Break
Sometimes stepping away from your music for a couple of days can clear your head and can be a great way to regain some creative energy.
Creating new music daily is mentally exhausting. Just like any muscle, your brain requires training and exercise to grow strong and resilient. By not pacing yourself, you run the risk of experiencing burnout.
If you’re starting to feel fatigue creeping in, step back for a couple of days and hit the reset button. When you come back, you may find that you have a newly heightened sense of creativity.
Tip #4: Listen To Your Favorite Music
Remind yourself of why you’re pursuing a career in music in the first place. It started with the music, right?
Reconnect with the music that inspired you to cop your DAW. Listening to your favorite songs can pull the trigger of snapping out of beat block and kickstarting your momentum.
If you’re really struggling to create something fresh, try recreating the beat of one of your favorite songs. You might just get inspired and veer off to create something totally new!
Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid To Use Loops Or Sample Packs
There may be no better way to kickstart a beat than to have a fire loop already loaded into your DAW 🔥
Sometimes the hardest part of the creative process is just getting started. Melody samples solve that problem.
If done correctly, you can transform a loop to be totally unique to your style and completely unrecognizable from its original form.
Tip #6: Approach A Beat From A New Direction
If you normally begin your beat making process by creating the melody, try starting with the drums first, and vice versa.
Consider this: when you first open your DAW, you have a blank slate. The natural thing to do is to begin filling that silence with sound.
If you start filling that silence with drums, your beat is likely be drum prevalent.
But what if you started filling that silence with ambient noise? Or with melodic material? With foley?
Any of those starting choices is bound to lead in different directions.
Approaching a beat from a different angle can make all the difference in discovering the perfect end result. Next time you open your DAW, try filling that silence with something totally irregular to your normal.
Tip #7: Invest In New Plugins
Trying out a new plugin can introduce unforeseen creative opportunities, resulting in a long-term leveling-up of your composition and sound design skills.
VSTs like RC-20 Retro Color can wildly enhance even the most stock sounding digital instruments. What better way to cultivate some creative energy than to experiment with a new piece of software added to your arsenal?
Beat block can be an impasse that springs up at the worst of times. Next time you're faced with it, try out any number of these tips to overcome it. Meek's CRYPTO for RC-20 is a preset bank full of unique tonal filters perfect for those moments you're feeling "bleh". Throw them on melody loops, drum patterns ... really just about anything.