Something a lot of people ask me is how to get out of beat block? How many of you have experienced beat block? Let me know in the comments below.
What is beat block?
Beat block is when you go to make a track and you don’t, or you don’t go to make a track for whatever mental reason that cause you not to.
Reasons for beat block
Sometimes you get beat block because you’re overworked or drained. Sometimes it’s because of fear or anxiety. You’re afraid of what other people will think of your music. You’re afraid of what you’ll think of your music, or afraid that your music won’t be as good as your old music is. Or maybe you’re afraid that your music won’t be as good as someone else’s music.
You’re thinking you’re not good enough. You’re thinking about how your work will be critiqued by other people. How are other people going to view your music? Are they going to criticize you? Does that sound familiar?
Maybe you just don’t have enough motivation to make music or make beats. Could you have beat block because you just don’t have the motivation?
Maybe you suffer from something called perfectionism, where everything has to be perfect in your mind. Does that ring true to anybody?
I’m going to tell you some things that work for me or some things that I’ve heard that work for other people. I’ve been preaching this for a long time, and this is a trick that I discovered years ago.
How to get out of beat block
To get out of beat block, what you want to do is make a beat every single day. After you make that beat, regardless of how you’re judging it in your mind, save it to a folder.
You may be thinking, Oh, this beat is whack. Or, Oh, this beat is trash. This beat isn’t finished, I need a better mix. I need a better snare.
Forget all that. Just make the beat and hit export. Put it in a folder, or in your iTunes, or wherever you keep your tracks. Wherever you keep it, you’re going to put it in that folder and you’re not going to judge it. You don’t even have to listen to it. Just mix it down, put it in a folder. You’re going to do that every single day.
This is what’s going to happen: The first beat that you make might be total trash in your mind and judgment. Second beat, total trash. Third beat, trash. Fourth beat, it’s all right. Fifth beat, trash. Sixth beat, wow, something great just happened. You’ve been making a beat for six days straight and that sixth beat is magical. Maybe the first 20 beats are trash the 21st beat is magic.
Lifting your energy from beat block
There is an element when you’re in the flow and you’re just creating every day. You’re trying your best not to judge it, and you’re finishing it and mixing it down. This action gets your creativity unstuck, because when you’re in beat block, your energy is stuck. Your energy is not flowing. When you continuously make beats, you’re releasing those blockages in your mind. You’re creating. We’re meant to create. We’re not meant to second guess ourselves and judge ourselves and compare ourselves and perfect ourselves. Our purpose is to create. So just make a beat every single day, mix it down and move on.
To get out of beat block, what you want to do is make a beat every single day.DECAP
And I know some of you might be thinking that you tried that already and it didn’t work. You didn’t try it. Something, at some point stopped you and you judged yourself. And what I’m talking about is creating every day and not judging it. That’s one thing you can do.
Knowing the right time to take a break from your music
Another thing you could do is if you’ve been creating every day and you feel drained or burnt out, and don’t know what to create next, it might be time to stop and take a break. If you’ve already been creating a lot and you’ve hit that point where you need to refill, take a break and refill.
I know these are conflicting statements, but if you haven’t been creating every day and you’re drained, take a break. Go into nature, breathe, meditate, do something else. If it’s good enough weather, put your feet in the dirt or in the grass. Find a new hobby and do something other than music, something to get you out of that routine.
Try creating in a new space
Another thing you can do switch up your setup. A lot of us are on laptops now. So, if you’re on a laptop, go in a different room with headphones. Or forget the headphones and just make it on your laptop. Challenge yourself to make a beat on earbuds or on your laptop speakers or in the car. Switch up the environment.
Another thing, listen to some new music. Listen to some new releases or listen to a song that you love. Try a new genre. Have you made a drill beat yet? Maybe it’s time for you to make a drill beat. Find a song that you love, or a new song that you heard, and you think, Oh, I wish I could do that. Try to emulate it. Try to recreate what they did. Maybe you heard some sound design they did. Try to imagine how you can create that sound design.
Another thing you can try, is downloading a new drum kit. Try some new drums or try some drums you haven’t tried before. Try a new VST or a new synth. Make a whole beat out of an App. Get creative with sound design and processing and try something different.
Challenge for getting over beat block
I actually have a challenge for you guys. And it’s related to getting over beat block. If you have beat block, make your next beat with no intention of showing anyone. This is an exercise in taking your power back, not being overly concerned with what others think of you. You’re going to make this next beat just for yourself. Make a song or a beat with no intention of showing anyone. See what kind of thoughts and ideas and creativity that sparks for you.
Once you do that, what you choose to do with it, that’s on you. But go into it with no intention of showing anybody. Try that. And I want to hear how it goes for you guys in the comments below. Make a track with no intention of showing anyone and let me know what kind of creativity that sparks.
Myths in the music producer community
Here are some common myths in the music producer and beatmaker community. You need to be inspired before making a beat. Do you know that’s not true? So many songs that I’ve released were made when I didn’t want to make music. Y don’t have to wait to be inspired before you make music. As a matter of fact, if you do that, you’re not a professional. You’re not a professional music producer or beatmaker. Don’t wait until you’re inspired to make music.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself or self-pity. Don’t procrastinate and make excuses. Do the first thing I said to do, make a beat every single day and mix it down. No excuses to do that. If you didn’t do that, and you complain to me that you have beat block, I don’t want to hear it. You make a beat every single day and mix it down and don’t judge it. That’s what you need to do and do it every day.
Avoid distractions that can get in the way of making new beats
If you’re getting on social media all the time and scrolling to no end. Liking photos, seeing who liked your photos, looking at your analytics, all that is taking away from making a beat every single day which ultimately can cause beat block. Just make a beat every day and don’t judge it.
I’ll tell you what happens for me and I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’ve been making beats for a long time since I was a young teenager. A lot of times when I take a break from making music around the holidays, for example. When I come back into it, there’s a moment where I’m like, okay, I’m a little rusty. Almost never the first beat I make after a break comes out fire. Occasionally, but usually not. Usually, the first couple of beats are okay. I don’t really make whack beats anymore because I’ve been doing it so long. Whack beats just don’t happen, but not everything I make is a smash. Not everything I make is fire.
When I come back into it, a lot of times I’m a little rusty and have to let the engine flow. So, it takes two or three beats to get back in that zone. But once I’m back, Oh boy, it’s on. You get back into it. You get it flowing again. Once you get it flowing. That next thing you do is that magic guys.
Overcoming beat block
In one sentence, I’m going to tell you how to overcome beat block. You overcome beat block by making beats. That’s how you do it. It’s that simple. If you have beat block, the solution is to make beats.
Step one, make a beat every single day. Step two. Don’t judge it. Step three, put it into a folder and repeat. I make it sound easy because it is. The reason why we get beat block is because we’re letting our thoughts get in the way of actually making beats.