By: Konner Scott
Recently, I came across a piece of advice from a musician I really respect. The core message was that as musicians, it’s okay to mess around for the sake of messing around, without a focus on creating towards the “next big release”. His point was that human beings have been messing around and experimenting with music for thousands of years, and have only been creating recordings for a couple of generations.
As a songwriter and producer, I’m often insecure about my creative output. Even though I’ve only seriously been producing music for a couple of years, I feel like the number of songs I’ve released does not reflect the work I’ve been putting in. A hefty percentage of why I feel that way is the fact that I’m hyper-perfectionistic with what I allow myself to release, and so far, very few songs I’ve written and produced have measured up to that standard.
Reminders like the one above reassure me that it’s okay to create music for the sake of creating music, and to not fall into the trap of believing that I need to write and produce the world’s most perfect song every time I sit down to create. This is something I’ve actively been working on in my own life.
Ultimately, I think the result will be more beneficial. If I give myself permission to record and release more “imperfect” material, my output will be higher, and I will gain more experience. Ironically enough, the only way to do this is to stop focusing on the releases themselves, and immerse myself in the process of music creation- which, inherently, is pure and non-judgmental.
I’m hoping I can buy into this way of thinking, and that I see the results in my own work. My artist friends who release music regularly seem to create and record their material so freely, without the constraints of pressure and expectation. Until I get there, I’ll be over here taking notes… and trying not to think too hard about it.