Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips couldn’t wait to quit his day job to focus on his music full-time. He started the band in 1983, but it was all of 10 years later that their breakout hit She Don’t Use Jelly would shoot The Flaming Lips to stardom. In those 10 years, Coyne worked as a fry cook at Long John Silvers.
“…the job allowed me to dream about what my life could become,” he said of juggling between a day job, and a dream.
If it feels like there’s just not enough hours in a day for both your full-time job and your musical duties, know that you’re not alone. Many greats before you have faced the struggle, and we’re here to help you through it.
Protect your eyes
We know how difficult it is to have a full day at work and then get straight into production. Reduce eye fatigue by giving yourself a solid break between work and your music. You’ll be tempted to scroll through your phone on your daily commute, but we recommend investing in a pad and jotting down 5 things you want to achieve by the end of the day’s music session. This could be to lay down the foundations of a new track, revisiting the one you are so close to getting over the line or maybe just auditioning a new riff or solo idea you have. Getting organised while giving your eyes a break, will really help you to unleash your creativity from the outset.
Minimise Ear Fatigue
Ear Fatigue, also commonly known as Listener Fatigue can really be a creative killer. It might be tempting to, but try to avoid listening to music all day at work, or before a production session and give your ears some time to rest. Symptoms of fatigue include tiredness and loss of sensitivity, so if this is one of your daily habits, try to cut down on music and save your ears for when you need them most.
Cope with Creative Block
There is nothing worse than staring blankly at a screen in front of you just waiting for your brain to form ideas. Trying to force these things almost never leads to moments of magic in the studio. When this happens, try to do something productive that is away from your screen. Taking a phone out and recording sounds (on BandLab) from the outside world can be a great way to kick-start your inspiration.
Separate Work and Music
We know that you have your mind set permanently to stardom and we want you to get there. It’s important, however, that you are able to separate your work from your music. When you are at work, be there 100%. Not only will this ensure you continue to pay the bills, but when you forget about music, this can be often when your moments of inspiration flash into your mind. Keep your mobile to hand and record ideas as they come to you by saving them on the BandLab app. This way, when you come to your session later, you’ll have a collection of ideas that you can build on.
Deal with Distraction
It might seem obvious but setting your phone to do not disturb will ensure you don’t get any unnecessary interruptions and countless group chat notifications while you’re creating. As a musician and producer, getting into a state of flow can sometimes be hard. Maximise your creativity by blocking out all of the potential distractions and you’ll find your ability to focus improves.
To get ahead of the curve as a musician, why don’t you check out our blog here for more useful content?
Or if you’re raring to go, get right on our Mix Editor and play us a beat.