The Music Process: Actually Producing Music by Building a Framework

You know how to make music, but maybe you’re a little frustrated by getting it actually done? Can’t seem to produce new works? This post is for you.

It’s not that you can’t make music, it’s just the tediousness of it all and it is much more fun to play with a synth, drum, effect, whatever. Right? I hear you.

Here’s one trick I did to get me going and give me a start on churning out new works.

If I build it, they will come.

I thought, if I put a fictitious album together, complete with cover and track listings, I would find a way to make the music to populate it. It worked!

What this did for me are two main items:

  1. It made me create an album “theme” with songs of a similar genre. That makes a better album in itself so this was worth it from that standpoint.
  2. It made me create track titles to go with the theme. Once I had titles of the songs, then I could more easily envision how many and where each song that I may make would go. (Granted, I hadn’t made them yet, but it worked – read on.)

Choosing an album theme made a lot of sense because who wants a bunch of disconnected tunes together on an album, right? Right. Then, from the track title creation in itself, I’ve been able to make music to match the album theme I chose. Some songs I had already but just needed to finish them. I couldn’t see where they fit by themselves, but with the album laid out I see where they would fit and it made me finish them so I could include them on the album.

I found out a lot about myself and the types of music I create. I had to make several different fictitious albums to match the musical styles I wander about in. For example, I make some ambient drone music and then I also make some guitar music. These two don’t match at all and would never belong on the same album. By recognizing this through the album-making exercise, I can now feel free to make whatever I want knowing I have a bin for it – either as a track on the ambient album or one on the guitar album.

It kind of got out of hand – just look at this below. These are nine different albums with 10-15 song titles in each. But, now I have a place for all my music to go.

It makes me want to create music to fill these albums, and gradually I am doing just that. I find that fictitious albums with songs of similar genres to each other help give me structure that I can populate as I see fit and at my own pace.

Below this is a shot of one album and you can see I have started putting actual recordings into some of the song titles. The song titles change also as I see fit because sometimes I make something that just doesn’t quite sound like the title or I think of a better name for some of them.

I hope this helps you. It worked for me. Good luck and thank you for reading.