How to speed up by slowing down, learn new instruments, and nap for song ideas

This week has been exciting! My creativity is starting to flow, and I’m feeling that forward momentum with my songs, which is really motivating me to keep moving.

 

<< Click here to watch #MakingTheAlbum Week 2      Click here to watch #MakingTheAlbum Week 4 >>

 

Today’s report is a shorter one and very digestible with just three main takeaways. It’s definitely worth the 2 minutes it will take you to read this!

 

 

Takeaway #1: You must slow down in order to speed up.

 

My producer suggested I learn how to program drums since I always send him what sounds like ballads: keyboards and vocals. Sometimes it’s built up quite a bit, but it’s hard for him to picture what I’m wanting it to sound like without the beats there.

 

 

I have no idea why I never learned how to do this. I guess I feel like I know nothing about drums.

SO… I downloaded a drumming program that some of my favorite songwriters use – EZdrummer. It’s great for the songwriting process.

Then I had to do my LEAST favorite thing of ALL TIME: read a manual. I absolutely hate manuals – they couldn’t be more boring, and sometimes they’re overwhelming too. I just want the specific info I need right now and I don’t want to waste my time with the other peripheral stuff.

 

But I read the manual (mostly) and then was much more efficient with EZdrummer because I knew how to navigate and control the software without wasting time with trial and error, figuring it out myself.

 

This took me several hours to learn the software, which at the time felt like it was really setting me back in my process. I felt like I needed to be further along. But once I had a cool beat in my song, I realized that I was MUCH FURTHER AHEAD with that song than I would have been if I didn’t learn the software.

 

So I had to literally slow down to learn the software, but I really sped up in the bigger picture because my song is now way more complete than it would have have been.

 

Now I’ll be much more efficient with this in the future and it will have a compounding effect on the time that I’ll save writing the beats and drums for my future songs.

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Takeaway #2: Try something new and challenging, like learning a new instrument, or virtual instrument.

 

Learning the virtual drums has made me use my brain slightly differently than I have before during my creative process.

 

At the same time, I’m having awesome new ideas for songs that I’ve never had before because my brain has more creative power now. Think of it like an artist adding new colors to their pad.

 

When we try new things and have new experiences, it expands our creative boundaries and allows us to see things that were perhaps hidden previously.

 

I’m so excited about this! Lots of good songs are about to be written.

 

So I recommend that you challenge yourself to explore that new instrument that interests you.

 

 

Takeaway #3: For more creative ideas, do LESS, rest MORE. Allow, don’t force. And the ideas will come.

 

I’ve found that more ideas are coming to me when I REST more. As in, try to take a nap. I don’t rest with the intention of coming up with an idea; there’s no pressure.

 

I just lie down with the intention to fall asleep, or not – just rest. Allow freedom for my brain to explore or turn off if needed.

 

Normally at night I have a window open, a fan on, and a sermon playing so I have something focused to think on, and not let my mind wander endlessly for hours.

 

But the times I have had song ideas pop up that have actually turned into real songs, I have zero noise. No fan, no podcasts – nothing. This total quiet gives my creative brain freedom to create.

 

This requires that I plan ahead to meet my daily responsibilities and tasks so I can actually carve out time to REALLY rest without feeling pressure to get up and do something else.

 

When you get into this state of mind, you’ll notice that your brain is allowing creativity to take place, rather than forcing it. And that, my friend, it a beautiful thing.

 

 

That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed it and learned something that you can apply to your own process.

 

As always, drop me a line in the comments below with any questions or observations you have about this week’s report. Let me know how you plan to apply these takeaways.

 

With love,
LEAH

 

P.S. Click here if you’d like me to notify you via email when I release my weekly updates like this one. Cheers!

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Leah McHenry

Leah McHenry

It's become my absolute obsession to find out what will make musicians successful today. In the face of many obstacles, and in the vast sea of the internet, we have an opportunity that has NEVER been available to us in the history of the music business.

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Leah Mchenry

Leah McHenry understands the real world challenges for every-day musicians because she is one.

Having started her music career completely backwards, she found herself learning the NEW music business long after she already started a family and was unable to tour.

Leah now spends her time continuing her own music career while applying the real-world marketing strategies herself, and is also dedicated to helping other independent artists do the same.

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