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5 Tips to Fight Producer Perfectionism

The Tips

  1. Realize that you create for you and perfect for others. Look back at the reason of why you create music: chances are you create music because it’s what you want to do. You have to do it. Something inside you inspires you. You just cannot, cannot make music. Obsessing over perfection is more about caring what other people will say versus what the final product is actually like. Perfectionists value other people’s judgement over themselves. Instead, create for you. Don’t worry about the haters and do you, boo.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. Until you have the chops to get music done well and on time, make to make. Make to learn. Once you start becoming confident in your abilities, you are able to compare yourself against others. Non-constructive comparison can damage your creative esteem. Comparison also is the basis for perfectionism. Perfection needs a point of reference in order to exist. Without any comparison, everything is perfect. It’s not until you let someone else’s criteria enter your mind that perfection and inequality can occur.
  3. Accept that you’re going to make bad music (sometimes). It is going to happen. You are going to make really, really bad music. If you’re just learning to produce, you will make bad music—it’s a little obvious. What’s more dangerous, however, is when good producers think they suck because their expectations are above reality. Even if you’re a god-tier producer, you’ll make bad songs. You won’t publish every project. You’ll leave songs off of your album. It can be easy to confuse creating something bad with being a bad creative. You might think that because you’re in a rut, or can’t make the music that you’d like, then you must be an awful producer. That is not the case. Instead, you are a good producer having a bad day. Or bad week. Or just made a bad song. It’s that simple.
  4. Know that the producers you admire used to suck too. Every producer has sucked at music before. Everyone who is blowing up right now is a 5-year or a 10-year overnight success. Don’t think that any big artists just stumbled upon being good and instantly starting producing amazing songs. When artists like Snails, Jauz, and Oliver Heldens blow up, it’s because they have spent years on their craft when nobody was listening. Don’t become discouraged because you’re not seeing immediate results or making amazing music right away.
  5. Set deadlines & complete songs often. The fastest way to get through a track is to set a hard deadline. Produce a track a week, every two weeks. Produce a track every day. Make a MIDI melody every day, or a new sound in your favorite VST. By doing a high volume of work, you allow yourself to look back and improve on each one. You learn more by looking back at your mistakes than by spending extra time to prevent them.

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