How to Build DISCIPLINE as a Music Producer | Mindset Tips for Musicians

How to Build DISCIPLINE as a Music Producer

One of the most important skills you can develop as a music producer (outside your production skills) is your mental discipline and work ethic.

You could have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t build discipline it could all go to waste.

I know plenty of musicians that aren’t talented prodigy-types, yet have found huge success in their music careers as a result of their consistent output and clear dedication to their craft.

Many producers struggle with work ethic and discipline, especially when struggling with creative block or lack of inspiration. Being a producer doesn’t just require creativity, passion and a love for music. It also requires hard work, patience and dedication.

The Benefits of Discipline for Producers

• Become better, faster – Practice is the key to improvement, and if you cultivate discipline with your music production journey, you’ll improve much faster.

Build an loyal audience – Being consistent over time is the best way to build engagement with your fans. Your audience is much likely to stick around if you post content regularly (this doesn’t even have to be music: regularly engaging with fans on social media is much better than posting every now and again).

• Boosts your confidence as a producer – Putting in the consistent work is a real confidence booster! We all know how terrible it feels to have a completely unproductive day in front of the TV when you know you should have been making music. Setting production goals and sticking to them feels amazing, and can even inspire you to make more music.

More music, more opportunities – If you’re disciplined with your music-making process, you’ll have more music to show off to labels, promoters etc. People in the music industry are more likely to want to work with you if they see you are driven, dedicated and have a killer work ethic.

So the real question remains: how do you build discipline as a music producer?

I used to struggled A LOT with self-discipline, but over the year have discovered various techniques to build the mindset you need to achieve consistent results.

So without further ado, let’s look at the 5 ways to build discipline as a music producer and achieve a new level of artistic focus.

How to Build DISCIPLINE as a Music Producer: Write Down your goals

1. Write down your goals

One key to improving your self-discipline is to write down your goals and ambitions.

By writing down what you’re going to do, it helps to solidify your goals so they become more than just ideas floating around your head.

Writing down your goals is a powerful tool for motivation, and it can come in many different forms. Whether it’s creating tasks in your Google Calendar, or physically writing out your daily goals and sticking it to your wall, it’s whatever works best for you.

For me, I keep a notebook and every Sunday I write down my goals for the week, which I can then tick off throughout the week. It might sound silly or “pointless” to some people, but it makes a massive difference to my creative output.

The X Effect

You can also try utilising the X effect, a concept made popular on Reddit. This is a technique that involves a crossing off a square in a 7×7 grid on a card when a daily goal is achieved. For example, if your goal is to “create a simple beat every day for 50 days”, crossing off each day as you go along will definitely increase your motivation and drive to complete the challenge.

How to Build DISCIPLINE as a Music Producer: Fitness

2. Build discipline in other areas of your life

Being disciplined and setting goals in other areas of your life can have a huge effect on your motivation to create music.

For example, building discipline with your health / fitness can have have a huge knock-on effect. Similarly, cutting out bad habits like excessive social media, gaming or binge watching Netflix can give you a lot more time to focus on your craft.

Discipline relies on momentum. Once you improve yourself in other areas, positive momentum will start to build and it will become much easier to build good creative habits.

This can include:

• Stopping smoking (easier said than done I know!)

• Limiting social media (no mindless scrolling/comparing yourself to others)

Improving your health / physique

• Getting up at specific times every morning

Reading more often

3. The “Discovery Stage”

I cannot stress this enough: everyone from Deadmau5 to Hans Zimmer will experience creative obstacles when it comes to producing or arranging a song. However, beating creative block relies on shifting your mindset, and understanding that some days will be less productive than others.

Sometimes we experience creative block because we are too focused on finding the perfect melody, loop or chord progression to even get started. This can make us lose motivation and often become less disciplined.

Hans Zimmer, arguably the most iconic film composer of all time, has described his process of avoiding creative ruts as “the discovery stage”. To do this, he will open up a new project and record every melody or chord progression he comes up with, without any judgement.

This is a highly effective technique as it gets your creative juices flowing, without the pressure of finding the “perfect idea”.

In the world of music production, this is the equivalent to creating drum loops, synth chords and any other musical ideas as they come to you. Just get down as many small ideas as you can. Granted, most of these ideas will be mediocre at best, but as long as you’re putting everything down, eventually you’ll strike gold.

After putting down as many small ideas as you can (without any judgement), take a small break and then listen to your mini-projects back. Choose any parts you like, and go from there.

The idea here is that any pressure to create something amazing goes away, as producing something, no matter how bad, is always better than nothing.

Remove Distractions while producing

4. Remove Distractions

Outside distractions can be the biggest obstacle for producers (and artists in general).

In my opinion, the biggest culprit for needless distraction is your phone. Ask yourself, do you really NEED your phone right next to you during a production session. What text are you desperately waiting for that means your phone needs to be with you at all times?

Try putting your phone away, on silent, or even at the other side of the room. Checking a phone notification when you’re producing a track can completely ruin your creative flow, and usually leads to unnecessary procrastination.

Also, make sure you are working in an uncluttered environment. Make sure your desk is clean, organised and free from any physical distractions. If you’re working in a messy environment, it can often make your feel unfocused and lazy.

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself

Finally, don’t beat yourself up too much for not achieving specific goals.

Look, it’s important to set goals. But we’re all human. It’s likely you won’t hit ALL your goals.

For example, if you set a goal to finish a song by the end of the day, but the mixing process takes much longer than anticipated: don’t be too hard on yourself!

If you dwell too much on not hitting goals it can derail your motivation completely, making it even harder to build long-term discipline.

Remember, you are working on your art. Good things take time.

How to Build DISCIPLINE as a Music Producer: Similar Articles

How to Start Producing Music | Guide for Beginners (2022)

The 8 BEST Ways To Make Money as a Music Producer (2022)

The 8 Best Free VST Instrument Plugins

5 Biggest Mixing Mistakes and How to Fix Them