Many up-and-coming artists today have developed prolific songwriting and production processes. They’re able to build successful music careers by staying creatively active, but selective when it comes to official releases.

So the secret to your music’ success could depend upon the music you DON’T release!

What the heck does that mean?

Well, having more songs than you need can help you put your best foot forward. Because when you have enough material “in the hopper,” you allow the true gems to shine. 

Let’s dive into how you can become more prolific as a creator, and all the reasons why you should!

Why you need dozens of unfinished songs

With powerful creation tools like BandLab, you can carry a recording studio in your pocket. That means you’re never far from capturing an idea when inspiration strikes.

And by pairing on-the-go tools with whatever home-studio or pro-studio approaches you prefer for recording, you can build a huge catalog of unreleased tracks and music ideas.

Your audio stockpile could include:

  • Finished tracks that remain unreleased
  • Songs that are still in-the-works
  • Barely-formed bursts of inspiration
  • Beats without vocals/lyrics
  • Demos of song sketches without production
  • Alternate or acoustic takes
  • And more

Essentially, you want your creativity to stay ahead of your output. 

The benefits of prolific music production

The more you create, the better you get 

Like any craft, practice can help you accelerate idea-generation and problem-solving.

The more you make, the less precious you get

When a process becomes freer, you can achieve faster output and take more risks.

The more you produce, the quicker you’ll identify your own weaknesses

If you find that the last 20 times you sat down to make music, you struggled with drum programming, it might not JUST be the learning curve.

This may be an area where you’d benefit from collaboration.

The more tracks you have, the more opportunities to reach audiences 

This one is pretty obvious, but it requires that you put actual marketing effort into every official release.

You should promote your music every time!

The more tracks you have, the more you can winnow

This is the process of separating the wheat from the chaff (as people used to say) to officially release the very best music you’ve made.

It’s not always true, but sometimes the more rocks, the more gold.

The more tracks, the less time between releases

With more songs in production, you’re never far from your next official release.

The more tracks, the more data

This can be true BEFORE official releases (sharing tracks on BandLab, for instance, helps you see what sounds are working best) as well as after release, where various performance metrics can indicate what a wider audience likes best in your music.

How to maintain a prolific creative process

It’s easy to understand the benefits of active music creation.

However, it might be harder to incorporate it into your own busy life. 

If so, here’s…

6 tips to help you get (and stay) productive:  

1. Keep your production and release schedules separate

If the point is to keep a sense of freedom and play in the process, and to winnow the results to the best tracks, then you do NOT want production and release schedules closely correlated.

Because…

2. You should NOT release everything

I mean, you can eventually if it’s all great material. But again, the point is to allow yourself a place to sprawl, get messy, and find homes for bad ideas.

By leaving some of these tracks behind, you’re clearing space for the hits. 

3. Production should be mobile

Or at least have a mobile component. Make music on the move! So you can keep creative output up when touring or traveling.

Recording ideas in BandLab means you can make music anywhere inspiration strikes. Then if you want to complete the idea later in the studio or at home, you’ve at least kept your process flowing without interruption.

4. Schedule CREATIVE time and keep it sacred

This is one of the most obvious bits of advice, but seems to be the hardest to follow for many artists.

Whether you can commit time daily, weekly, or monthly, put it on the calendar, remove all other obligations, and when that time comes, dedicate yourself to songwriting, production, mixing, etc. 

If you work with other musicians, you may have to keep two related schedules, one for the full group, and one where individual contributions happen.

5. Have a method to gather feedback

This could be sharing a track in-progress on BandLab. It could be that you send the recording to a group of trusted friends.

Whatever works for you to get actionable input BEFORE you’ve committed to a finished version of the song. 

6. Build a reserve for when you’re busy

Although you should try to keep your production time sacred, life happens. “Writer’s block” sets in. Which is why it’s always helpful to build a little buffer.

A batch of tracks that are great, near-finished (or fully finished), and just a few decisions away from becoming an official release.

This ensures that pauses in your process or career won’t get in the way of your music’s momentum.

Conclusion

The lesson is pretty simple:

The more you make, the better you get. 

And the better you get, the greater the chances of your music turning into a sustainable, lifelong career.

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