Get Better, Faster

If you’re like me, then you strive to make the best music you can. But it’s not always easy to know how to improve.

In fact, there have been dozens – if not hundreds – of studies on how the human brain learns and how people can get really good at something. In this article, I will share a few tools that I have used and continue to use in order to get better, faster.

1. Get Feedback Often

One of the best ways to improve your skills is to get consistent feedback from sources that you trust. This could be friends, other producers, or even other artists. It is really important to get feedback from multiple sources.

The hardest part of constructive feedback is to not get down on yourself, but to take it as a tool to improve. Know who to listen to, and sometimes that means yourself.

Khalid, the up-and-coming R&B artist, seems to be doing this using his Soundcloud account. With the recent release of “Perfect (rough draft)”, Khalid took a left turn with his sound and is letting his fans react. By putting out a “rough draft” that is raw and not nearly as polished as his previous releases, he is allowing other people into his creative process, getting feedback from his fans which will no doubt inform his artistry.

Splice is the perfect community to share your work and get feedback. Fellow producers can offer great insight that non-producers might not be able to. By posting your tracks for the community to listen to, you’re able to get comments and learn from others – this is super effective.

2. Be Self Aware

Self awareness is extremely important when it comes to creating music. It can be a difficult skill to develop, but is super important if you want to rapidly improve your work.

It’s important to know what you’re good at, but more important to know what you’re not as good at. When you can identify what you’re not as good at, you’re able to focus on it and improve it.

Additionally, you can collaborate with someone who is really good at your weaker points. This will allow you to learn from them while making even better music in the meantime. I always love collaborating with people who are great at what I am not as good at. I find that I learn so much from these experiences and it helps me to grow as a producer.

3. Create, Create, Create

Finally, it’s important to create – a lot. When I decided to create at least one finished song each and every week, I knew it was going to be a challenge. But by forcing myself to finish a song each week, I spent a lot more time producing and, consequently, started to see my skills improve.

More importantly, I am able to see what I need to work on and can spend time working on it. I usually identify one thing in each track that could be better. Then, on the next track, I focus on making that element better. For example, if the drums don’t cut through enough, I will spend more time on the next track making sure that the drums are really solid.

These three tips for making better music faster have helped me to improve my skills. I hope these help you to reach the level you want to with your music as well.

What tips do you have for getting better at producing, mixing, and writing music?

January 2, 2018

PALA PALA is a pop songwriter and producer with over a decade of experience. He has worked with many of the top organizations in music including the GRAMMY Foundation.