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How focused attention makes our beats better

a song a day daily songs Apr 25, 2023

Day 55 - Check out the beats I've made over the last few days! 🎈Check out the most recent cook-ups!

Most people seem to view art as an inconsequential field of study. They don’t treat making music and drawing pictures as important as practicing medicine or law. 

This is interesting to me since art and advancements in ‘hard science’ both come from the same place; creativity

We need art just as much as we need science. 

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The difference in perceived seriousness between art and “hard science” is an issue because it encourages would-be legendary creatives to take a relaxed approach to the work. This is a fatal mistake that deprives the world of great beauty.

No matter what kind of job you have, progress is going to require focused work. You may think this is dumb because it isn't ‘artsy fartsy’ to do something as lame as ‘focus your attention’ when doing something as creative as making music.

But I urge you to think of it in a different way.

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The next time you are in the studio making beats, try to lock in by doing the following;

    1. No Phone Zone
      1. Put your phone on silent, turn it face down, and put it just outside your reach so that you have to get out of the chair to get it. It’s not that you shouldn’t use it. You just need to understand that phones severely fragment our attention and this is exactly the thing we want to avoid during our cook up session. The IG baddies will be there once we are done cooking the heat. 
    2. Use “white light”
      1. This is like white noise used in focused work (rain sounds, static, etc.) - Turn on a second screen and stream some kind of entertaining content on mute or at a low volume. It can help to download the content ahead of time to save bandwidth - this also reduces your choices in ‘white light’ content which is good. This is the reason that I’m always watching DBZ or some kind of anime while I'm streaming. It helps me stay inspired and focused. 
    3. Lock in!
      1. Don’t move from your chair until you’ve been cooking up for about 20 minutes. By this time you are hopefully so locked in that you won't want to get up. That’s what we want! From here work as long as the creativity will pour out! (or for 60-90 minutes haha) 

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I love this line from Cal Newport’s Book “Deep Work” where he’s quoting New York Times columnist, David Brooks.

“[Great creative minds] think like artists but work like accountants.”

This approach to music makes you a more deliberate creative, which puts you ahead of the herd over time. 

This, as I’ve discovered, is also the cure to beat block, but that’s a separate topic for another day.

TL;DR - The key isn't to become an anal hard ass about your art. The key is to understand that your art deserves the level of focus that doctors use to get better at surgery.

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