4 benefits of applying focus to your music
As with so many creative tasks, focusing on making music can be a difficult and distracting process. But learning to focus on creation and performance can pay huge dividends. Here, we take a look at four benefits you’ll get from applying focus to your music.
Guest post by Patrick McGuire from the ReverbNation blog
Anyone who has locked himself in a music studio on a mission to write a new album knows how difficult it can be to focus on the task at hand. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, whether it’s a notification from a smartphone, a pet, a party member, or our own internal boredom or impulsiveness. To get the most out of your life as a music maker, you will need to learn to focus deeply when creating or playing music. Here are four huge benefits you will experience when you focus on your music:
Make it easier to finish things
Coming up with an incredible idea so that you can never turn it into a full song is a storyline that every songwriter can relate to. If you run into this problem over and over again, your lack of focus could be the reason. Deep concentration allows you to do the hard work required to finish songs and albums. It gives you the energy and clarity you need to take all the steps you need to complete a complicated project. When you take it all out, it’s all about creative choices that turn a vague musical idea into a finished product. To make these decisions, you will need unwavering focus.
Unleash your true creative potential
When your mind and intentions are all over the place, it is impossible to reach your creative potential as a music maker. We often wonder why we can’t find inspiration for our music when it’s actually a constant part of our lives, but we’re too distracted to notice it. Your music will flourish if you give it direct and unfettered attention. You will learn things about yourself and the way you create that you have never recognized before, and you will be infinitely more productive and satisfied. It can be hard to fathom this, but many of us let distractions get in the way of our work as songwriters because we’re actually afraid our best just isn’t good enough. Focusing only on your work when you write takes it all away and forces you to confront this and other misconceptions. It’s hard work, but it’s totally worth it.
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Put your goals at your fingertips
A lack of focus in your music career will make achieving your goals much more difficult than it should be. If you don’t focus on writing songs, booking shows, and promoting your music, life will always keep you from achieving what you want. To focus, you need discipline in your life. Discipline is the act of saying yes to one thing and no to everything else. To focus on your music, you need to push away anything that might distract you while you work: checking emails, playing with your pets, talking with your romantic partner, and more. These things will have to wait while you do the hard work of focusing on your music. When we do everything we can to keep music first, everything from writing songs to booking shows becomes easier, more natural, and more rewarding.
Makes your songwriting practice more predictable and productive
If you are or aspire to be a serious songwriter, you will need to embrace focus as a foundational character trait. When you think about what makes great music you hear in the world, you probably think of things like inspiration, raw talent, and the lived experiences of an artist. While these factors certainly fuel great songs, the predictability within a songwriter’s writing practice has as much, if not more, of impact, and it demands attention. Predictability here means how often someone writes, what they choose to focus on, and the conscious decision to create as often as possible. It doesn’t mean writing predictable or boring music. Apply intentional focus to your writing practice and you’ll write better songs more often.
Concentration is just one essential trait to apply to your life as a musician alongside curiosity, discipline and courage. It’s important to remember that adding structure and routine to your life as a musician is about unleashing your creative potential, not limiting it. If you love to create music and want to be a successful artist, focusing on your day-to-day work will make your music life easier and more productive.
Patrick mcguire is a writer, musician and human man. He doesn’t live anywhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and puts his hands in his pockets.