Making Music - 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers is a 340+ pages long book published by Ableton, which sets the focus on creativity, productivity and procrastination when making music.
The book tackles both practical and mental obstacles you usually face when getting stuck or feeling less inspired. For example, you might have created lots of short two-bar musical ideas and you cannot seem to put the parts together and form something of a complete track - or you having problem getting started. Or even finish it.
After a couple of years of practically no music making, this book helped me get back on track. As a sound designer, I am by nature a total sucker for anything sounds. New plugins, sound libraries, new and old gear. But this passion have more and more become the dominant part in my music life, and the ease I usually was building tracks with has gradually become less. In fact, at times I started to feel almost alien to actually make anything else than short loops.
Combine that with a severe condition of the Gear Acquiring Syndrome, this led me into a circle of buying even more new stuff. You know - you're getting sucked in by cool YouTube videos and you're telling yourself, OMG - this is the last piece of the puzzle! If I have THIS I'll be able to make the music I want in a focused manner.
But as we all know, behind that purchase just lies another one, and another one. I'm really not saying that buying new stuff is bad. Buying new gear is cool and equally essential for me as my wife buying new shoes. But in my case, GAS took over big time.
This book gave me a double-punch that helped me open the door of making music again. First and foremost - the book itself is brilliant. Already after the 10-15 first pages, I started to feel an itch to close the book and try out some of the ideas. Secondly, in the introduction the author mentioned a book called The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. This book is pretty short, but totally nails it when it comes to the subject of procrastination.
What I really appreciate is the straight-forward tone.
Always to the point. Problem - approach - solution.
No wasted explanations what a plugin is
why the color yellow is your favorite color
(yes Lynda - I am looking at you!)
or explaining how to use a computer mouse.
Making Music comes both as a physical book and an eBook, and I ended up buying both. The physical book is of very high quality. It feels very nice in your hand and has a beautiful retro quality over it. The eBook is great if you are having a tablet sitting next to your music computer and you need some quick inspiration when working with music.
This book is exceptionally well written, contains an insane amount of wisdom and points out solutions to problems like a laser. Even though it deals with issues in a general sense, it always contains some idea that help you to move forward. Easily my best purchase of 2015. If you really want to earn the black belt and beat the beast of procrastination - go to Amazon and grab a copy of The War of Art when you're at it. These two books compliment each other very well.