Many of us dream of producing music full time and would love nothing more than to ditch our 9-5 day job to pursue this dream.
Unfortunately, this isn't always possible at first as it can take a while to establish ourselves as producers. Let's face it, we've got to be able to live and if we're not making much money from music production, we have to work a 'bread and butter' job as well.
In my own personal experience, I'm lucky to have a full-time job teaching music related subjects such as music business and production, but I would love to have more time for actually making my own music.
In short, it's all about pushing through the tiredness of working an 8-hour day and getting on with your music. It took me a while to find the balance and I've found that making music after the stress of a long day recharges me most of the time. Scratching that musical itch of an evening has improved how I work during the day.
In this blog, we're going to go through some tips on how to balance making music with a full-time day job.
I know it can be difficult to find the time to prepare and get things ready when you're leading a busy life but being organised and prepared can really help you to achieve that balance between your day job and making music.
Simple things like making a to-do list and having a production setup that's ready to go when you get home from work is really important, as you know exactly what to do and can get on with it without too much equipment setup.
This section also relates to preparation but is more specific to making the most of the time you have after work.
Things like having organised sample libraries and creating custom effects presets that define your sound just gets things done quicker and makes your workflow a lot smoother.
Having a clear workspace is also really helpful as everything has its specific place and you know where things are when you need them. I also find having a neat and tidy work area helps my mind feel clearer as well.
For more information and detailed advice on improving your music production workflow, check out our other blog tips for improving your workflow.
I feel it's important to mention this as our evenings and weekends can sometimes get completely overtaken by working on music and our passion can become more of an obsession.
Having that healthy passion for doing what we love is great but try not to run yourself into the ground by losing too much sleep and sacrificing social and family time.
If you find that this is the case, maybe plan your music days into your schedule and try to stick to it. This will help to leave time to spend with your friends and family.
This piece of advice is one that I've found extremely useful myself and often get things planned out and started when I'm on the bus or train back from work. I also find it's a good way to get your mind off any stresses from the workday.
For example, writing some lyrics whilst listening to a track you've created the previous day.
You can still utilise your travelling time if you're driving as well, by listening to music for inspiration or podcasts that can give you some production ideas.
One of the most important tips for balancing work, music and life is to take care of yourself!
If you're feeling burnt out from a stressful day, making music can really help to recharge you but doing too much can be detrimental to your well-being, mental health and even your physical health.
Sometimes, you will just need to chill after a long day! Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day!
You can even just spend a short time doing some music of an evening after you've had some well-earned time to relax.
I know first-hand how difficult it can be trying to balance a full-time job with following your passion for music and life in general.
Some of the tips in this blog have been tried and tested by yours truly and they really can help.
Just remember to take care of yourself and put your health and well-being first.
If you are currently out of work and in isolation, we also have a post about ways a musician can stay productive in isolation.
Written by David Griffiths.