Although limitations are commonly perceived as obstacles that stop you from achieving your goal, self-imposed limitations are different.
As a musician, confining your efforts in a box can help improve the production process. Of course, it is good to think outside the box, but limitless creativity isn’t always the solution. You must set some limits to gain direction and produce a song targeted at a particular audience.
What Kind of Limitations Should Be Set?
Before proceeding toward the importance of self-imposed limitations, let’s first understand the kind of limits that should be set for music production.
Rather than stopping yourself from coming up with something unique, the limitations are set to create a roadmap for your song. For instance, before you start working on a song, you can pick a set time limit in which the song needs to be completed, the duration of the song, genre, direction, etc.
Why Self-Limitation is Important
In a way, self-imposed limitation helps you set your goals. For instance, when you have a set timeframe in mind, you can make more constructive efforts faster to complete a song within that duration. And when you have a genre in mind, you’ll know which equipment to use.
Rather than restricting your creativity, self-limitation is an excellent way to boost your creativity. Remember, you’re not putting a damper on your imagination; you’re simply confining yourself within set boundaries to prevent wasted time and needless overthinking.
When there are no limits, you will automatically overextend your mind and think of thousands of options you can experiment with. But that only leads to wasted time and effort. Always pre-plan your songs and show your creativity as you move further along in the production.
How to Set Self-Imposed Limits During Music Production
Now that you understand the importance of self-imposed limitations, let’s learn how to set limits during production:
Set a Time Limit
Give yourself a pre-determined timeframe in which you must complete the song. Initially, you can cut yourself some slack and start with increased time. But as you progress, reduce the time you take to complete one song. This will help polish your time-management skills, which is extremely important for staying on top of the competitive music industry.
Set Layering Limits
While layering your instruments can help improve the quality of your music, going all out and topping your song with too many instruments isn’t going to help much. Remember, layering can enhance the sound, but it can’t magically turn your piece into a hit.
If your melody sounds average at best with, let’s say, 6 layers, it won’t improve much if you add 4 more. Consider reworking the melody instead of stuffing instruments needlessly.
Work More, Think Less
If you find yourself researching for more than 10 hours, you’re overthinking without even trying. Always focus more on the song production itself rather than thinking about what to do next. Of course, research can help, but don’t waste too much of your time on it. Once you get started on the song, things will come to you naturally.