With a new year beginning, we felt it would be valuable to bring to mind creative methodology and how to develop a tactical approach to your studio practice.

Methodology is a system of procedures and methods used in a particular area of study or activity. In this blog post, we will focus on developing a streamlined awareness of studio practice and tips to structure positive musical outcomes through cultivating a creative flow. With the artist’s personal growth in mind, this approach can develop by setting up a proactive creative environment that complements and enhances their abilities and strengths. 

Whether we realize it or not, all musicians have one thing in common, on principle we are the masters of our creative destiny. Being aware of how we interface with our musical selves and to develop useful practices to push through the limitations of time, resources and abilities is a valuable awareness that only increases over time. The modern musician has endless information available to learn and gain inspiration from, but can easily be overwhelmed by the flood of choices the digital age has to offer. Balancing our urge to consume information and the need to develop the myriad skills needed to advance our creativity can be daunting. Grooming a tactical perspective can offer a sense of purpose when things get overwhelming. 

If you ask any creative person when they are most content, they will usually reference a state of ease when creating. This is the idea of flow. A flow state, or being in the zone, is the wonderful sensation of being fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus while performing some activity. Time collapses as you are completely absorbed in the moment. This is the ultimate state of creative engagement artists long for and is often when the most surprising developments can occur. Becoming familiar with the conditions of this state and working to achieve this zone regularly, will become invaluable to a rewarding creative practice. 

As architects of your own creative headspace, Here are a few basic ideas to keep in mind when starting out.

Distractions

Limit the amount of stimulus and possible triggers to draw your attention away from your intended tasks. This could include turning off wifi, removing one’s smartphone, or limiting the number of devices in a particular setup. Cultivating focus is rule number one. We recommend investigating the Pomodoro technique and the various free Apps available to get in the habit of timed concentration.

Habits

Developing skills and forging effective working tendencies sprout from a successfully managed schedule. The key lies in repetition and committing to being available to work regularly. Be sure to approach your creative sessions with enough time to become comfortable and free to explore both technique and freeform investigations.

Attitude

Become aware of your internal dialog when approaching your musical project. Often times our own negative attitudes kill the potential for good outcomes. Stay open-minded and as objective as possible.

Awareness

Becoming familiar with your present abilities and having a sense of what you would like to accomplish is crucial in advancing as an artist. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can be daunting but also quite enjoyable if you view it as a work in progress. Much of musical and studio competency lies in becoming familiar with the basics and refining your understanding of how to use them. It’s not magic but knowledge and perseverance in absorbing it.

Scheduling

If making music and developing new skills is your intention be sure to keep it the priority. Will power is a limited resource and is depleted as the day progresses. Unfortunately, humans only have some much energy, so experiment with setting aside blocks of time earlier in the day if you can. Even if it’s a few minutes your mind will be engaged throughout the day and interesting ideas can pop up as the day progresses.

Familiarity

Creative flow and inspiration often strike when discovering new techniques or in comprehending what a musician’s tools can do. Don’t be afraid to set aside blocks of time to become aware of the intricacies of your set up. Search out tools that allow you to grow with them and not feel limited right away. Boredom and the false sense of studio inadequacy are perpetual traps. Know when you are falling prey to them.

Collaborate

A sense of connection is the most rewarding aspect of creative work. Sharing a common goal with others is the best way to learn about yourself as an artist. Your strengths and weaknesses are quickly expressed and fresh perspectives on otherwise engrained habits are opened up. Teaching others your personal techniques and verbalizing your creative approach is a terrific way to develop them further. Musical expression is a personal language that is perfect to share and grow upon.

Take Notes

As observations and ideas pass during sessions, it is valuable to document your progress and have access to past headspaces. Keeping a notebook or text with techniques and ideas is a quick and easy way to jump back and bring ideas forward for development.

Record Everything

Capturing your ideas and spontaneous flashes of inspiration are never easy to plan. We recommend hitting the record button whenever possible and erasing afterward if nothing exciting happens. This habit gets you acquainted and comfortable with performing and documents your work. Often the most exciting things are impossible to recreate once they happen and this catches them before they disappear.

These are just a few creative ideas to be aware of. Methodology is a huge concept, but one that can bring a lot of satisfaction when engaged. In the scope of the MOD Devices ethos, it is also valuable to understand how the system is designed to facilitate fresh ideas and approaches through a personalized audio constellation. One that can be shaped to the needs of the artists at that moment. As an open environment, the possibilities are available for optimized creative sessions that are exciting and dynamic.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to address concepts and methods to achieve this goal. The road to creative development and the blissful state of flow is accessible if you are prepared to reach them. We wish you all the best as 2021 unfolds!