This is an excerpt of the book Processing Creativity: The Tools, Practices And Habits Used To Make Music You’re Happy With. If you would like to download an excerpt or buy a copy you can do so here.

Measure By Gut Not By Time Spent

Many fools try to measure how to make a great record by the time spent making it. This is always a giant eye roll considering that it’s nearly impossible to show a formula where making great music consistently happens with a certain amount of time spent. I often point to two of the best mixers in rock: Nigel Godrich (Beck, Radiohead), who usually takes around five hours to mix complex songs like those on Radiohead’s OK Computer, and, Dave Fridmann (MGMT, Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips) who often takes a day or two to mix only one song. It could be argued that both of these mixers are putting out some of the more daring and complex mixes each year, yet both take totally different approaches to getting there.

 Robert Smith talks about writing The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love," which he said was written in about 30 minutes. As opposed to the months or years it can take him to make a song. When it was time to do the vocals for this timeless song, he couldn't get it, since he was never in the right mood. He kept going back to the microphone experiencing one of the slowest births he's had for a vocal, until one day when he was in the perfect melancholy but happy mood to do the vocal take that emotionally embodied the amazing mood that song evokes. While I've tried to find best practices for parts of the creative process, there's no formula for the length great music will take, it needs to be improvised and felt emotionally.

This is an excerpt of the book Processing Creativity: The Tools, Practices And Habits Used To Make Music You’re Happy With. If you would like to download an excerpt or buy a copy you can do so here.