Parallel Processing

In the past, I was pretty much an “all or nothing” type of person when it came to studying, writing, recording or performing. Meaning, I would exclusively focus on one area, say studying, for an extended period of time, at the expense of the other areas that are important to me. The great thing about that is you get really focused on a particular subject. The bad thing is all forward motion in any other areas stops completely.

For a long while, I had been wanting to divide my time between study and production. Ideally studying early on in the day with some sort of production later.

So one of my main goals for the first quarter of this year was to do exactly that. Once I got a workable schedule in place, I loved it. It was tremendously rewarding to see progress being made in so many different areas that interest me.

I think the key to allowing all of that to happen was to limit how much time I gave any one area of focus. That made space for everything else.

For my studies I continued with my 5 minutes per subject approach for a variety of subjects: ear training, guitar studies (music reading and chords/rhythm parts), bass, keyboards (scales and chords), songwriting/chord progressions, notation and vocal exercises.

Along with that I started incorporating online studies with courses on (Photoshop, Omnisphere, Battery, Performing with Ableton Live) and (Superior Drummer, Ableton Live 10 Explained, Creating Realistic MIDI Strings, Creating Epic Cinematic Compositions). These were super helpful in preparing for the album and concert.

I also began alternating days of focus. One day of new material, with the next being review of what I had already done. This kept everything very manageable and enjoyable. So much so that I looked forward to studying every day.

For songwriting/production I would do something similar by only allowing 30 minutes per song per day. This helped keep the songs new and interesting throughout the process. It also helped get me “unstuck” when I felt blocked. As soon as the timer went off I would move on to the next song and get positive momentum going again. By the time I came back to the song I was having an issue with I was in a different space and usually found a solution within minutes.