How the music pros work from home

A home music recording studio is pictured, with microphones, a desktop computer, speakers, and soundproofing on the walls.
Photo by Soniq sounds on Unsplash

We checked in with music pros about how they keep their creativity flowing in their home space, and we’re sharing it with you.

If your studio is your bedroom, it takes a minute to get in the mood to make music.

Whether the issue is fussing over the way your desk (or desktop) is organized, not getting enough sleep, or just simply not feeling in the mood, it’s not easy to be creative at home. You’re not alone. The answers are not “buy the fanciest equipment you can” or “get Marie Kondo to help you declutter and reorganize your studio,” but simple tricks that you can try today to start making more music.

  • Wear your favorite outfit (or at least not your pajamas).
    Wearing something you like tricks your mind (your creativity included) into really believing you’re not just doing laze-around-at-home stuff. By picking an outfit that makes you feel confident, you’re bringing that confident energy into your music, too.
  • Make sure to grab inspiration wherever you find it!
    Don’t judge where you find your next lyric. Often good ideas come out of rote activities, like showering, or grocery shopping (and that doesn’t mean that your lyrics will be all about your trip to Trader Joe’s). Our minds wander and daydream, even without us knowing it. Catching a stray thought could lead to a whole song.
  • Create an inspiration routine
    Sounds kind of silly, like inspiration can be regimented, but it’s true! Figure out what activities help you find inspiration and bring those activities into your daily life. Some examples include going for a walk outdoors every day, meditating more often, recording your dreams, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, watching movies or TV that you admire, listening to a new album once a week…the list goes on!
  • Set up your own perfect creative space
    Create a space where its EASY for you to work! Good acoustics! Less background noise and distraction! Have all your tools and instruments set up and in one place! Finneas, the also uber-famous brother of Billie Eilish, in this video claims what he needs in a home studio is immediacy. The ability to pick up and do the thing, no futzing or fooling that will get in the way of the inspiration.
Finneas in his home studio. Via prosoundnetwork.com
  • Schedule in your music-making time
    This one is simple. If you don’t have any time in your life for music, it won’t be easy to make music! If you don’t make time in your life for music, you won’t make music. Get your friends involved in your music projects, and you won’t have to short change your social life, either.
  • Do whatever you can to channel your focus
    Whether it be through writing out workflows and task lists, or just making sure you have had enough coffee, finding your focus is more important than ever when working from home. It’s easy to get distracted by task lists, unmade beds, a pantry full of snacks…I recommend blasting zen music in your headphones and just getting started until you’re in the creative zone.
  • Take a break!
    It’s entirely possible to be too close to your own music. After you’ve listened to the same song 30 times, you’re not hearing straight. Too much attention, too much focus, can lead to a powerful inner critic, or simply too tight a lens. Sometimes, watching your favorite movie or calling a friend is the creative break you need, whether it sounds productive or not.
One day your home studio could look like this! If that’s what you want. I prefer a pen and paper…but that’s just me.
Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

Your studio won’t be built in a day. Nor will a whole discography. Experiment a little with your creative practice until you find what works for you.
With our app, Tonic, collaboration and feedback are super easy, and all in one platform, right in your browser. Ever wonder how to collaborate long distance on a song, without long email chains and missing mixes? We’ve created a simple solution for you. Beta-testing is happening now, come help us out.

Got any tips for making music at home? Let us know! Tweet at us @tonicaudiolabs, email us hiya@tonicaudio.com, or comment below!

By Ava Z

Ava is a UX Designer and writer for Tonic Audio.

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