Rules V.S. Creativity (A Tug-of-War in Music Production)

Rules V.S. creativity, this is a constant tug-of-war for being a creative. A balance act of following what you have learned and know, and deciding to throw all that out the window to dive into unexplored territory (creativity). Personally, this has been a consistent challenge and growing experience for me.

​When it comes to guidelines they are very helpful, having helped me pave the way into making better music, and hitting new milestones. Yet, there have been times where I have become cemented into these habits, that I become fixed to these narrow thought processes, making music more like a robot, instead of making music like a human. Can you relate? Usually, what breaks me free from this, is being frustrated to the point of discontentment with my current level of skill/art/music/etc. that I take a step of faith, or someone encourages/inspires me to take a risk and do something that I would usually shy away from. Sometimes, the outcome is not what I was hoping for, sometimes, it goes beyond what I was expecting.

​When it comes to creativity free from rules, the experience can be very liberating. Taking a chance to explore new territory in the creative realm. Like I said before, this can lead to new revelations in music (as well as all forms of art), but it can also lead to a mess that needs a second look, along with some guidance (rules). So, one has to be careful going full on artistic, it is like the chaos in “chaos and order”. There isn’t control in this realm, that can make for the better, but it can also lead to the worse. Therefore, it is important to have the order (rules) in place to keep the direction forward.

​I believe both rules and creativity go hand in hand, they are needed in order to make a quality piece of art; to make a masterpiece.

​This topic can keep going, I do very much enjoy talking about this, but I am going to end my experience here for now. I am curious if you relate to this? Have you gone through these experience? What breakthroughs have you experienced with rules and creativity (order and chaos)?


Hope you were encouraged by this, go make some art!

-Marilyn Monroe

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I tend to find rule-free works for demos, jamming around ideas, sound design experiments, but then to actually get something finished, particularly an album that you want to hang together as a cohesive pice of work, I need to set some rules.

I enjoy both phases to be honest. Just getting to the stage of looking at a big pile of demos and sketches now and trying to draw a common thread through them to help me build the box I need to finish them all off. Incidentally, I expect finishing them all off to take much much longer than demoing.