The code of the beat.

Guard Against Beat Block

1

Shifting Emphasis to Practice May be the Answer

By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)

Beatmaking is a meticulous process; and needless to say, it can often get intense. Therefore, repeated extensive sessions of making beats will undoubtedly take its toll on a beatmaker. Plus, throw in dealing with life outside of music (as if life without music is really even possible, right?), and what we usually get is the infamous “beat block.”

So the common question is, How do you deal with beat block is when it happens? For me, I take an aggressive approach; I defend against even having beat block in the first place by actually factoring in routine breaks and “time outs.” When I didn’t have a set plan or routine for making beats, I used to always run into beat block. But it was only after I shifted my scope to simply practicing was I able to conquer the beat block issue.

I elevated the process of practicing making beats above the notion of making beats itself. Instead of worrying about making beats, I concentrated on practicing making beats. That had a profound effect on my approach to, and efficiency in, making beats. What I began doing (and I still do), is I set aside certain days and times specifically devoted to practicing making beats.

Though the exact day and time may change, the process always stays the same for me. I commit the time to practice, then I practice! At the beginning of each practice, it is never really my primary goal to make a beat. On the contrary, my goal is to always get better at the art of beatmaking. If a beat (or beats) is (are) actually created in my process of practice, then I look at that as only the residual effects of the practice itself.

Furthermore, the aim for me in a typical practice session is to try incorporate both my ideas and intuition in a way that makes sense to me. In order to do this, that is, in order to see if it “works,” I have to insert my ideas and intuition into a beat structure. And thus, in doing so, I am consciously aware of the fact that a quality beat (or series of beats) may emerge. Yet it is precisely because of my fundamental concept and use of practice that making a new beat is never my primary goal; instead, exploring, and then successfully implementing, new ideas and intuition is always my main goal. Following this approach, I’m never discouraged from practicing; and therefore, I never run into beat block.


The BeatTips Manual by Sa’id.
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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual