Finding time to be creative

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Bassist4Life, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY

    As I get older (I'm 31), I find it harder and harder to find time to sit and compose, arrange, and practice music. I have wife, two kids, and I am a public school orchestra director. It seems as if the only time to really get into my music is at 10 or 11 at night when everyone has gone to sleep.

    I know that a lot of people think that composing is an inspired act (and it can be); however, there is a great deal of problem solving involved. Especially when you're attempting to create a solo/multitrack arrangement for a 4 string electric bass with 20 frets. I have a MIM Fender P-Bass (in case you're wondering where I got those parameters).

    When do you find the time to sit down and work out your compositions? I'm sure your life is very busy with traveling, doing clinics/masterclasses, performing solo/ensembles, practicing for those performances, studio sessions, and visiting Talk Bass. Oh yeah, there's the eating and sleeping part too. :) Then there's the everyday tasks that take up so much time; like paying bills. :scowl: Of course, there is the lovely time that you spend with your family,friends, and pets. :D

    When do you find the time to create such intricate and beautiful music for the bass? Do you keep a "sketchbook"? Do you have a portable recorder where you put down your ideas? Do you work your ideas out at the piano and make it work on the bass? Do you notate music before playing it, or is it the other way around? How? How does it all happen?

    Although I don't know you, you appear to be a centered and balanced individual. You don't look all stressed out. What is your secret?

  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Boy, can I relate! There just doesn't seem to be enough time in this busy age, does there? I never have as much time to compose as I’d like and like you, Joe, I find it frustrating. I do keep little notes, either on an audio recorder of some kind or on paper, of ideas I’d like to develop. I listen to or look at these when I’m driving, on airplanes or have to wait somewhere and allow them to kick around a bit in my mind. I find a lot of the composition process gets done subconsciously so that when I do finally have time to sit down and work things out (and it can be months or even years after getting the ideas!) I already know what I want to do. I try to work within the parameters I have and sometimes I find that having a bit of a time crunch is actually beneficial to the creative process!