What’s the one thing holding you back?

Simple confessions topic with three questions…

  1. What’s the number one technique or competency you feel is holding back your tracks?

  2. What’s your worst bad or lazy habit with making music?

  3. Briefly, what are you doing about it?

My answers:

  1. Drums. I legitimately feel like I get these wrong or do a kids drawing level when it comes to making patterns. I’m not looking to make a masterpiece, just the programming equivalent of a competent carry a beat drummer. Fills, transitions, creating new patterns with variations… I don’t really know where to start. The amount of 3-4 minute jams I’ve subjected friend’s ears to with a single bar drum pattern is a bit embarrassing, and I’m very sorry.

  2. Worst habit is getting a track sketch going that has some potential, maybe just cool sounds, but leaving it as soon as the process makes me feel tired. I’ve settled for sloppy timing on some of the takes, for a single bass and/or drum pattern, all sorts of yuck. I feel likes it’s the gym equivalent of doing the same amount of reps in perpetuity and never pushing through the threshold.

  3. Working on getting better at coming back to things. I’ve been home in bed with thankfully fairly mild covid for the last week so a lot of time to focus on just using the iPad. I realised that although I had several workflow options on the iPad I wasn’t actively using any of them. It would always be a bit like dipping a brush in paint then not having a bit of paper to put it on and then trying to solve the issue while my hands are full of dripping paint. So I finally got AUM setup to support this as a proper sketch environment from the start, and I’ve been hopping in and out of the same project all week, sometimes just jamming, sometimes making iterations, sometimes just copying and pasting midi sections ready for the next session.


Lack of talent.


Lack of technique on the drum kit. Specifically One handed 16th notes on the hihat at tempos above 50bpm.

Learning the correct technique to do the above.

Watching videos about it instead of actually practicing.

EDIT- these aren’t really holding me back in my tracks so much, as I use a drum machine for those. But it would be nice to able to play the beats I write on the machines.




User interface design kills me everytime. If a poorly thought out interface gets in the way of getting ideas out of my imagination I have almost zero tolerance.



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lack of time for more dedication




The fact that I despise social media.

  1. Excuses
  2. Excuses
  3. Excuses

:laughing: Funny cos it’s true.


Love that ‘excuses’ are both a technique, bad habit, and a solution.


There is no such thing as talent in my opinion. If you are interested and willing to spend the time…

What is holding me back or you? Comparing my friend, comparing.

The best times I had where when I was finding feeling in one note on the piano and then close the eyes.

Noone needs any abilities to make music. Forget that. Find something that feels right. Simple drums can feel soooo fucking right.




Haha! Yeah thats the truth! Id be huge if I could get on that filthy train.


Lack of perseverance. I have no trouble churning out 4 bar patterns. Fleshing them out and practicing enough to perform entire songs - I hardly ever get to that stage. At this point I treat making music like playing video games. I don’t have to get anywhere.


healthy attitude

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  1. Hot Pockets

  2. Not having enough Hot pockets to fuel my all night studio sessions.

  3. Buying more Hot pockets.

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Finishing “proper tracks” and turning them into “proper releases.” Consequently things languish at demo stage for ages and I lose interest in them or want to totally rework them because “I’m doing things so much better now”

[quote=“Stone262, post:1, topic:179583”]
2. What’s your worst bad or lazy habit with making music?[/quote]

I’ll make a sample flip every week without fail and work it up to being a whole track with a video etc but putting together something that’s an actual release feels like admin and I run from it. (Partially because I find the whole release process quite crippling - the social media element of it, especially)

Not enough, to be honest, but thankfully I’ve got people constantly prodding me for releases and giving me deadlines so I’m kind of improving due to lack of other options. I’m not prepared to let them down so I have no choice but to get my arse in gear. I’ve not found any actual strategies.

[The biggest problem I find with not putting things out regularly is that I love seeing how I can track the development of friends who do that from one release to the next and I’m hugely envious of it/frustrated about my lack of it]