How Long You're on the Clock Plays a Big Role
|By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)|
Dedicated beatmakers know how meticulous the art of beatmaking is. Moreover, we all know how very methodical and diligent that we often have to be. Whether cranking out a drum framework, or even just tuning a snare sound to the right timbre, beatmaking takes focused time, just like any other musical process. With this in mind, I often wonder how long most beatmakers typically spend on the clock; you know, how long do each of us usually work on a beat?
For me, the time frame averages out to about one solid hour per beat—from concept to preliminary (pre-tracking) execution. However, that being said, I must concede that some ideas take much longer than others; and with certain styles/types of beats, I'll purposely keep crafting for another day or two, if necessary. But if after two days I find that a beat is "decent" but not DOPE—to me—, I put it on the shelf. Sometimes I come back to it in the near future; other times I simply store in my personal music vault, labeling it as something perhaps worth reworking at a later date.
Still, to be certain, when it comes to making beats, there also those times where I can rip something off rather quickly, like say, 20 or 30 minutes. But most of the time, that's certainly not typical for me. Indeed, when I create a beat in 15 minutes, it's more like a "quality check" point, a directional blueprint and barometer that confirms whether or not I'm on to something that's worth continuing. It is at this juncture that I'm most critical of myself; it's at this time where I'm brutally honest about whether my idea and structure is popping (sounding dope) or not. Therefore, if after 15 minutes I find that what I'm working on is whack—to me, I scrap the beat—no hesitation—and begin a new one in a different direction. As per my own personal standards and sense of quality control, I never plow through something just for the sake of "completing" it. If I think that a beat I'm making is even kind of whack, I scrap it and move on to another idea. I never force a beat. In this way, I assure that my music has gone through a strict quality control checkpoint.