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How many hours per day do you compose?

Discussion in 'Composition, Orchestration & Technique' started by mac, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. R. Soul

    R. Soul Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    London, UK
    Good point.
    I have perhaps 5 hours a day available for music on week days, but during those hours I have to do research for new projects, including listening to lots of music, admin stuff, bounce stems. Then at the moment I'm trying to brush up on synthesis and learn guitar as well as familiarize myself with an ever increasing amount plugins. So actual 'composing' is probably only half that time.
  2. Jerry Growl

    Jerry Growl Senior Member

    Jul 4, 2017
    I wish I had as much time for composing as many of you guys!

    I get up at 6 am and play/produce/compose till 9am , then I have to really start rushing towards work.
  3. dpasdernick

    dpasdernick Senior Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    I spend about 8-10 hours a week composing. I spend more time researching and buying new hardware and software and hanging out on VI. My day job sucks the creative life out of me and when I get home it's harder and harder to find the energy to sit down and write.
  4. Mr Mindcrime

    Mr Mindcrime Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2013
    This thread is therapeutic :)

    I suspect many of us don't "compose" nearly as much as we'd like to. Family, marriages, jobs, other interests, etc. all have a place and priority in our lives. To be as good as I'd like to be, there would have to be compromises and sacrifices.....things I've just not been willing to do. It helps that I've been blessed with a tremendous day job and career, so to have taken the full-time musician/composer plunge at any point along the way, just wasn't in my cards. I tried the full-time guitar playing gig for a couple of years, many years ago, but the lifestyle just wasn't for me.

    ......but I still dream (fantasize?) about composing a major film score one day.

    I play guitar in a couple of church bands so I spend 8-10 hours a week or so with that commitment (playing and practicing). As far as the original question.... I spend about 10 hours a week "composing". Composing for me for the past couple of years included a lot of learning curve stuff after I switched to Cubase (thanks Sonar), learning libraries, learning to record and mix, basically learning the tools of the trade. I think in 2018, composing will mean more "composing", and not as much "learning."

    Given my life, 20 hours a week devoted to music is as good as I could hope for. I'm in a good place mentally about it all, so I'm happy. I just have to constantly remind myself that I'm not Hans....... (self in mirror....."you are Roger...you are not Hans...... you are Roger..... you are not Hans...")

    paularthur likes this.
  5. Polkasound

    Polkasound Senior Member

    My band work slows down after the holidays, so I do most of my album production work in January, February, and March. When I'm running full steam ahead, it's not unusual for me to put in over sixty hours a week writing and composing.
  6. TimCox

    TimCox Senior Member

    Oct 14, 2013
    I don't get as much time as I want, generally from 7am to 10:30am daily. The longer the better of course. I almost never miss a day of composing. I'd prefer to work 9 hours a day but since I'm not making a living doing this yet...well you know the drill!

    On the flip side, I kind of think having such a narrow window has helped me to work efficiently. I for sure have taught myself to pull out what's in my head quicker out of necessity.
  7. Alex Fraser

    Alex Fraser Senior Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    I started at 9 this morning, and will be going until about 2am. (I write for a living.)
    It's not good and my work/life balance is completely wrong at this point. I aim to get on top of things, but for now...coffee..
    TIM_STEVE_97, N.Caffrey and TimCox like this.
  8. Guy Bacos

    Guy Bacos Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    I hate to say it, but I seem to compose between watching Youtube videos, often CNN, or anything interesting. But composing is the easy part, the programming and production is much more time consuming.
    stonzthro and Iskra like this.
  9. storyteller

    storyteller Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2015
    Haha. +1. I was going to say something similar. I think the composing part seems like it should be 90% of the work, but it turns out that mixing, fixing, and production take the bear's share of my time. For example, I've spent the better part of yesterday and today mixing one song (albeit it is an 80+ track pop/rock tune). It will most certainly spill into this week too.
  10. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic Senior Member

    Oct 19, 2015
    Since I have to fit my composing time around a full-time job, lately it has been averaging out to around 2-3 hours per day (less on weekdays, more on weekends and during vacations). Not enough. :(
  11. Iskra

    Iskra Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2016
    Absolutely true. Had I had a mind-reading machine could program and refine for me, I would have composed more symphonies than Haydn by now...
    I'm not composing for a living, so I usually devote around 3-4 hrs per day during the week. Weekend is for kids and I want it like that. That's probably the minimum, if I'm concentrated into something, I could spend probably 6 or 7 hours, go to bed at 3 a.m. and get up to day job at 7. I not only spend time composing, but also playing piano, learning stuff, etc. But for me that's also part of the process, my ideas flow better in front of the instrument, and there are just so many things you can apply directly into composition/arranging while/after learning new techniques or a new plugin.
    As stated by many above, nothing like a deadline to boost inspiration with less transpiration. ;)
  12. JPQ

    JPQ Senior Member

    Jul 31, 2010
    Less than i should. i try made some music this month. i have so many ideas and finally i have some level sounds most my ideas.
  13. dariusofwest

    dariusofwest Senior Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    3 to 6 hours (no more than 7)
  14. Replicant

    Replicant Senior Member

    Jul 16, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I hope this is where AI will be of help.

    Like, I hope that in the not-too-distant future, I can just take the piano sketch, and tell the computer to orchestrate it for the samples I have and set specific parameters, and it will then do exactly that.
    TIM_STEVE_97 likes this.
  15. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 Senior Member

    Feb 8, 2016
    Replicant...that is too scary. Missing out on the personal artistic journey of learning and growing and finding yourself....or am I an old fucker who doesn't..no wait, I am right....it'd be a terrible shame, not for any art or artifice, but for the person themselves....;)
  16. TIM_STEVE_97

    TIM_STEVE_97 Senior Member

    Dec 21, 2016
    From 12pm, 1 hour a day for music college studies. Straight to 6-8 hours writing music, from 1pm to 9pm. Next 8 hrs is spent writing screenplays and story scripts, ending by 5 or 6 am. Then only to wake up the 'next day', feeling tired and unsatisfied. You know the feeling.. I wish there were twice as more hours but wouldn't you all.. Or AI, it doesn't seem that shameful for me:
    I wouldn't mind an AI or a 'copy of my brain' that writes music and stories based on the algorithm of my 'brain'. It wouldn't be imo, fake or not authentic. It would work exactly like how our individual brains would. No more no less.
    But like time, technology will never be enough. And won't be long for some robot guy to write a few hundred songs a minute and puts me out of work, or end humanity while its at it, like the many movies have educated us :P. I'm just going to be in my cave enjoying writing on stone and paper until that happens.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
  17. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

    Sep 7, 2015
    E. YeeHaw, Indiana
    Six minimum; starting at 4 am. Usually by the time 10 rolls around I have the most important things done. After that, if I do work, I just neaten up things I did earlier.
  18. ptram

    ptram Senior Member

    Nov 30, 2013
    I try to devote at least half an hour to music composition, right before going to bed. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to be able to devote a whole weekend to composing. But it is a rare event, since this spare time is also contended by creative writing and ongoing university studies. Oh, yes, and there are all those hours lost in either a full-time job, or the full-time job of finding a full-time job.

    Sketching music in my mind: everytime, while awake or sleeping. While at a meeting or when out for a walk. I compose continually. Nobody will hear that music, that I will not have time to transcribe, but I warrant you it is great music!

  19. MattCurious

    MattCurious Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    I think context is important on threads like this. I have two/three days a week to write, but that's only because I've been able to tune my first career over four years so I can now work less for about the same money. A long time ago, I knew a musician who became very successful because he could afford to write and tour full time (his parents paid for him) whereas I had to quit the band to pay rent.

    The Buddhists have a saying, which is that you can't devote all your time to mindfulness - sometimes you just have to "bake bread" and take care of the fundamentals of living.

    There's no percentage in beating yourself up for not writing for a while. I haven't done anything for a month or so because my studio PC blew up and my wife just gave birth to our daughter. Fortunately, the library I'm working for has been very understanding. But if they weren't? Well. Sometimes you have to bake bread (or change a nappy).
    ptram likes this.
  20. MrLinssi

    MrLinssi A glorified bedroom musician.

    Oct 1, 2016
    My hours are very uneven, but I know that I don't compose enough. :sad:

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