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A Drum & Bass Artist’s Guide to Structured Mayhem

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The drum and bass world… Fast-paced, ever-evolving, and requires a ton of creativity and discipline if you want to really thrive as an artist. Whether you’ve just started out and are hungry to learn new skills, or whether you’re a seasoned pro looking to maximise the time available to optimise your productivity, structure and habits hold the key that paves the way towards a successful career.

In this article I’ll be sharing real-life stories from artists I’ve worked with who have been right where you are – and we will look at the ups, the downs and how having a solid routine made all the difference.

Routines serve as the backbone for creativity and efficiency in the studio. They provide a framework that fosters both innovation and productivity, ensuring that time is well spent and ideas are continuously flowing. Balancing the natural flow of your creative sparks with a solid, well thought out routine is super important for any drum and bass artist that wants to make it big.

The Triumphs and Trials of Real-Life Artist Stories

First up, meet Lucas. When Lucas first came to me for coaching, he was a decade into his drum and bass career but struggling to stay relevant. His sound was getting stale, he was missing out on the latest trends, and honestly, he was close to burning out. We sat down and mapped out a routine that was realistic yet challenging.

We carved out time each week for him to explore new music, play with different production techniques, and collaborate with other artists. This wasn’t easy; Lucas had to juggle family commitments and fight the urge to fall back into his old, comfortable patterns. But he stuck with it. Slowly, his music began to evolve. He started gaining traction on music platforms, his fan base grew, and he even landed a few gigs that he had only dreamed of before.

Lucas’s story is a testament to the power of a dedicated routine in breathing new life into your career.

For busy artists, managing time effectively is just as crucial as nailing your skills musically. It involves setting clear goals, figuring out what needs your attention first, and carving out chunks of time specifically to work on your music, even when it feels like life is pulling you in a million directions. Staying disciplined in this way makes sure that your music-making doesn’t get sidelined, no matter how hectic your schedule gets.

Crafting your own routine is really about understanding what makes your creativity tick. You might block out certain hours just for studio time, set aside moments to brush up on your skills, or even pencil in regular breaks to chill and keep you from burning out. It’s important to remember that what works for one person might completely flop for another, so it’s all about tweaking things to fit in with your own vibe and your own way of life.

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Sofia is a rising star in the drum and bass scene. When she first came to me, she was fresh, full of energy, and ready to take on the world. But she was also “all over the place” (Her words, not mine!) – no clear goals, no structure, just raw passion.

We worked on creating a routine that harnessed that passion. We set specific hours for studio time, dedicated days for networking and marketing, and most importantly, scheduled regular breaks to prevent burnout. Sofia’s journey wasn’t smooth sailing; there were times when she felt overwhelmed, questioning if she could really make it. But through a routine that played to her strengths and gave her space to breathe, she found her footing.

Her music improved, she started getting noticed by labels, and her live performances gained a charisma that only comes from having a deep, grounded connection with your art.

Building Positive Habits for Newcomers

If you’re just starting out in the music game it is good practice to start creating positive habits right away. Think about setting some daily or weekly goals for your music making, and don’t shy away from asking for feedback. It will also be valuable for you to listen to a wide range of music for inspiration and to help you define your style. Staying on your grind and being super curious are key when you’re just getting your feet wet.

Keeping up with a routine can be tough, especially when you’re not feeling it or life throws you curveballs. The trick is to set goals that actually make sense for you, surround yourself with people who’ve got your back, and always keep in mind why you love drum and bass in the first place. Being ready to switch things up with your routine when you need to is also massively helpful, flexibility is key!

Dan was on the cusp of breaking into the drum and bass scene when a major personal setback hit him hard. His music career seemed to be slipping away, but he wasn’t one to give up. We reworked his routine, focusing on shorter, more impactful studio sessions and prioritising self-care.

Dan embraced the change, experimenting with new ways of creating music and even setting up a home studio. This shift brought a new depth to his music, blending emotion with his signature sound. His comeback was marked by an EP that resonated deeply with his audience, showcasing not just his technical prowess but his resilience and adaptability as an artist.

Dan’s journey is a powerful example of how facing challenges head-on can lead to profound personal and artistic growth.

Find the Right Routine to Fit Your Journey

In the fast-paced drum and bass scene, routines aren’t just about remaining disciplined, they’re your ticket to making a space where your passion can really bloom. When you nail down a routine that’s all yours, you’re laying down the groundwork for not just getting better at your craft, but also for feeling fulfilled on your journey in the music game.

No matter where you are in your career,  it’s always advisable to take regular moments to evaluate your routine and your actions. Are they driving you towards your goals, or pushing you further away? Are they sustainable? Do they leave room for your life outside of music?

In the end, your routine is more than just a schedule. It’s a reflection of your commitment to your craft and to yourself, remember that.

Follow Keep It Real Coaching on Instagram or visit their website to find out more about unleashing your potential as a music industry professional keepitrealcoaching.com

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*Names in this article have been changed to maintain confidentiality

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