What Frogger Can Teach You About Making Music

froggerI was out with some friends at a bar the other night where they have old school arcade games that you can play for free!!! It’s called The One Up and I recommend checking it out if you’re in the Sherman Oaks area!
We had a couple drinks and got busy playing anything and everything! We played Dig Dug, Burger Time, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and more.
But the one that we really had trouble with was FROGGER!
We couldn’t even get past the first level for the first half an hour we tried playing it. However, the more we played, the more I started realizing all of the ways that Frogger is just like making music! Here’s what I figured out:
You can get over confident and mess up.
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Frogger: It seems like such a simple task of taking the frog across the street and across the stream to the other side until you actually give it a try for yourself.
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Music: Watching videos of other producers making entire tracks in 10-15 minutes can make it seem like producing music is such an easy thing to do. Until you give it a try for yourself and you get stuck listening to the same 4 bar loop for the next 2 hours.
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Lesson: Study your craft by learning more about how you can better use the tools you have or to find new and better tools. Find out what you struggle with and then find out how you can make it work for you.
You can be under confident.
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Frogger: Not jumping in time will cause the frog to get run over or drown in the water. (By the way, why the hell can’t the damn frog swim…)
music iconMusic: Sometimes not getting the results you want after you sit down to make music can be a real confidence killer. Also, when you’re in the creative vibe and you are not sure of what you want to make you can quickly lose those creative juices by not taking that opportunity to act on your inspiration.
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Lesson: Be prepared! Have your tools ready for work so when the creative juices strike you can take advantage of them. Also, don’t second guess yourself when you’re in the creative flow. Just let the ideas come out and then go back after you’ve exhausted your ideas and remove or set aside the ideas that don’t work to make room for new ones.
You can over think it.
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Frogger: It took me a little while to realize that the frog just had to jump into the open square on the other side without having to wait for the fly to appear. The fly gives you bonus points (in case you were wondering).
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Music: You might run into the problem of being paralyzed by the thought of trying to finish an entire song. Or you might get yourself stuck trying to find that sound that you hear in your head. Both of these are serious problems that can keep you stuck in creative hell and it comes from over thinking.
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Lesson: Stop thinking so much and just start doing. You’ll learn a lot more from trying things out then wondering if something will work or not. If you thought of creating an entire song scares you then start by creating something smaller. It’s easier to create a short loop and then duplicate that loop a few times and start removing parts. Before you know it you’ll have a short track and you might even get ideas for adding to that in order to make a full length song.
The odds are stacked against you!
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Frogger: In the game, time is always counting down and to make things even harder there’s a poison frog that makes time go away faster if it manages to jump onto your frog.
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Music: Ever feel like there’s not enough time in the day or you feel creative whenever you’re not next to your creative space and tools? You might find yourself deciding not to open up that session because you don’t “have enough time” to really do any work. Or you might find that you get interrupted and before you know it, the time you set aside to make some music is all spent.
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Lesson: Don’t let other people be the poison frog in your creative session. Shut off your phone, disconnect from wifi, turn off notifications. Do whatever it takes to give yourself some uninterrupted creative time.
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Frogger: Once you actually do make it to the other side, you have to start all over again but everything starts moving faster and there are more cars and obstacles to overcome.
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Music: Once you actually finish a song you have to begin the whole process all over again. Just finishing one song may have seemed like a mountain of a task but then you have to register your song or shop it to labels or artists. Then there is distribution if you want to sell it yourself, contracts, marketing, etc. The obstacles just seem to keep piling up.
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Lesson: Creating music is an un ending process but it should be a process that you enjoy. If creating music is more frustrating then fun, you might just need to learn a few things to get you turned around. There are courses to help you get over the technical barriers and even ones to help you with the creative barriers. Every problem has a solution and if you don’t find a suitable solution for yourself then create your own!
If you’re running into any of those problems then you’re not alone! I’ve been there and felt that pain too. I’ll be sharing something in the near future to show you how you can cut down that learning curve! I’m rounding up a small group of absolute newbie producers and I’ll be guiding them through the shortest path to creating a radio ready song.
I’ll be sharing the results of this test group as it unfolds. The result of this project will good for you because I’ll be fine tuning my process and then sharing that process with you so that you can take your music production to the next level too!
Be sure to hit the share buttons below if you got something from this. Chances are someone else could use this info too!


J.R. Noble

Pro Audio Enthusiast And Digital Marketer

Who Likes To Blame It On The Boogie