Major productivity hack for musicians


Hey it’s Andrew Huang. Today I’m recording a whole bunch of guitar, let’s bring it back over to the studio I thought I would talk today about the assembly line I think there’s a misconception about music creation that every moment is somehow inspired, and that’s really not true It’s definitely one of those 1% inspiration 99% perspiration Things that… I believe it was Rob Thomas who said that… the assembly line also invented by Rob Thomas was first applied in car Manufacturing where things would move down the line and every employee would have only one specific Part of building a car that they were working on and of course that makes efficiency go like this And I apply something sort of like that in my music creation Process where I break things down into the steps that need to be taken until a song is completed and then sometimes like today I will spend an entire afternoon working on the same step in multiple different projects. I’ve got this album I’ve been working on for far too long, but let me show you my file naming system. These are all the tracks I’m still working on and you can see before each title I have some letters with commas after them g means guitar ly means lyrics v means vocals and I have others that I might use Depending on what I need to do still you know, keys, bass Whatever, and this just helps me keep track of what needs to be done Or what I know needs to be done because there’s still room at any point for creativity to creep in Inspiration to creep in maybe I’ll add a dog barking maybe I’ll add a Kazoo when I’ve already made a note right in the file name of what needs to be done next it makes it so much easier for me to jump back into that project. The reason for the Commas is if I’m using spotlight search, and I just put g in it’ll come up with all kinds of results But once I throw down that comma it brings up Everything that I need to play guitar on. And so on a day like today I am swooping in there to write and record guitar parts on seven different tracks So in my setup, you know, plugging in getting levels, tuning up, warming up I’m saving a bit of time because I’m doing it once for seven tracks rather than seven times if I were working on these songs Individually. But I think an equally important part of this is the removal of the mental barrier of needing to do all these boring things Before you can get to the fun part. I’m set up for my first song which means I’m set up for any number of songs I want to do after that. So I’m always thinking about how much further I can optimize conditions for my work I heard somewhere that something as simple as keeping an instrument on a stand rather than in a case Exponentially increased how much musicians practice because you don’t have to think nearly as hard about Practicing if your instrument’s just sitting out there ready to go. It takes basically zero effort to just pick it up For reals now though, guitar time I want to start with a track that has shown up on my channel before in that video where I made a bunch of weird Melodies and sampled my chair and flew to Playlist I wasn’t quite able to finish that track because I had misplaced something which I have now found, my tremolo arm Okay, cool, and we’re moving on. That’s the other thing too about this method I’m just playing guitar today. Anything to do with picking takes or editing or dialing in my tone, that can all come later when I’m sitting down in front of the computer This is guitar time, just you and me baby. This next track gets into some crazy acid towards the end But in the first half it’s much more chill And I think I want to learn the synth part here and double it with a guitar I’m trying to come up with a part right now but it’s eluding me So I’m going to make a MIDI instrument and draw notes in until I’ve found something that I like and then learn that On guitar. It’s interesting because this usually happens the other way around I’m on my computer, and I’m trying to make a melody and it’s really unnatural to come up with melodies by clicking a mouse So I pick up an instrument, play around for a bit, and come up with something much more easily. In this case I think what was going on is that I don’t know what chords are in this song I still don’t really know so while trying to figure out what to play I was also trying to decipher this harmonic Information in my head, and then I’d come up with something for one bar But forget what I had done in the previous bar. Anyway, whatever works It’s just good to know different options for approaches I can take to creating this stuff. And now we learn it on guitar I think I might actually tweak that MIDI sound and leave it in as an extra layer that’s another little tip is to double stuff with a synthesizer. A bunch of my tracks if you think you’re just hearing a piano it’s Actually a piano and a synthesizer or a guitar is actually a guitar and a synthesizer Sometimes the synthesizer is a synthesizer with some other synthesizer. And speaking of different approaches this next part I just came up with by singing. I want to do something that’s a little like that get that get that [He’s not actually singing words, these just have a similar sound to what he’s singing] Well team, hope you enjoyed that, hope it was helpful to you Hope it won’t be too long before I release this music for reals, if you’re not subscribed here yet Do, do the subscribing

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100 thoughts on “Major productivity hack for musicians”

  1. J A K O B G R O E S S L says:

    Whats the name of that amazing guitar? 😍

  2. Lawrence Cooper says:

    awesome insight into your creative process! thanks for sharing this Andrew!

  3. Rolly Praise says:

    Hey can you talk mor about the way you work with you file sistem I do have problems with that.

  4. Thomas Korth says:

    Thomas Edison said it

  5. Sunny XIV says:

    Hi Andrew do you have some beats for Sale? I really like your work.

  6. Zak Lucero says:

    Why am I listening to advice from a producer i've never listened to…

  7. D Willimoto says:


  8. Mariela Band says:

    Dude, I love this video. Really speaks to the way I wanna approach life!

  9. Diego Oliveira says:

    From all these YouTubers who "play" music, this guy is the only one imo who really has it. He's a musician.

  10. kevon paul says:

    Need some serious cable management lol.

  11. Jon-Thomas Royston says:

    Very dope shirt

  12. Ruslan LUKOVSKII says:

    SO beautiful Ibanez! What model is it?

  13. Blue Rectangle says:

    it is actually said by Thomas Alva Edison

  14. Emmanuel Batista says:

    Hey, applause for Andrew Huang's computer keyboard. It's gone through a lot and its a warrior!

  15. jeff7775 says:

    Tesla > Rob Thomas

  16. Luis Cantero says:

    Pablo Picasso said art is 10% inspiration 90% transpiration. 😉

  17. Alexander D says:

    Simple answer, stop watching YouTube

  18. JakeSofa says:

    Wow. I love this. I’m all about workflow improvement. Thanks for a great vid!

  19. Nick Warren says:

    I have too much of a one-track mind to work this way. I tend to obsess over one song until it is complete. I’ve set up my studio so that all my instruments and hardware are always plugged in– or set up to be plugged in– and levels are pretty much always set to record. That way, when I have an idea it’s super easy for me to go to a piece of gear, turn it on, set up a new channel in the DAW, and just start doing it.

  20. Tomas Hegyi says:

    did i see the sausage plugin in the speeded up sequence in the end? 😀

  21. David DiMuzio says:

    Thumbs up for the Rob Thomas jokes 🙂

  22. Laser DuChamp says:

    cool : )

  23. Nick Scott says:

    What kind of mixer do you use?

  24. Robbert Redert says:

    dude that guitar is cool. also great video! keep it up, you've got a new sub!

  25. RIOTTIDE Recording Company says:

    What kind of guitar is that?!? The Headstock is always blurry or cropped!

  26. Santiago Gutierrez says:

    Wait a min…what guitar are you playing with Andrew? It looks rly cool!

  27. Heyitsvonage says:

    2:10 also exponentially increases how distracted you will become if you work from home 😁

  28. Ashish Ali says:

    Where can I get that T shirt?

  29. George Dielman says:

    Do you record your guitar via mic or do you use some kind of interface to go directly into ableton?

  30. Astrel Vibez says:

    Sweet Hack, thanks for posting! 🙂

  31. richard t says:

    I’m not sure I understand. I have an audio interface which is always connected to my PC. There is an input from my interface names in my DAW for the guitar. I have a guitar next to my PC. So if I want to record guitar it takes seconds to plug it in and tune up. It’s not like I’m packing everything away and putting my interface in storage everyday.

  32. Matthew Liu says:

    How do you hook up the guitar to the computer?

  33. whitekid345895 says:

    "remove the mental barrier"

    This. This is why we practice. Practice guitar, practice recording, practice mastering, practice organization.

    Then life is fun and easy!

  34. D. Chavez says:

    I always miss the high five. Dang it.

  35. Greg Vegelj says:

    you mr. Huang!! Are a modern genius i my eyes! Respect to you

  36. Greg Vegelj says:

    track at 6:07 is super dope!!! I will buy if you release it

  37. Greg Vegelj says:

    actually all that you do has such huge creativity in it I would buy all of it 😀 gj mr. Huang

  38. Steven Austin says:

    cheers for the tips dude, I'll be sure to implement that filing tip in my music project from here on, cheers from Ireland 😉

  39. Steven Austin says:

    also, how long have you played guitar?

  40. KamikazeKid says:

    Lean Manufacturing at its finest 😀 Well done Andrew! I may have to try this method myself!

  41. Billy Cellist says:

    It’s a whammy bar

  42. Manuel Encalada says:


  43. ElectroFreak1816 says:

    great video! i need that song from the end. also the assembly line was invented by frederick taylor

  44. Nahre Sol says:

    This is one of my favorite videos of yours and I'm revisiting it today to give me inspiration to organize my workflow! :)))

  45. Nimit Vaishnav says:

    Andrew! Your left monitor is about to fall!!

  46. peter james says:

    That's exactly why I rarely practice. The baritone sax is just such a pain to pull out and my room is so tiny. I literally bought an Alto just so I can practice more than once every other month

  47. ivon rokko says:

    The guitar stand trick works for real flipping on my light pretty much starts up my whole studio I sit down at my computer turn 90° to my left guitar right there couldnt be any easier I play every day

  48. tomazbevilaqua says:

    props for the matching reverb on the clap at the intro

  49. trivii says:

    killin it as always andrew. I have learned so much from your channel. Thank you for all of the information and tips you give out!

  50. ThingStuffs says:

    So, do you get to mixing/mastering day and just regret being born? That seems to me like what would happen tbh.

  51. Brett Orr says:

    Recent subscriber who is loving this channel, watching basically everything you've posted.

  52. Ramon Middleton says:

    What kind of guitar is that?

  53. setphaser says:

    what is it with pesky tremolo arms? i love that all my productivity problems are the same as everyone else’s, which means it’s not about me. it doesn’t mean everyone else’s hacks will work for me, but it is true the guitar stand in the living room next to the tv means i’m playing a HEAP more.

  54. Ben Ames Music says:

    This tip helped me overcome some major writers block so thank you

  55. Ambient Pedals says:

    What brand guitar is that?

  56. theTerribleFamiliar says:

    Man… good tips, but kinda takes the fun out of it. I got into playing music when I was young because it was fun, I got to create things with my friends, and girls liked it. Play a few guitar chords, write some lyrics, sing your heart out… I suppose when you're a "producer", that changes the flow.

  57. Paul Prato says:

    Spotlight hack FTW.

  58. Dwellings says:

    Hey! Thanks for sharing your process. I am rebuilding a studio set up and imagining near future work flow. (You need gear first! Then work flow).

  59. Wolfie says:

    Does anyone know what guitar he’s using? I’ve been trying to find HSH telecasters with trem systems

  60. MrFocusProdigy says:

    Like the video Andrew but 1.5m subscribers is musical MONOPOLY. you got enough buddy share some of the love with the kids who can't afford the equipment or the environment to record.

  61. minus 9us says:

    that an ibanez talman? sick

  62. Death_The_Pizza says:

    i swear this is one of the most satisfying channels to watch with an audio visualizer


    Have you died and gone to bedroom producer heaven?!!!! Much respect, love your vids 😉

  64. GdMABtch says:

    What kind of Tele is that?!

  65. Landry Tucker says:

    How did you set up your guitar to ableton?

  66. Jonas Owen says:

    SON OF A B#*%H!……damn it.
    …..good ideas…

  67. Evan Williams says:

    What make is the studio desk and where can I buy? thanks

  68. M love says:

    Thank you! ❤️

  69. Josh Montederamos says:

    Love the shirt!

  70. Matthew Nolan Millar says:

    Very good and useful tip. Thanks. 🙂

  71. J L says:

    Yup I love music as much as this guy but he makes hella money just making music so he can do this all day and not worry about that paycheck

  72. Elizabeth Postol says:

    Hi! Do you connect your guitar straight to Audio interface, or mic it up from guitar amplifier? If firs, how do you deal with latency? Thanks!

  73. Driftliketokyo34 Ftw says:

    It was Henry Ford who made the production line.

  74. Franz He says:

    Its Henry Ford(assembly line)

  75. 111 Official says:

    thanks a lot

  76. wagwan says:

    it was edison

  77. Threelly AI says:


  78. On Your Drugs says:

    "All Art Was Once Contemporary", huh? Sounds like a loaded statement. I wish my digital art was "contemporary" enough to pay my rent….

  79. 75hilmar says:

    Nice. Love it. Like when you try several sets of samples, find three or four good loops, take a generic beat, the drums can be fitted later, then create like ten to twenty beautiful loop snippets that you can all use later on if you stumble across them.

  80. Prince Westerburg says:

    I still can't believe you work on a laptop – like, HOW?!?

  81. TorgeGaming says:

    honestly this idea seems so simple but it has really opened my eyes alot more, thank you mr huang

  82. Silent says:

    Ay, this album out yet? And if so, what's it called? The songs showed in this vid sounded dope as hell

  83. annabelleshaus says:

    What guitar is thattttt, brand model etc??

  84. Brian Anderson says:

    I really don't get it. What is the hack? To jam guitar to your tracks?

  85. Ryan Robinson says:

    Amazing tips for one, but your guitar playing makes me jealous. I’m mainly a guitar player and I would be keen to see more vids based around how you go about playing

  86. titznkronos says:

    3:00 no offense but i think u put too much fx on the guitar

  87. Togi Tegan says:

    Do subscribe to it!

  88. krouchingtigerr says:

    Amazing tips. Great applicability outside of music as well!

  89. MPswagger says:

    What song is that at 5:46

  90. Pauluz de Boskabouter says:

    Tetikki tekkatek Tetikke tekkatek! 5:34

  91. Mopsie says:

    Man you are so fucking creative. Thanks for the tips

  92. Anselm Kühl says:

    Which pc do you use, also recoment to start music production?

  93. Jammin' with Jambo says:

    Send you love man…your vids and info are damn cool 👍🏾🎶♥️🎶👍🏾

  94. julioagueros says:

    Do you usually record guitar direct?

  95. Burcu Gönül says:

    Really helpful, thank you for this video. By the way I absolutely loved your tshirt! 🙂

  96. lincoln pepper says:

    1:42 i'm annoyed that you didn't play the last string

  97. Tom Cast says:

    You hold your pick like Pat Metheny

  98. Fayella says:

    Great tips!! I really appreciate that you shared some of your workflow tips. I still have to work on my own workflow, so I'm definitely going to incorporate the overall tasking regime you offered

  99. Olive Fiddle Sticks says:

    Efficiency and consistent sounds throughout an album.. and so simple. If I had seen this before recording my EP, things would have gone sooooo much faster haha. Thanks for the tips Andrew, I will definitely be applying this method to my next big project 🙂

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