The Power Tool for Music Producers (Mental Maps)

Ever been in the studio with a great producer? Watched them do a livestream?

Notice how they seem to just flow from one thing to the next?

They know exactly how to write that melody, exactly which drum samples to use. The right plugins for the right job.

It’s like the gap between thinking and doing doesn’t exist for them. Or if it does, it’s extremely small.

Where does this come from? It’s not talent. We’ve already covered that in previous emails.

It comes from having mental maps.

The producer who has strong, deeply ingrained mental maps will easily be able to enter this creative flow.

Before I share how to create these mental maps, let’s quickly break down what they actually are.

Oh, and by the way—you may need to re-read this page. It’s a concept that’s often misunderstood. But I promise you: if you take the time to understand this, it will do wonders for your creative development.

The Anatomy of a Mental Map

A mental map is essentially another way to say “skill.”

But it’s better described as subconscious skill.

Skill so deep and internalized that you don’t even have to think about what you’re doing—you just do it. You’re that damn good.

Any accomplished producer will have dozens, if not hundreds of mental maps.

But there are essentially 5 pillar mental maps that you need to develop:

This is simplified. But these are the 5 pillars. The 5 core mental maps.

From these 5 maps, you’ll have other offshoots (“sub mental maps”) that exist for specific skills.

You might have your main Composition & Programming mental map, and from that you have 5 sub maps: melody writing, chord progression writing, drum programming, lyric writing, rhythm & groove.

Now you know what mental maps are.

This knowledge alone is helpful, but we aren’t finished yet.

Because there’s still a burning question…

How on earth do I develop these mental maps?

We’ve talked about the what and the why

In the next lesson, I’ll reveal how to build these mental maps by following the quantity-first approach.

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