I currently have 98 subs on the Hexspa YouTube channel. Kind of exciting. My first video was uploaded around late 2009. I started with a namesake channel but I deleted all the stuff off of it so now it’s just Hexspa.
I remember when I made my first penny through adsense. It was a cool moment. I’m not raking in millions just yet but maybe one day.
The channel has gone through several ages and phases. Currently I’m trying to emphasize original music and updates specific to Hexspa.
I wanted to do something special so I made this video and in it I do 100 pushups in sets of 10. Each 10 set lesson is related to mental strategies that can be applied to anything but project-based creative activity (like making YouTube videos or producing music) especially.
I’ll post the 10 lessons here and make a short commentary then you can go on your merry way all the richer:
Hexspa’s Ultra Wise 10 Life Tips
1. Little Things Add Up
Any time I talk to someone about what I do they generally seem to emphasize how hard music is or how they wish they had time to play. I always say the words, “little and often.” You’ve heard about consistency being important but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with that. It’s like the Japanese One Minute concept but even less rigid: just do a little and do it often. Forget about big numbers like 10,000 hours or 10 years etc. Just know that every little bit counts.
2. Keep Going Even When Things Aren’t Going Your Way
A lot of times I feel like nothing is going my way. Realistically, that’s just a feeling. It reminds me of the Zen story about when an upscale Caterer went to a Butcher shop and said he needed the best cuts for an event. The Butcher replied, “Everything in my shop is best.” This is a life philosophy. Emotions might be rough but try to remember that, in this Butcher shop, everything is best.
3. Make Use Of Imperfect Environments
Related to the last point. You might have seen that I have relatively extensive acoustic treatment happening in my place lately. You might think, “Well, I don’t have that so I can’t work.” That is false. This environment has loud neighbors, ants, spiders and they stop selling beer at midnight. Despite these negative factors (especially the last one – ugh) I work with it. Harsh environments can strengthen you or defeat you. News flash: It’s not the environment who decides which outcome occurs.
4. Always Be Promoting
The closed mouth doesn’t get fed. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Yes, in Japan they say that the outstanding nail gets hammered but you know who else gets hammered? Porn stars and those people get paid to do what I’d do for free. So who’s the real hustler? The point is if you don’t let people know who you are and what you’re about they’ll never know. You must at least be findable. Yes, they say the cream rises to the top but it won’t if it’s buried under the sour milk of your insecurities. Therefore, let people know what you’re doing. Who knows: you might run into someone who actually gives a shit.
5. Aim High
I actually learned this in Driver’s Ed. The human being seems to respond well to challenges, met with confidence, that inspire. Often, when I’m encountering a difficult period in my life, I’ll have quiet moments when I cry.
lol not. Motherfucker, thugs don’t cry!
Ok seriously what I actually do is reflect on why I do this shit at all. They call it “Your Why”. I kind of hate these self-help bookish catchphrases but, if you can put them in your own words, the ideas can be helpful. It comes down to this: if you can align your behavior with your values then you have a powerful motor behind you. You will live according to your truest values regardless. So if your true value is to express yourself on a high enough level that people like your stuff then you’re going to find a way to push through the darkness and make it to that final goal. On the other hand, if you’re aligned with fads or someone’s approval then your motivation will be weak and you won’t get passed your breaking point.
6. Work With What You’ve Got
I’m not gifted. I had early exposure to music and I had luckily found a bunch of bandmates early on. Despite these, and other, advantages I am nowhere near the success level of some other artists. That’s ok, though. Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I’m fat and/or ugly. It doesn’t matter because I’m going to do this work regardless. I don’t have infinite financial resources (who does?) etc. but instead of focusing on that I try to focus on what I want to do. I don’t use the word “accomplish” because it’s future-oriented and that kind of thing inherently brings anxiety. I’m talking about a freedom of expression in the moment. Besides overcoming obstacles, real or imagined, there’s another virtue to this point which is what I call “keeping your hand in one place”. Not that place you sick fuck but “in one place” of the sense good guitar players and keyboardists use economy of movement to make chord changes. These guys rarely bounce around the neck like an overexcited adolescent. What I’m saying is to not look toward Mars for inspiration since it’s probably right there in your fingertips, dirty toenails or bad social skills.
7. Work Through The Awkwardness
Part of being a human that pursues their own path is a sense that you’re going against the grain. While I don’t advise making an ego out of this I do say that you should expect, and become accustomed to, extreme social discomfort. Singing is like sex, for instance. Same hormones, same health benefits. However I haven’t met too many girls that fuck at the top of their lungs. You do have to sing like that, though; at least occasionally. In other words, doing creative work is going to make you feel like a total fuckwad. Get used to it.
8. Get It Done Ahead Of Time
Sort of like Aiming High, do not plan to finish your project on the day it’s due. Try to allow a couple days to rest and return to it for a final check. This will either help you get things done more quickly, have time for final revisions or give wiggle room assuming something comes up like a free giveaway at Coldstone.
9. Work Even If You Miss The Deadline
If #8 fails then just turn it in late. The key here is to not rush. Rushing is the worst thing a human can do besides pushing it. Don’t push and don’t rush. If you’re late, you’re late. If the people can’t wait then fuck ’em. If you can’t fuck ’em then kill ’em. lol jk. Thou shalt not kill, m’kay. For real tho, don’t be a gerbil on a wheel for nobody ya heard?
10. Work Before Beer (In The Clear)
Don’t be a drunken idiot unless you’ve put in some work for the day. Next topic.
Bonus 1: Work While They’re Sleeping
You’ve heard it said in the motivational videos on the internet: “You might miss parties, your graduation, your mom’s funeral or the night you lose your virginity but, goddamnit, WORK while all the other fools do that crap. You’re a winner!” I think that’s tripe made up by people with no friends. Well, I have no friends but let me put it to you like this: there are myriad ways of sleeping. TV, games, meaningless arguments, fruitless anger, FOMO etc. You can do anything you want – yes, even losing your virginity – but if you’re constantly drunk with the mainstream consumerist lifestyle then you can be guaranteed to have a life devoid of meaningful creativity.
Bonus 2: Just Finish It
…and on that note I’ll see you next week.
Give me a sub if you haven’t. Or go to Patreon and give me a dollar if you like my work. If you do happen to prefer consumerism then please buy some garbage on Amazon and I’ll make a profit.
Ethan made a few videos on music theory and I wanted to share.
Interestingly, knowledge of theory is partly what held me back from releasing music this week 🙁
However, don’t be put off of learning theory because I say that.
I started learning theory to transcend the genre-specific limits I was experiencing so many years ago. Now I’m eating at the Old Country Buffet equivalent of music at the YouTube booth. Bad metaphor? Nah!
I’m definitely still working on music but I also have the 100 YouTube subscribers video getting made. It’s a milestone and in the video I’m making I plan to commemorate the event by doing 100 pushups (in sets of 10 ’cause I’m not a beast like that – moreover spread out over several days) tied into 10 hard-learned lessons of a life on the outside.
Whoa, Hexspa chill bra.
For real tho. I’ve been a random so long that I’m not sure I could ever integrate into “normal people” life. The good news is that I’ve learned a lot about time management and getting stuff done when, on one hand, I have no boss but, on the other, homelessness is just a mistake away.
If that doesn’t have you eager to watch idk what will. But, until then, you can watch Ethan’s stuff. It’s really good even if you know about music. I know how us music folk like hearing what we already know. L O L
I linked to the YouTube version above for two reasons: 1. I get credit for sending traffic to YouTube afaik and 2. the Vimeo version wouldn’t generate a thumbnail. Here are the links (video 1 not available on YT):
If you feel like picking up the New Harvard Dictionary of Music (shown in the video) you can do so by clicking here.
And, since this video series was supposed to be a part of his book, The Audio Expert, you can support Ethan Winer (and me) by buying the book on Amazon by clicking on the title.
Thanks for reading. Sincerely sorry I couldn’t get a track up this week. Take comfort in knowing I’m doing my best and, when I do get something up, it’ll be the best I can offer.
I read an article about music producers. It was actually probably about Rick Rubin. It said that he’d get “has-beens” with “writer’s block” (which I put in quotes because people like Neil Strauss say it doesn’t exist – and I agree) to just write two words.
I say again, TWO WORDS, that inspire them – and have that in by next week. So, given that I was already in a somewhat successful band and am currently on the brink of a mid life crisis getting my career started at the tender age of 34, I thought I’d take that fucking advice.
I’ll let you ponder the meaning of the words. I can almost guarantee they apply to anyone with genitals.
Had a conversation about when I took a shower on the beach by Santa Monica pier wearing only bubbles.
Someone else had a similar experience wearing only sun.
Hence the lyrics.
Not to whine, it’s hard to make a track every week. I’m not just making tracks but also transcribing a song and writing one. That’s three projects. What I’m thinking to do is, instead of making a track and releasing it for the fourth week each month, make a review or lesson; something easier. I’m getting behind on a lot of things and a little break would be great.
I still should get another song up next week and then I was planning to review my new monitor: the Dell U2415. It’s a good one if you need a 24″ 1080p monitor.
Thanks for watching, reading and caring. Hit me up on social if you want.
Currently finishing up listening to the Billboard Hot 100, 1969; a practice of listening to hits which usually kicks off my week of writing and transcribing.
This week might be different though, considering that I barely unwrapped my keyboard this morning.
Been waking up around 4am to catch the worm. Gotta love the calm mornings!
I’m eager to get back to writing but putting together some sort of show is a priority now. I’ve got a little bit of admin to accomplish, also finishing up the acoustic treatment in this room but after that I launch my Patreon and start my email list. There are also cool Hexspa merch ideas for which I hope to arrange.
In case you actually came for Enter the Dragon then just go buy it.
My internet connection, that is. I’m about to break down my computer in this move to a new place. Being that this desk is the last bastion of comfortable insanity I have, I’m shook.
But we can fear not: I’ll be back up and better than ever in a few days at most. I have plans to build more acoustic panels and maybe even publish some results of measuring tests comparing fluffy to rigid. I’m definitely going to return to trackmaking/songwriting, make my Patreon public and hopefully begin playing shows before the end of the year.
Please sub on YouTube to keep updated. I’ll have my email list for this site happening soon too so look out for that.