My two part definition of beat block is: the mental brick wall preventing one from completing a beat; a point in time when leaving a beat to die is necessary. These are circumstances I’m far too familiar with and something I continue to struggle with even with “x” amount of years producing beats.
In the case of the mental brick wall, this situation relies on the following negative characteristics: self doubt, distraction, laziness, lack of ambition, and procrastination. The good, these can be overcome with their positive counterparts: confidence, focus, motivation, drive, and doing something now. If this is what you have to deal with, you’re more than equipped to overcome beat block. Don’t sweat the imperfections so much, stay tuned to one task at a time, and take as long as you need to – you can always revisit your work. Most especially, follow your gut and trust your ears.
Now through the fog of that cranial noise lies the be all end all of beat block, the death of a beat. Realizing that a beat cannot work is something that not only takes time and experience, but can also serve to be a positive thing. The truth is, there are musical combinations and conflicting sounds that aren’t sensible. I’m not a trained musician so I can’t back myself up with logic, but what I do know is that if you just can’t get something to groove after working on it for a long period of time, it was probably dead to begin with. The plus in all this is that it can save valuable time and let you focus on making better music. In with the bap, out with the wack!
The beatmaker’s population of works is littered with audible garbage, it’s just the nature of the beast. But man, those 1 or 2 out of 5-10 that emanate your soul back to you through sound are worth the extra scrolling through your collection of beats. They are the reason we choose not to toss this art aside and call it a hobby.