Ill Gates Book Club: Top 5 Essential Reads For DJs + Producers

Every performer, producer, DJ, and artist will find themselves seeking inspiration wherever they can find it. In today’s fun Friday video, Ill Gates shares some of his biggest sources of inspiration. We’re calling it the Ill Gates Book Club – watch the full video to see what written works he recommends. Keep reading to get a quick summary of each, and why it’s worth taking time out of your busy schedule to read them.

Essential Books For Music Makers = Ill Gates’ Book Club

“Everything that I know I’ve learned from reading and applying what I’ve read” – Ill Gates

Book #1: The Artist’s Way

  • Author: Julia Cameron
  • Price: ~$14 on Amazon 
  • Why Does Ill Gates Recommend?: It’s a 12 week program that builds solid habits for every artist
  • Amazon Editorial Review excerpt: “Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan lead you through a comprehensive twelve-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity.”

Book #2: Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers

  • Author: Dennis DeSantis
  • Price: $10 on Amazon
  • Why Does Ill Gates Recommend?: Music production book about problem solving and being effective – so good that Ableton decided to go into book making to put it out!
  • Amazon review excerpt: “Never before have those vague “unanswerables” about creativity been so well answered, at least as it pertains to electronic music production. This book is definitely focused on electronic production (not EDM genres in specific) – the composition side, the neglected one.”

Book #3: Flow

  • Author: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Price: $6.99 on Amazon
  • Why Does Ill Gates Recommend?: A psychological guide to entering the magical state of flow – where you don’t have to think about the work behind creative processes like making music.
  • Amazon review excerpt: “In work, sport, conversation or hobby, you have experienced, yourself, the suspension of time, the freedom of complete absorption in activity. This is “flow,” an experience that is at once demanding and rewarding–an experience that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates is one of the most enjoyable and valuable experiences a person can have”

Book #4: The War Of Art

  • Author: Steven Pressfield
  • Price: $9.91 on Amazon
  • Why Does Ill Gates Recommend?: About getting out of your own way in order to achieve a state of flow – all while still being easy to read and understand.
  • Amazon review excerpt: “Pressfield’s book aims to help readers “overcome Resistance” so that they may achieve “the unlived life within.” Whether one wishes to embark on a diet, a program of spiritual advancement or an entrepreneurial venture, it’s most often resistance that blocks the way. To kick resistance, Pressfield stresses loving what one does, having patience and acting in the face of fear.”

Book #5: The 4-Hour Chef (and other Tim Ferriss books)

  • Author: Timothy Ferriss
  • Price: $20 on Amazon
  • Why Does Ill Gates Recommend?: Tim uses the process of becoming a chef as a way to learn how to learn – a very valuable skill.

More reading recommendations for DJs and producers: 

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