Thank Goodness for Broken Guitars

What a happy coincidence that in the nineteen-seventies my father’s guitar got a gigantic crack. So, this worthless guitar was handed over to me – and suddenly I was always busy. I never became an outstanding guitarist, but I had the broken thing in my hands every day, eventually bought something of more value, and thus the door finally opened to extremely exciting fields like songwriting, music production and audio engineering.
I think I can call myself a happy person, which doesn’t mean that I walk around with a smile on my face all the time or that I never have any sorrows. But I simply don’t have time for boredom or even depression.

When I now consider the basic theses of the increasingly popular research into happiness, I am shown remarkable possibilities for interpreting why I tend to see myself on the sunny side of life. Admittedly, this is a rather personal approach. But since you are also interested in producing and making music, a worthwhile transfer to your life doesn’t seem so far-fetched to me. Here are three theses from the field of happiness research that run like a common thread through various studies and go perfectly with what I would like you to understand:

1. Happiness needs meaningfulness and appreciation

Music is as old as mankind and still a highly topical subject. It is probably not very speculative to claim: as long as there are people, music will be hugely important.
That alone makes it seem reasonable for me to occupy myself with as many aspects of music as possible and to enjoy spending time with it. I consider it a highly valuable privilege to be able to earn my living in this constantly evolving field of work.
When I work on my songs or for clients, it is definitely an important and meaningful use of time for everyone involved, and everyone is serious about it. It only stops when everything really falls into place, and this lived passion automatically creates a positive feeling and constructive feedback.

2. Creativity and focus lead to happiness

Experts agree that everyone can be creative and that this ability to create something new contributes to our well-being. It is in this context that the term “flow” comes up, when someone gets completely involved in what they are doing. This can be measured by electroencephalography (EEG), and interestingly, the measurement results of meditators and musicians are the same.
I constantly notice that for me, time in the studio passes as quickly as it used to when I was playing as a child. Not surprisingly, EEG curves of playing children also show this pleasantly relaxed flow state.

3. Happiness is transferable

Since togetherness is one of our most primal needs and the mood of those around us often affects us, it is important that our environment is right. In the many years that I have been dealing daily with people who are involved with music in a wide variety of ways, it is striking that I have only extremely rarely been confronted with bad temper, nastiness or destructiveness. On the contrary, everyone always seems to be aware that a positive attitude is an essential basis for good results. The increasing number of publications dealing with the positive influence of music on resilience should also be seen in this context. For me, it is absolutely understandable that making music strengthens social skills and self-confidence in one’s own capabilities. This not only helps to cope with difficult situations in life, but also to maintain a daily balance.

Ultimately, we are all addicted to happiness. Researchers attribute our feelings of happiness to endogenous hormones such as endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. To get enough of them in our blood, we need a worthwhile goal and the ability to get excited about getting there. By a lucky coincidence in the nineteen-seventies, I was granted both.

Luckily, HOFA-College offers online courses that make it easy for you to learn audio engineering and music production at home. Find more information on our online academy and the best audio engineering online courses here.


Jochen Sachse
Jochen Sachse
Jochen Sachse can look back on over 30 years of experience as a professional audio engineer. He is the CEO of the HOFA GmbH. His work with national and international artists makes him and his studios one of the first addresses in Germany when it comes to professional recording, mixing or mastering. He has been teaching audio engineering at the HOFA-College since 2005.

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