Dealing with writers block

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by PatientMental76, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. PatientMental76

    PatientMental76 SS.org Regular

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    Like to get some insight on what you guys do when dealing with writers block! I got thru times when i can knock out songs quickly then go thru a LONG time when i cant come up with anything good! Ill take a break for a long while to start fresh get inspired but thats not working lately!
     
  2. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Do you know any theory at all? I used to really struggle on occasion until I learned.
    It works much like knowledge of English allows you to string together a sentence fitting certain criteria at any given moment no matter how uninspired you are. Of course, there's no guarantee that it will be an emotionally striking novel, but you can be certain that the sentences will read well.
    Studying theory to an advanced level has even led me to a bunch of unusual concepts that I am excited to write with.
    I can always sit down now and make something that works. A good percentage of the time it results in something I am excited by which kickstarts the process of flow.
     
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  3. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Listen to other music. Throw on some jazz, blues and funk.

    Also, learn bass.
     
  4. Pietjepieter

    Pietjepieter SS.org Regular

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    What works for me usually is to try things that i am not using very often. Explore the possibilities of that and i usually find some interesting ideas, and work from there.

    If you are normally writing music in Aeolian mode (minor scale) try something as Locrian mode. Or experiment with a different tuning. Or try to write a riff based upon a chord progression, or something like that.
    Or start from a rhythm context. Push your self out of your comfort zone and explore new possibilities. For me that usually works very inspiring.

    Also that!!
     
  5. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    One thing I've done is to look at some of my favorite songs and analyzing them, trying to figure out what it is about them that I like so much. Then, I take that thing and try to build my own song on it. It will usually turn out nothing like the song that inspired it, but it will get me going and usually lead to something I'm excited about.
     
  6. sleewell

    sleewell SS.org Regular

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    Smoke some weed and/or eat some edibles.
     
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  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Honestly, the thing that helped me overcome this the most when working on my last album and I hit a stretch of more than two years where I didn't write anything, was sitting down and forcing myself to write something, and not giving a shit if it was any good.

    I basically just challenged myself to write a song a day for 30 days. Didn't have to be creative, didn't have to be all that good, I didn't even have to like it, I just told myself every night after work I was going to sit down in front of Reaper and come up with a riff or chord progression, and come up with a melody, and not stop until I'd written a 1-1:30 demo of at least a verse and accompanying chorus, plus possibly a bridge, prechorus, or solo section idea.

    I lasted about a week - not because I couldn't keep doing it, but because after a week I had 3-4 ideas I was jazzed enough about that I wanted to sit down and take those little "song sketches" and stretch them out into fully arranged songs.

    I think a lot of writer's block isn't any difficulty in coming up with ideas, so much as it is your self-filtering is in overdrive and is telling you, "that's no good, toss it and think of something better." And a lot of ideas that may seem too simple or too obvious, with a bit of distance between you and them, are actually pretty cool - a lot of really great songs are built on riffs or melodies that are actually deceptively simple.

    I'm kinda doing this now, again, except I'm not forcing myself to do it every day, but whenever I come up with something that could be a song, just record it and see where it goes. At the moment I'm trying to work out a better arrangement for something that started off as this little fragmentary idea but has grown into one of the cooler things I've written in a long time, after about a week of gradual evolution. And I STILL don't have a verse melody. :lol:
     
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  8. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    I meditate.

    I'll dim the lights, sit upright and close my eyes and just visualize myself putting on the record and imagining what kinds of sounds come out. I found this especially useful for finishing half-written ideas that I'm getting stuck on. Something about separating myself from the physical act of playing helps me focus on my inner ear.
     
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