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[Getting started] Conquer Your Musical Writer's Block

 
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Mike Levine

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Mike Levine
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1 Posted on 06/16/2015 at 15:23:54Direct link to this post
Conquer Your Musical Writer's Block
It’s the enemy of creativity, and it lurks in your subconscious, ready to spring at you when you least expect it. I’m talking about writer's block, the dreaded affliction of composers, songwriters, and many other creative types. You're staring at an unused sheet of music paper, or an empty DAW or notation-program screen — intending to start writing the music for a song or other composition — but you're drawing a big fat blank. What to do? Here are some tips to get the musical ideas flowing.

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Nomorejazz

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2 Posted on 06/17/2015 at 11:14:49Direct link to this post
Thank you Mike,

I confirm from my experience that your recommendations work.

If you allow me, I would add my recommendation. However, it may not work for everyone, but it's worth trying.

"Find an excuse to get away from your 'cell' and go outside just for a short 10-20 mins walk to breath in some air and stroll.

Pace tempo:
My own walking tempo is close to 117 BPM i.e. Beatles' "It's getting better all the time" but, if you're into modern dance music, it's not necessary that you need to walk at 130 BPM :) You'll see that your body will naturally adjust your pace tempo to 65 BPM which is half of that.

Walking at certain tempo (like dancing) in this case involves your body into creative process, it cleans your mind from anything irrelevant to that tempo.

Don't forget to take your smartphone to record the new melodic ideas. :) "

Best regards,
Alex

TeleFunk

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3 Posted on 06/18/2015 at 03:14:24Direct link to this post
Great tips, most of which I've always done. Jamming with myself and/or adding a drum loop and playing a long is usually the way every song I have starts. The problem is, I'm not good at programming drums, so if I start an idea from jamming with a drum loop, I usually get lazy, loop that same loop and vary the vocals/guitars, then find another loop for a bridge/chorus/etc. Needless to say, all the loop usage really takes the energy out of a finished song :/

I'm also employing the 'listening to other artists' idea. Not to come up with different musical ideas, per se, but rather to come up with different structural ideas. I find myself sometimes getting stuck in verse/chorus/verse/bridge/chorus or otherwise restricted structures, when in general, songs have fills and little breaks and subtle changes all the time.

Nice idea from Alex above, I might give that a go. It's true, I usually walk to the tempo of whatever song I'm listening to. Needless to say, this sometimes complicates mounting stairs when the tempo is high :mdr: :mdr:

Mike Levine

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4 Posted on 06/18/2015 at 05:04:00Direct link to this post
I like Alex's "walking in tempo" idea, too. It makes me wonder if musicians who are into running tend to write very fast songs. :-D

Nomorejazz

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5 Posted on 06/19/2015 at 12:33:36Direct link to this post
In reply to Mike's last:
No, running tempo is not too fast unless you're a sprinter.
I'd guess that jogging is only around 105-110. :D:

Mike Levine

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6 Posted on 06/21/2015 at 19:44:22Direct link to this post
I guess joggers must write a lot of mid-tempo songs. :-D
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