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Thread: Creative Block

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    Eruption hotforteacher921's Avatar
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    Default Creative Block

    How do you' deal with em? I'm totally fucking stuck.
    It is not an understatement to say that if a person ate a bowl of alphabet soup, they would shit better lyrics. -lmr5150 on Up For Breakfast

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    Hot For Teacher danward5150's Avatar
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    Take a piece of paper and a pencil - write everything that crosses your mind for five minutes, whether it's about what your trying to finish or just your life. One catch - no sentence can be longer than five words. Gotta go real "stream-of-conscience". When you're done walk away for five minutes and then read it. Somewhere in the middle you'll find something good.

    Oh, be sure to keep it somewhere so when you find it in a year you can laugh at the crazy sh*t that was going through your head.

    If that doesn't work....try exercise. One or the other usually works for me.

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    Little Dreamer Women and Children First's Avatar
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    But what about when you are having a hard time writing music?
    Does anyone have any tips on that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by danward5150 View Post
    Take a piece of paper and a pencil - write everything that crosses your mind for five minutes, whether it's about what your trying to finish or just your life. One catch - no sentence can be longer than five words. Gotta go real "stream-of-conscience". When you're done walk away for five minutes and then read it. Somewhere in the middle you'll find something good.

    Oh, be sure to keep it somewhere so when you find it in a year you can laugh at the crazy sh*t that was going through your head.

    If that doesn't work....try exercise. One or the other usually works for me.
    Otherwise known as "free writing". I learned this when I was in college and it is an amazing way to get the creative juices flowing. The only thing that we didn't do was limit sentences to five words. You just write what you want but the objective is to not stop writing. We did it for twenty minutes at a time. Interestingly enough, after the twenty minutes, I had written a story about a shipwreck that happened during the 1800's. Never thought I had that sort of creativity in me until then...
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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    It all depends upon your approach. Do you actively attempt to create something new every time you grab a guitar, or do you more or less find yourself in the mood to come up with a new piece every so often? If you put pressure on yourself to be creative all the time, it's no wonder that you'll hit a brick wall from time to time.

    Try this: Pick up an acoustic, and randomly detune a few strings to a flat or even down a step or two. Then attempt to play a simple progression (like "Hit The Road, Jack" A, G, F, E). You'll find that your fingers will be wandering all over the place, simply to make sense of the new tuning. As you explore this new "tonality", you'll discover an option or two in the voicings of a chord you otherwise may not have encountered. Sure, all you are doing is changing the parameters of how the instrument is normally played, yet this forces you to think outside the box a bit. The resulting insights gained just may be the spark that ignites some creativity in you.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Try this: Pick up an acoustic, and randomly detune a few strings to a flat or even down a step or two.
    Ha ha ha! That's a fresh and very good idea. I'm going to try this.

    If you're having a hard time writting riffs, chord progressions, etc, then play someone else's stuff for a while. Play those chords in reverse. Play the riff backward or in another key. Also, make sure you're recording what you're playing; this way, you might recognize a good, workable riff after the fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    It all depends upon your approach. Do you actively attempt to create something new every time you grab a guitar, or do you more or less find yourself in the mood to come up with a new piece every so often? If you put pressure on yourself to be creative all the time, it's no wonder that you'll hit a brick wall from time to time.

    Try this: Pick up an acoustic, and randomly detune a few strings to a flat or even down a step or two. Then attempt to play a simple progression (like "Hit The Road, Jack" A, G, F, E). You'll find that your fingers will be wandering all over the place, simply to make sense of the new tuning. As you explore this new "tonality", you'll discover an option or two in the voicings of a chord you otherwise may not have encountered. Sure, all you are doing is changing the parameters of how the instrument is normally played, yet this forces you to think outside the box a bit. The resulting insights gained just may be the spark that ignites some creativity in you.
    I did this recently...tuned to DADGAD and started noodling...came up with a really nice song in the span of an evening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Marc View Post
    [M]ake sure you're recording what you're playing; this way, you might recognize a good, workable riff after the fact.
    I was talking with a songwriter friend about this today, and he said if you come up with a riff and don't remember it, it's not worth anything. I say that's crap, which is why I said you should record your practices, jams, etc.

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    I've only ever had writer's block when I was putting too much pressure on myself to "write something good." I've found you must ALWAYS follow an idea through to fruition and NEVER decide before it's done that it sucks. You can decide later--sometimes MUCH later--if it sucks or if it's good. When it comes to writing music you can be pleased, I think, if you're batting .500 or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Marc View Post
    I was talking with a songwriter friend about this today, and he said if you come up with a riff and don't remember it, it's not worth anything. I say that's crap, which is why I said you should record your practices, jams, etc.
    i used to think the way he did. I no longer do. I record all my snippets. Whenever I have one of those "ooh this is good" moments i turn the tascam on and get it down. Even if I do nothing with it right then, it's there for later. Next time you talk to him ask him if he applies that same reasoning to song lyrics.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    I've only ever had writer's block when I was putting too much pressure on myself to "write something good." I've found you must ALWAYS follow an idea through to fruition and NEVER decide before it's done that it sucks. You can decide later--sometimes MUCH later--if it sucks or if it's good. When it comes to writing music you can be pleased, I think, if you're batting .500 or so.
    i agree. Finish the song. Later on it can be judged but finish the song.

  11. #11
    Little Dreamer Women and Children First's Avatar
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    thanks alot guys

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    Alternate tunings may help offer a different perspective and open up some new ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    i used to think the way he did. I no longer do. I record all my snippets. Whenever I have one of those "ooh this is good" moments i turn the tascam on and get it down. Even if I do nothing with it right then, it's there for later. Next time you talk to him ask him if he applies that same reasoning to song lyrics.
    I did. He had a blank look on his face.

    I try to save everything. I have lyrics that I wrote in 6th grade. Of course, I have blank area from 10th-12th grade as I let my friend Scott borrow them all. His weird uncle kicked Scott out of his house and torched his stuff while it was still in his room. Guess what was in that room? FOUR BINDERS OF MY LYRICS! Needless to say, Uncle Whacko went to Bellvue and I am out of three years of lyrics.

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    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    i used to think the way he did. I no longer do. I record all my snippets. Whenever I have one of those "ooh this is good" moments i turn the tascam on and get it down. Even if I do nothing with it right then, it's there for later. Next time you talk to him ask him if he applies that same reasoning to song lyrics.
    You know something? Ronnie Van Zant thought that way. Apparently, he said he never wrote lyrics down because if they weren't good enough to remember, they weren't good in the first place.

    "The shit I read on this site." -- Dave's Dreidel (Nov 6th, 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Marc View Post
    You know something? Ronnie Van Zant thought that way. Apparently, he said he never wrote lyrics down because if they weren't good enough to remember, they weren't good in the first place.
    i guess if ALL I did was play and write, all day I'd have the same outlook. But I have a full-time day job, a wife, 6 pets, a real-life life to live. I'm not in a position where all I do all day and night is eat, breathe, drink and snort music. Hence, I have to write down everything, record every snippet so that when the time and energy come together and I can sit down to work, I can begin piecing together everything.

 

 

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