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lack of creativity
Old 22nd January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
lack of creativity

Hi guys,

I am in bit of a sh***y situation. I like music, no, actually I love music and really have a feel for it, but I lack creativity.

I've started little over an year ago and everything was fine. No musical background but had some decent ideas which I manged to turn into finished tunes.
These days though I cannot find nothing to inspire me. Whenever I sit in front of the keyboard or the piano roll, nothing comes up... not even a single riff.
I have a scale book with some scales and modes .. I pick anyone, learn it's chords and start improvising but nothing good is coming out of this.

Basically, I've reached the point where giving up is the only option. Maybe music is not for me and have to find another hobby.
Even when I'm writing this I feel like I'm wrong and I should try harder until my inspiration is back. It's a vicious circle and it is going for months. Just before I say I quit.. something inside stops me.. then I try again > nothing happens > feel bad > want to quit > feel guilty about it > and then back to square one.

Do you guys go throu hell like this ? or is it just me?
How do you find inspiration for writing?
Do you hear melodies in your head or you just improvise on your instrument / piano roll ?

My soundcloud is soundcloud.com/octoberfourth just for a reference.

Thanks for reading this.
Old 22nd January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
just a hint: take your cellphone, pick the first entry, write down his number on piece of paper, go to your scale-book, pick a scale randomly or use a dice, adjust the number from the cellphone to tones of the scale, play the phone-number.

adjust randomly or with a dice or to taste the tones sometimes one octave down or up, try various rhytmic patterns - to taste or adjust to a randomly created pattern, or use a dice to create a rhythmic pattern - and play with the melodies.

get some chords to it, expand, cut, transpose, mirror parts or the whole thing, think of something you can do with what you have at this point.

try different sounds on the keyboard, split it up into different parts, make it a canon, change the chords ... or find chords to it, throw away the melody and find a new melody to the left-over chords ...

if you havent a great inspiration by doing this or similar within half an hour, you eventually should quit. by I doubt, that you will quit ...

I am not the only one who uses this kind of method or similar to be "creative", in fact, I write a complete album (writing a rough version of the songs) within half a day.

I feel that my dices are a real important part of my musicmaking. one can think about this as starnge behaviour and not a real art. **** it. :-))) the result is, what counts, and the resulting music is satisfying, and thats the important thing.

btw: if you have broken the ice of non-creativity, the creativity comes to you like a levy-breakdown. promised, you cant record as much songs in your life as much come flying to your mind.

you can use the random-initiation on every aspect: choose at first a sound and generate an appropriate melody complementing this sound. the rest comes on itself. :-))
Old 22nd January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Ain't Nobody's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Stop trying to write a song, and start listening to stuff you like. Find a track that gets you emotional. When you're fired up, start singing along.

Make up your own melody to it.

When you're happy with it, put some words to it. Branch off and take it whatever direction you want now that you're feeling it.

Can't understand why more people don't do this. I've never gone more than an hour without inspiration... EVER.... so long as I can play some other tunes I like.

Added bonus is it's a tune born of emotional response. One started from a to do list is much less likely to be satisfying in the end.

I've done the random word to start lyrics, the pick a progression from a book, you name it. Problem with all of those methods is they are intellectual exercises. If your goal is to make music people FEEL, why not start with something YOU feel?
Old 23rd January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
You're investing too much into your songs now. You're looking for your next song to stop you from giving up music. Start producing on a schedule. You'll learn to let go, and you'll train your brain to switch to 'creative mode' on cue.

Hang around the people who are producing the music you love, and go to their shows. Being around good writing is the best way to stay motivated and inspired.
Old 23rd January 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
You don't suffer from a lack of creativity. You suffer from the weak will of a lazy affluent Western teenager. Happens to everyone (unless they were raised properly). No music worth a damn was ever created after a mere year of fiddling. Creativity shouldn't even enter the picture. Right now you're in the learning process, and you will continue to be for at least 3 more years. If this was merely a "hobby" for you, and not something that brought along with it hopes of an easy life of money and fame, then you would enjoy it on a simple level and not get upset at meeting some standard. But I suspect you are mixed up in your intentions.
Old 25th January 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Beat Poet's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeetkunedo ➑️
I am in bit of a sh***y situation. I like music, no, actually I love music and really have a feel for it, but I lack creativity.
I don't think you think you lack creativity, I think you're more frustrated at not being able to come up with anything you feel is good. Even the best songwriters write bad songs, you've just got to write yourself out of this rut. The more you commit to finishing songs, the more songs you will write and in turn, the more good songs you'll end up having.
Old 25th January 2013
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
k3nnyt4n's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I call that the stage where i need to learn more,practise more.
"you can write only what you know"the knowledge is like a drawer in your head,if you have nothing to write then it's empty.
In the past i heard many original music in my head and i just laid them down and felt very proud of them not until recently i learned more about gospel piano,WOW! it's like open up a new universe!!!
I got back to those i was proud of and when i played,analysed them,i changed them a lot due to my knowledge of gospel,RandB style.They are a lot better now,have more colors.
Because back then i used to know only pop chords (I,IV,V,VI,...diminish here and there)

Yes,"you can write only what you know"
Old 25th January 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeetkunedo ➑️
Whenever I sit in front of the keyboard or the piano roll, nothing comes up... not even a single riff.
Get up off the chair, step away from the computer, get out of the studio, and go outside.

Take a walk. Anywhere. But don't stop walking until you start to hear some music in your head.

Now learn that piece of music...while you're still outside on your walk. Don't rush back to the studio to try to transcribe it; keep that riff or melody or groove or whatever it is that entered your brain going in your brain until you are so familiar with it that you can sing it forwards & backwards, inside-out and upside-down. Get so familiar with the tune that magically popped into your head while you were walking down the street that when you finally do go back inside, enter the studio, sit your azz down in the chair and fire up the piano roll (sic), it requires no effort to get it out of your brain and into musical notes.

If you even have to hesitate for a moment, if you've forgotten some part of it and you start to feel stumped, you went home too early.
Old 28th January 2013
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
2nd @ Bob.

Just go shoppin, get some groceries. The hook/chorus and sound of the song will pop into your head. But don't THINK about writing a song, think about the groceries, the melody will come by itself.

If you have trouble visualizing the music, take a little recorder with you.

Once outside, avoid places with (loud) music.
Old 28th January 2013
  #10
Gear Head
 
Boneman's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Find someone to write with.

I've written alone and I've written with a partner. A partner is obviously a new source of ideas. The RIGHT partner can absolutely make the whole creative process fun. If it's not enjoyable, why do it in the first place. Get a partner.
Old 28th January 2013
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Don't try too hard to write a song. I know exactly what you mean though; I go through times when I can't seem to write a decent song. But the best ones that I have written were always out of nowhere. In other words, they came naturally without having to and force ideas to come out. Just sit down for a while and listen to some good music, and new ideas will come naturally. Don't ever force it . . . that's the worst thing you could do. Even some the best songwriters go through situations like this.
Old 29th January 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
The greatest source of unlimited creative inspiration is the world around you. I have a room in my house that is dedicated exclusively to recording, all of my gear is set up in there and ready to go with the flip of one single switch, but I would say that about 90% of the stuff that I record is not "born" in that room, it is brought in there in the form of hastily scribbled notes on a piece of paper, or a progression that I stumbled across in the living room while noodling along with the TV, or a blurb of a lyric that I typed into the notepad app on my phone after it popped into my head at the supermarket.

But, no matter how the process is started, I rarely sit down at the DAW without any idea of what I want to work on. When I do that, I find myself staring at the monitors until my eyes glaze over and roll back in my head.
Old 29th January 2013
  #13
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeetkunedo ➑️
Hi guys,

I am in bit of a sh***y situation. I like music, no, actually I love music and really have a feel for it, but I lack creativity.

I've started little over an year ago and everything was fine. No musical background but had some decent ideas which I manged to turn into finished tunes.
These days though I cannot find nothing to inspire me. Whenever I sit in front of the keyboard or the piano roll, nothing comes up... not even a single riff.
I have a scale book with some scales and modes .. I pick anyone, learn it's chords and start improvising but nothing good is coming out of this.

Basically, I've reached the point where giving up is the only option. Maybe music is not for me and have to find another hobby.
Even when I'm writing this I feel like I'm wrong and I should try harder until my inspiration is back. It's a vicious circle and it is going for months. Just before I say I quit.. something inside stops me.. then I try again > nothing happens > feel bad > want to quit > feel guilty about it > and then back to square one.

Do you guys go throu hell like this ? or is it just me?
How do you find inspiration for writing?
Do you hear melodies in your head or you just improvise on your instrument / piano roll ?

My soundcloud is soundcloud.com/octoberfourth just for a reference.

Thanks for reading this.
OK. You called it a hobby. So it should be relaxing and enjoyable -- even if it's also challenging.

But it sounds like you're not enjoying your current approach.

So, first, my advice would be to stop beating yourself up.

One thing that seems to work for a lot of folks is to learn other people's songs. By both analysis and absorption you gain knowledge and understanding of the pop idiom and its construction. Sure, there's always the danger of 'influence' -- but the evolution of pop music is in large part all about cross-influences and hybridization.

And if your songwriting efforts are uneven or even disappointing, don't beat yourself up over it or obsess on specific works. Just keep writing.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross ➑️
Get up off the chair, step away from the computer, get out of the studio, and go outside.

Take a walk. Anywhere. But don't stop walking until you start to hear some music in your head.
Old 30th January 2013
  #15
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Don't be too hard on yourself. I have been at this a while and often have long periods where nothing happens. Sometimes this means I am trying too hard, as others have suggested 'get our and enjoy life a little' then come back to it.

Another way to approach this is to write just words for a while. For me many times words and/or images will spark a melody that is quite new.

The third thing to continue to learn to play new music - practicing new sounds often helps me get out of a rut musically too.

Lastly, sometimes it is just hard work, but . .

If you love it, just play, and the ideas will come.
Old 31st January 2013 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Nut
 
Ximo's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Do what this guy sez...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross ➑️
Get up off the chair, step away from the computer, get out of the studio, and go outside.

Take a walk. Anywhere. But don't stop walking until you start to hear some music in your head.

Now learn that piece of music...while you're still outside on your walk. Don't rush back to the studio to try to transcribe it; keep that riff or melody or groove or whatever it is that entered your brain going in your brain until you are so familiar with it that you can sing it forwards & backwards, inside-out and upside-down. Get so familiar with the tune that magically popped into your head while you were walking down the street that when you finally do go back inside, enter the studio, sit your azz down in the chair and fire up the piano roll (sic), it requires no effort to get it out of your brain and into musical notes.

If you even have to hesitate for a moment, if you've forgotten some part of it and you start to feel stumped, you went home too early.
That or the idea wasn't that good anyway.
Old 1st February 2013 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Lee Knight's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross ➑️
Get up off the chair, step away from the computer, get out of the studio, and go outside.

Take a walk. Anywhere. But don't stop walking until you start to hear some music in your head.

Now learn that piece of music...while you're still outside on your walk. Don't rush back to the studio to try to transcribe it; keep that riff or melody or groove or whatever it is that entered your brain going in your brain until you are so familiar with it that you can sing it forwards & backwards, inside-out and upside-down. Get so familiar with the tune that magically popped into your head while you were walking down the street that when you finally do go back inside, enter the studio, sit your azz down in the chair and fire up the piano roll (sic), it requires no effort to get it out of your brain and into musical notes.

If you even have to hesitate for a moment, if you've forgotten some part of it and you start to feel stumped, you went home too early.
Absolutely! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^!

I always write in my head and move it to either an instrument or voice later. Why restrict your writing to your instrumental limitations when you can use your imagination without any restrictions.
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