For many of us in the creative industry, our passion and drive for creating new art can come and go. It is therefore important to give yourself the space and time to recharge and reset before returning to your practice. If you are stuck and looking for new ideas, however, I have created a list of a few things that can help break you out of a creative block and perhaps challenge you to think and work differently.
Find a Loop
Do you ever find yourself playing the same chord patterns or reaching for that same instrument? Using a Loop or sample can help break this pattern and allow you to build upon something that perhaps you wouldn’t have created before. Obviously, make sure to get the correct permissions to use the samples especially if you’re going to be releasing your new work. You could always take a song you’ve previously worked on and rework it, chop it up, speed it up, etc. The options are limitless!
If you’re stuck for song inspiration or just need some lyrical ideas, try a word generator. If you want more of a challenge, try setting a timer for five minutes and writing everything you associate with the word you’ve been given. You can then create a song using only the words you’ve written down during the exercise. It can be very freeing and even if you don’t like the full song you’ve made, you are most likely going to have some words or phrases you can use in another track.
Sample Your Surroundings
If you produce and write a lot of music, it can get very mundane using the same sounds and sample libraries all the time. So why not create your own! This not only aids your recording skills but it can help grow your library. It also provides your tracks with unique and interesting sounds that have never been heard before.
Another great tip to spice up your sound is to use different effects on your instruments and vocals. Perhaps pitch down and reverse a guitar, distort and warp an acapella recording, add reverb to drum sounds, and loop the reverb tail. It’s up to you how creative you want to get with this tip, but from my experience, the crazier the better!
Use your voice
If you’re struggling to find lyrical ideas, words or just don’t know where to start. Try using your voice. Hum or sing whatever comes to your head in that moment. If you want to, you can record it and play it back and find a mix of melodies you like and then build something from there. Bonus if you chop and sample the vocal recording and add it into the production!
I hope these tips can help you break out of a creative funk or at least let you expand your ideas and try something new in the future. Just remember that stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t always a bad thing and you never know what you might create!