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#195521 by t-Roy and The Smoking Section
Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:02 am
Mike Nobody wrote:
I was hoping to find some way out of my writer's block.

I keep WANTING to compose music for my band, but keep putting it off and avoiding it.
It's like I am afraid of BOTH failure AND success!
So, I end up doing nothing.
I just continue to distract myself with other activities and wasting time.
Do you ever get stuck in a rut like that?
How do you break out of that habit?



Writer's block is only mental constipation so you need a good intellectual laxative. LOL

Do you find that people rarely do anything until they have to? It seems to me that a leader is someone who able to get others to see urgency for things they would put off until whenever...

So maybe you need to set a specific target of songs by a specific date and then come up with a really good reason why.


What I do when uninspired is read. Most great writers are fans of great literature. Can't remember where I heard it but make a list of the top 10 best and worst things in your life and just tell the story. That's 20 songs, right? :-)

But if I'm stuck in a musical rut, I start practicing runs that I currently can't play...or will sometimes use a loop-based software and just start dialing up random drum beats with random bass loops to play along with, and see if any good ideas come while jamming to them.

Or, maybe you've got some mostly-finished songs that you start doing preproduction on. Often those don't turn into songs until I've put the idea down and then looked at the grid to see where it might be lacking.

But I have never written a song without pencil and paper and a little bit of concentration.
Last edited by t-Roy and The Smoking Section on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

#195522 by DainNobody
Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:03 am
writing music is like trying to comprehend differential calculus..it literally hurts, at least it does me..

#195523 by J-HALEY
Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:22 am
I write music like I live life. Actually music is life to me. Sometimes I wander aimlessly trying to figure out which direction I am going. Other times ideas just come to me kind of like breathing, not something I really think about. Sometimes I get so distracted by life I put music on the backburner ALWAYS knowing it can be picked up and restarted at anytime. I guess that is taking life for granted. As I said music is life to me. I kind of prefer the wandering aimlessly part of it, that always relaxes me. My point is don't try to hard. When you are trying to remember something for example the memory doesn't come to you until you relax your brain and quit trying so hard to remember it. Sometimes when you think of something else or your mind is distracted that memory just appears!

#195524 by VinnyViolin
Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:29 am
Mike Nobody wrote:
GuitarMikeB wrote:Guess some folks were right in that this would never go far.


Well, it has been interesting to watch.

I was hoping to find some way out of my writer's block.

I keep WANTING to compose music for my band, but keep putting it off and avoiding it.
It's like I am afraid of BOTH failure AND success!
So, I end up doing nothing.
I just continue to distract myself with other activities and wasting time.
Do you ever get stuck in a rut like that?
How do you break out of that habit?

I happen to suffer from severe depression and mild OCD.
Medications help control the worst of it.
But, I keep hitting that invisible wall.
It's probably connected to my "writer's block" in some way, although I am not sure how.


For me the creative process has at least two phases ... active and passive.
When I am not feeling inspired enough to be actively creating, I practice instrument technique or musical studies ... or just listen to music off youtube, or all that. Fuel to stoke the fire and build up creative steam leading back to the active phase.
Maybe try reading some Joseph Schillinger to while away those more passive phases.

#195526 by Mike Nobody
Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:00 am
So far, it sounds like the advice is "relax forcefully." :?

#195527 by VinnyViolin
Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:17 am
Mike Nobody wrote:So far, it sounds like the advice is "relax forcefully." :?

I don't think "relax forcefully" to be the intent of anything I suggested.
To not force creativity is really more what I was getting at .. I believe that trying to force creativity can be as futile as trying to force relaxation.

#195564 by GuitarMikeB
Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:18 pm
Writing instrumental music (as we were attempting) should just flow - you hear a chord progression, start noodling with it, change it, adapt it, add to it.
A friend sent me something he had put together that way, but I got nothing out of it.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

When I'm writing a real song (and not just an instrumental as backgroudn for a video), it almost always starts with lyrics. Then I'll sit there with the lyrics and try a few chords. Sometimes it just flows, othertimes not, so I usually have 3 or 4 sets of lyrics ready, and if one doesn't grab me at the time, I'll put it aside and try another.
Sometimes switching instruments, or tuning, or throwing a capo on teh guitar will work to get past the 'hump'.

#195567 by jimmydanger
Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:43 pm
I have to agree with you Mike. I've written some instrumentals but they are all straight out of my head, no collaboration. With The Farleys nearly all of the songs have been collaborations; usually Rasta writes words that I turn into tunes. But songs can also be based on melodies. The Talking Heads recorded "Naked" in the studio without any lyrics; David Byrne later putting words to the music. There's no one right way to do it, but none of them are easy. Writing good music is hard!

#195667 by Starfish Scott
Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:25 pm
"Little bites"

Think of the rhythm figure you hear currently.

Get it down. It's a piece. When that piece is done, consider what you know. If you see/hear/feel the next part/figure or any part you absolutely know, write it.

Got it down?> It's a piece. When that piece is done, consider what you know. If you see/hear/feel the next part/figure or any part you absolutely know, write it.

After you have all the pieces, you can sew it together.

After it's together, you may prune it as you will.
Maybe you need to add to it, maybe it needs to be tweaked.

At the conclusion, master the recording.

If you are drawing a blank for any part, you shouldn't write it.
Only ever write the part you know at the moment.

If you are drawing a complete blank in general, take some time off.
Go play, drink, do what you do for fun. Do something away from your music. (You'll hear it in the back of your mind and your inner ear will work overtime.) While you are "playing" doing something else, you may just get what you needed. The problem is that you might be far away from what you use to record etc at that moment and that's when you have to use a pencil and a napkin if you must to get the pure inspiration that comes and goes like wind through a steeple.

I've forgotten more music than I'll ever remember and that saddens me most of all because I feel like that music will never return to me.

I always pray that there is more and better yet to come.

#195872 by gtZip
Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:50 am
GuitarMike, I added some quick and dirty stuff.
In the In Progress folder.
It should line up with the iguana pool wav if you throw it at the start.

You might have to adjust your solo.

Let me know what you think.
I can re play it (re track it) if need be.

#195907 by GuitarMikeB
Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:57 pm
Will try to give it a listen and play with it this weekend!

#196445 by GuitarMikeB
Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:55 am
Reposting this for ease of use:

Go to http://www.dropbox.com

Sign in is: bandmixproject@yahoo.com password is bandmix

I created a folder named project 1 - use this to upload (and download the project file. When saving the file, use the date on the end so we can track versions, i.e project11-9-12
Use WAV files (everyone can use them).

GT- you were using harmonics during the first part -using drop D? - they were out of tune to my ear, didn't try playing with it.

#196449 by gtZip
Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:05 am
GuitarMikeB wrote:Reposting this for ease of use:

Go to http://www.dropbox.com

Sign in is: bandmixproject@yahoo.com password is bandmix

I created a folder named project 1 - use this to upload (and download the project file. When saving the file, use the date on the end so we can track versions, i.e project11-9-12
Use WAV files (everyone can use them).

GT- you were using harmonics during the first part -using drop D? - they were out of tune to my ear, didn't try playing with it.


No, standard tuning.
I used a tuner right before.

#196452 by gtZip
Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:10 am
Give me the main file that's NOT panned to one side.

#196521 by GuitarMikeB
Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:23 pm
gtZip wrote:Give me the main file that's NOT panned to one side.


It's not mixed - do you want the mono file in stereo (L + R) format? The whole thing as you reposted in the folder?
I won't be able to get to it until Thursday night.

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