Tips & Tricks - How To Break Out of Writers Block

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As musicians, composers and song writers alike writing music that excites us can be the greatest feeling, but what happens when the ideas stop coming? That's called writers block. Which is the bane of existence to everyone who's passion involves creating something from nothing. Writers block can be extremely frustrating whether you are just getting into writing music or you are a full-time composer.


So I put together a few ideas to help you get the creativity flowing again if you are in the midst of a musical dry spell.



Drones and Ambience Pads

Sometimes all it takes is to start hearing some simple sounds coming through your speakers. That's what makes drones or ambience pads so awesome! You would be surprised how just hearing something simple as a textural pad can start to inspire you and put you into a creative space. That's one of the reasons we load our libraries with tons of ambiences to help add an extra dimension to your tracks. In the video below I started off using an ambience patch from Glitch Hero from the Shimmer Ambiences as a starting point.


Let Arpeggiators Be Your Guide

Another way to get some musical ideas when you're not feeling particularly inspired is through the use of arpeggiators. I like to use arpeggiators as a means of having a quick and easy way to get some rhythms going and have something to jam with. In the example below I use an FX preset from Microrgan called "Octave Slave" which is a really gritty synth great for lots of different styles. Then I used Apocalypse Percussion Elements to further expand on this idea for a more cinematic action cue type sound.


Pedal Notes and Ostinatos

One of my favorite things to do for getting in the songwriting zone is using pedal notes and ostinatos. It's a really easy and effective way to start sounding musical right away. There's a few ways you can use pedal notes with playing notes off of a repeated note in a more (pedal tone) style fashion or just as a repeated rhythm.


Ostinatos have been around forever and were made popular in film scoring by composer Hans Zimmer. An ostinato is a repeated musical phrase or rhythm. It could be a simple as 1 note, but used in a very rhythmic way to set the pace.



Change the feel with transposition

Lets say you're not very familiar with all the scales...and there are a lot! Recording in a section of music and then transposing it to different keys is a great way to find what key sounds best for your musical piece. Plus it allows you to not be held back by your theoretical knowledge. Try this out as its a great tool to have in your composer tool bag!




Never be afraid to try new things! Nothing can jump start the creative process like trying things from a fresh perspective. These are just a few of many things that you can do to rid yourself of the enemy known as Writers Block.



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