Not Blockbuster like at the theater.

Something that busts creative blocks.

I’ve gotta write, record, and release an EP in the next week or so…and I got nothing. I’ve been legitimately busy, but the year is almost over, and I need to keep my commitment to release four EP’s this year. I released Someone to Blame, Rain, and Fighter. Now just one more…

I tried to come up with a few song ideas yesterday, and everything I wrote was lame. So today I’m giving myself some ideas of ways to bust through these creative blocks and crank out some songs.

1. Start with Melody

I normally write a chord progression first, melody second. Flipping that around has proved helpful in the past.

2. Use the DAW as a Writing Tool

I did this when I wrote the songs on Fighter, and it was really fun. I created my own loops and then sang over the top of them. May need to try that again.

3. Use a Different Instrument

Maybe I’ll write some songs on the keyboard with a Wurlitzer sound, or maybe even a pipe organ (whoa). Or maybe I’ll go upstairs and play the out-of-tune upright. It always brings out something creative in me.

4. Start with Lyrics

Lyrics and melody usually come at the same time. I’ve never written lyrics first. Maybe I’ll write a “poem” first, THEN write music for it. Interesting…

5. Write Really, Really FAST.

A few years ago I wrote 4 songs in one morning. Just cranked through ‘em. Two of them ended up being really good. Maybe I’ll just write as many songs as I can this afternoon, giving no thought to whether they are good. I’ll just keep writing, trusting that a handful of them will be good. (Cue all the people who say this is a bad idea, music can’t be forced, blah blah blah. LIES, I tell you.)

6. Go Through My Journal for Ideas

I fairly consistently write down my thoughts in a journal. If I’m stuck for ideas, I can always flip through there and find some sort of angle that’s worth pursuing.

If you’re a songwriter, maybe this gave you an idea for something new to try.

If you’re not a songwriter, make your own version of this list. What can you do to shake things up and get the fire back? What can you do to get excited about making music in your studio? The answer is almost always CREATE SOMETHING.

To creating something that might fail,

Joe Gilder
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