Musician tips to overcome creative blocks

Published: Thu 24 February 2022
Updated: Thu 08 December 2022 by Ludo In Music Translations: fr

Can't finish your latest beat? As a creator, it's inevitable to run into a creative block. Here are my 8 tips for trying to get past that block and finish your track.

Creativity is a powerful thing. It can be the thing that gets you through a tough time or the thing that changes your life. But what if you find yourself stuck?

It's not so much about avoiding the creative dry spells, but about knowing how to navigate and respond to those difficulties when they arise. Using the right tools and working with the right people is essential, but what separates successful musicians from the crowd is the will to persevere.

creative block

Do You Have Creative Block? Here's How To Get Over It!

Get over your creative block with relaxation and meditation

Musician's blocks are a common occurrence, but they are not an insurmountable obstacle.

Sometimes, taking a break from music-making can help to clear your mind and give you a fresh perspective. Step away from your music for a while, and do something else that you enjoy.

To get over your creative block, you should try taking a few deep breaths and practicing some meditation. Meditation and Cardiac Coherence has been shown to help people get over creative blocks by allowing them to not focus on their thoughts, while also helping them to relax. This is how you will reconnect yourself with your creative self. It might be just the only thing you need to get back on track.

For example, take a few deep breaths and then focus on a point in the distance. A great technique is to inhale for 5 seconds, hold your breath for two seconds, and exhale also for five seconds. Continue for at least 5 minutes and try to focus on your breathing and nothing else. Try to feel the difference if you breathe through your nostrils or if you breathe through your mouth. See if you can concentrate on the sound of your breathing and feel your chest expanding. And allow your mind to wander from there.

If that's not enough, go for a walk outside or better in a forest or a park nearby. And try the same 5/2/5 breathing technique you learned above. If still, you do not manage to relax, you can get help from a professional relaxation therapist, or hypnotherapist. I think that relaxation, breathing and meditation is the key to reconnect yourself with your creativity again.

A change of scenery can be helpful for overcoming creative blocks. Consider working on your music in a different location, or try working at a different time of day.

Get over your creative block with some musical techniques

The key to sparking new ideas is to be open to new experiences and be willing to try new things. Experimenting with different techniques and approaches can help to open up new creative possibilities and inspire new musical ideas.

  • Have a perspective, don't go into the unknown. Think about the style of music you want to achieve, and listen to productions in that style to refocus. What tempo? Which instruments? Which scales? Or mix and match and incorporate some elements from other styles.
  • Change elements of the melody or chords: change the scale, change the octave, change the rhythm, change the dynamics, reverse the notes. A change of scale can have huge effects.
  • Change the rhythm of the melody. Try playing the melody in different rhythms, adding a pause or two in the middle, adding swing and groove. Have you tried recording your melody on an arpeggiator or sequencer and speeding it up? This can give surprising effects.
  • Change the tuning, a function found in most virtual synths. This little-known technique also allows you to change the mood of the song somewhat. Try changing from 440Hz to 432Hz and the mood of your song will change instantly.
  • Keep it simple. Often less is more, so try to lighten up your production by removing some unnecessary or distracting instruments. This will allow you to move more easily through your song.
  • Use fewer tools, not more, to reduce distractions.
  • Get trained. Lack of knowledge about music theory can also be a barrier to inspiration. Opt for quality training, such as Thinkspace education, and you'll save a lot of time by avoiding classic mistakes.
  • Use creative tools. There are many plugins to create random or pseudo-random chord progressions or melodies. You can try: Scaler, Harvest, or if you use Ableton Live, the Bouncy Notes instrument.
  • Collaborate with others. Collaborating with other musicians can help to spark new ideas and inspire new approaches to music production.

The life of a musician is never a smooth ride and there will be times when the creative chaos will leave you feeling discouraged, but persevere and use my tips above.

If you have any other tips, feel free to discuss them below.

LD. --

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