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RareDenver's avatar

How do you get over writers block? (music wise)

Asked by RareDenver (13155points) December 18th, 2009

I’ve got a few pieces on the go that have the basis of a good track but I’m just missing that little hook, that little thing that will bring it together as a proper track, I haven’t managed to write a full track in nearly a year, just half a dozen nearly tracks.

How do I get my mojo back? What do you do when you are in this position?

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17 Answers

EdMayhew's avatar

Ask outside opinion. If you record what you’ve got you could send it to me and I could make some suggestions, or get some of your musical (or non musical) friends to tell you what they think, or how the song so far makes them feel. Someone going “this makes me remember when my grandma died/I met the love of my life/had my first daughter can be huge inspiration and all you need to push it forward a little.

Alternatively, a good way to get back on track when you’ve stalled at the lights is to work on a different part of the song. i.e, if you have the chords for the verse and chorus don’t work on the chords for the bridge, work on the lyrics or the drums for the bridge, then you may well find that the chords will follow soon after.

Don’t push it. Take a few days off from writing and only listen to music that you hate for a whole day. If you intensely dislike commercial hip hop, blast out 50 cent in your car on the way to work.
This is a little like cleaning out the cobwebs, and can do wonders for getting rid of the stagnating mush in your brain that comes from only listening to things within your comfort zone.


The_Anonymous_Witch's avatar

get drunk in a bar .. that may give you stories .. also go through your ex’es and recant memories from that . or get arrested . or think of the last person that burned you . ,,, think of what you have lost ,, dont have ,, could of had etc .. also compare any stories you have with biblical stories .
or write a song about writters block . ;-)

HasntBeen's avatar

I think phrasing the problem that way is part of the problem: it treats the lack of ideas as if it were a substantial “thing” to be fixed, like a dam or a blockage in a pipe.

“Writers’ block” is really just the failure of the mind to wander into new territory… staying with the familiar and comfortable and habitual thinking of the past. This is forever the human condition: we come into new territory and explore it and build pathways, and those pathways become convenient and reliable, so we stick with them. The risk goes away, the “competence” builds, and before we know it all the life is gone out of life.

The cure is always the same: to be able to see where you’re playing it safe and running the tapes of the past, instead of letting go of what you know and plunging back into the unknown. This cycle of unknown/exploration/standardization/boredom is endless, you never escape it… the only question is how quickly you move through it to recognize that it’s time to move on.

Daisygirl's avatar

-Listen to the same kind of music that is inspires you
-If you have it recorded on your computer, maybe play it and dance to it
-Take a walk thru a park and listen to nature or “get into character” with the role you are trying to live. If you’re writing about love, remember your first love and how you felt.

I like to write medieval stories, when I get stuck I watch movies/play video games that are in the same genre, they help me with getting ideas and then melding them into my own.

Good luck, your inspiration is out there somewhere!

1858Remington's avatar

I grab one of my guitars and start pickin’ and work up a melody and a topic and run with it. :-) It’s usually about girls, guns, beer or cars. :-D

CaptainHarley's avatar

Do something entirely out of the ordinary for you. Do your best to foget about music entirely. Go skydiving or hiking in the wilderness. Do something that will either totally involve your senses in an unusual activity for awhilie, or that will totally blow your mind .. or both!

AnnaMay296's avatar

I don’t know about writer’s block on music but I can answer in reference to writing. I am writing a historic novel as a hobby. When I can’t think of how to continue I work on the research simply by searching the web. Maybe you should study different types of music. Ragtime for example. Before you know you are back on track.

JessicaisinLove's avatar

Stop thinking about it and do something different. Go to the mountains or someplace in nature. Nature is God’s muse for you.

ETpro's avatar

Expanding on what @HasntBeen said, work through it. Push yourself to explore the untried. In any sort of writing, be it music, prose, poetry or software, 90% of inspiration is prespiration.

Seek's avatar

It’s as simple as quit trying.

The muse speaks when it wants to. Don’t push things.

EdMayhew's avatar


You can wait for the Fairy of Inspiration to tap you on the shoulder with her magic wand, but when she does it may be so much later that you’ve forgotten how to write.

ETpro's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr My experience is that waiting for inspiration is the absolute worst course of action.

Sonnerr's avatar

Well, I had some good advice when I was in a band. And that was, to write everything that I felt down.
The best things that I would write would stay in my head, without writing them down, for weeks at a time. That’s when I knew that it really meant something.

Seek's avatar

It took Tennyson ten years to write “The Lady of Shalott”

Sure, you may churn out a lesser quantity of work, but art is in the quality.

Sonnerr's avatar

@Seek Kolinahr dylan wrote blowin in the wind in like 7 minutes. And now it’s on his essentials. This is not a rebuttal, just an added comment about quality. Which is key to music making which is a lot like love making. Some people just got it.

RareDenver's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I’ve just bought a house on a road called Tennyson Street, maybe this is telling me something

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