Finding the inspiration for the next piece of music or any other art form for that matter can get extremely tricky, especially under a tight deadline.
Time runs out and after playing a few notes, chords and tunes we still have nothing…
Well, at least nothing reasonable worth developing further.
Personally speaking, this situation occurs quite frequently in the music composition process, but I’ve learned to apply a few techniques that can unblock inspiration and resume the flow of original ideas:
Exercise daily or whenever you feel like your creative mind can’t produce any feasible results. That’s when it’s time to get up and go for a walk or run, ride a bike, swim or do any other enjoyable physical activity before resuming work. Your brain will be able to oxygenate properly, concentration increases and great ideas spark more easily.
Find 10-20 minutes of free time to empty your mind and focus on your breathing. Recent studies have shown that meditation improve our focus, patience, calmness, clarity, insight and perspective. All of these states can help your creative mind tremendously, if you have the ambition to start a few simple guided meditation for beginners. Try the Headspace app, follow the free 10 day trial and notice the differences.
Everyone has a time of day when their productivity, energy and creativity peaks > detect yours and try taking advantage of it. Early in the morning and also during sunsets works best for me, but everyone has their own “creative clock” and we all have to “dance” by their rhythm.
Do something unexpected even by your own standards: a short trip in the middle of the week, a hike at 5am to enjoy the sunrise from a hill while drinking your morning coffee, anything that makes you break the daily habit is very welcomed by our imagination “engine”.
But not too much. Enjoy the music that inspires you. Maybe even borrow some elements from it. But don’t borrow too much, just a few “accents” or undertones, moods or techniques used by other great composers and musicians out there.
Enjoy other art forms, whether it’s a movie, a book, a game or some paintings. You never know within which forms your next brilliant idea may lay. Sometimes we need to search in unlikely places to find unlikely, original ideas.
Daily, freely, without boundaries. Let your creative mind “gallop” without any kind of limits. Creativity is a muscle and it needs to be constantly exercised in order to become more powerful.
Establish a central theme for the next music piece, sketch a few attributes and general lines, then work within these specific rules you’ve established. This way you can concentrate more on the final product and it will be easier to build with the end result in mind.
Having fun alone can fuel your creative energy. Compose with unusual instruments, change tones and experiment with different harmonies and rhythms. This technique can bring forth some great original ideas without even striving to find them.
This is more of a long-term tip, but nevertheless, meeting new cultures and grasping the world around us can awaken the conscience and expand our perspective. Certainly a massive trigger for creativity and inspiration in many areas of our lives.
These are just a couple of ways I manage to replenish my creative willpower as a music composer before attacking another project with full force.
They may not work out in all cases, since creativity is subjective and depends on the individual perception, but that’s what makes art intriguing and beautiful.
I encourage you to test some of them out and also share your own personal techniques in the forum thread below.