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GarretGraves
11-28-2009, 05:52 AM
DO you ever get this sort of "writers block" when writing or recording? Like, you're just so uninspired to write anything? And do you get depressed and discouraged by it?

I get these moments a lot and it makes me feel under-educated to write music. I feel handicapped some how. And these moments can last for WEEKS at a time. It's irritating!

Anyone else get this problem?

Moseph
11-28-2009, 07:48 AM
Since you mention education, I have a bachelor's degree in music technology and am working on a master's in composition, and it still happens to me. I spent my entire first semester of graduate school writing things just to throw them out a week-and-a-half later. Most of my pieces go through three to eight dramatically different forms before I find something that actually works.

Just keep writing. If nothing else, you're discovering what doesn't work, and that knowledge may prove useful in future attempts even if it isn't right now.

dannthr
11-28-2009, 09:27 PM
DO you ever get this sort of "writers block" when writing or recording? Like, you're just so uninspired to write anything? And do you get depressed and discouraged by it?

I get these moments a lot and it makes me feel under-educated to write music. I feel handicapped some how. And these moments can last for WEEKS at a time. It's irritating!

Anyone else get this problem?


All the time, sometimes the only real motivation to crank something out is the pending deadline.

I just made a milestone on the game I'm working on now, and it was like "Ooooooooooohhh shits" right up until the last minute. The last piece of the milestone set was supposed to feature a solo violinist, and while I had spoken to my violinist about doing the piece some time last week, I was writing it up until the last minute, and I had to pay him a rush fee just to make sure it got recorded ASAP!

A quick and dirty mix/master session later, the dev was like "thumbs up."

Nothin' like the thrill of delivering assets by the skin of your [insert body part].

Puts hair on your chest.

Skrypnyk
11-28-2009, 09:30 PM
My problem isn't complete writers block, more I'll write something a minute of something, have it sound decent, and just have no clue where to take it from there, so it'll stay a minute or two of wip foreverandeverandeverandeverandever.

dannthr
11-28-2009, 09:33 PM
My problem isn't complete writers block, more I'll write something a minute of something, have it sound decent, and just have no clue where to take it from there, so it'll stay a minute or two of wip foreverandeverandeverandeverandever.

Heheheh, I call those sketches. They're great for demo reel montages. ;)

GarretGraves
11-29-2009, 03:36 AM
My problem isn't complete writers block, more I'll write something a minute of something, have it sound decent, and just have no clue where to take it from there, so it'll stay a minute or two of wip foreverandeverandeverandeverandever.

thats EXACTLY my problem right now. i don't know where to take it after the kick ass part i've just written. and what i find myself doing is writing out the scale degree of the key the track is written in. Let's say, E flat minor. I'll write out Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C, Db7 on my white board. That way I can actually see where I can go. But then there's the question of modulation. Is it a good idea and when should I do it? What key should I modulate to and how can I make it work? And what are the rules regarding modulation? That's where I get stuck a lot when I try to spice up the melody or whatever else. Cause there's a ton of music I hear out there that modulates from A minor to like Fb minor or whatever and even in school I've found it hard to do such a thing.

And the thinking process continues and nothign gets written. I HATE THAT!

Moseph
11-29-2009, 04:17 AM
Is [modulation] a good idea and when should I do it? What key should I modulate to and how can I make it work? And what are the rules regarding modulation?
Yes, modulation is almost always a good idea if you're writing music of any length, unless you have a pressing reason to remain in one key (e.g. certain film score situations, etc.). Do it when you feel the key you're in has become boring.

Use any key you want. Generally, keys that are closely related -- that is, have a similar number of sharps or flats -- will provide the smoothest transition, while distant keys will be more jarring. A smooth transition is not always better. It depends on what you're trying to do with the music.

Regarding rules, it just has to sound good. That's the only rule you really need, unless you're specifically trying to imitate [insert composer or style here]. There are principles, certainly, that can help you achieve certain effects or prevent you from doing things that some people might regard as odd, but there are no rules.

Just a thought, but if you're having trouble with large-scale organization, it might help to plan out some basic things before you start writing. How long will the piece be? What keys will you use, and where? How will you approach those keys? Maybe come up with a few melodic ideas and decide where you want to introduce them (e.g. for the first 16 measures I will use x idea as the basis for my melody, then for the next 8 measures I will use y idea, then I'll modulate to G and use x idea again). If you can make some large decisions before you get lost in the details, it may help you keep things going.

po!
12-01-2009, 09:48 PM
My problem isn't complete writers block, more I'll write something a minute of something, have it sound decent, and just have no clue where to take it from there, so it'll stay a minute or two of wip foreverandeverandeverandeverandever.

that happens to me ALL THE TIME. pretty much every thing i do hits this block at least once. usually i don't force anything.. coming back to it after some time off usually helps because by then i'll have different sounds and ideas in my head

rig1015
12-02-2009, 04:52 PM
I've found that most creative entities go through this phase periodically. The best solution I've found is to become distracted with something else, creative or not, and slowly the impulse that has been over worked will rest and your ideas will return.

SpecialAgentBoB
12-10-2009, 08:58 AM
This will hit me at times, usually I stop what Im doing, close down my program and just watch tv or something to get my project off my mind.

After many hours, I will have the need to go back and work on the music and the block is pretty much gone.

Ben Steed
12-22-2009, 06:52 AM
Oh all the time. To counter-act it I sit in Zazen, or just go into a trance-like state with my singing bowls. It helps me a lot to relax and clears my mind, helping me to find more inspiration. :)

EC2151
12-22-2009, 04:44 PM
I haven't written anything since October. Anything substantial, anyway.

Most of my pieces lie unfinished on paper, in any event, but are finished at least in some capacity in my mind.


But really, such a huge dry spell has happened before, and the usual advice "listen to new music" or "experience new things" blah blah blah, well, those never really seem to work.

It sucks, yeah. Right now, my lack of creativity comes froma bit of a depression about the quality of my sound samples, and how they don't really capture the mood I'm going for... but that's just me. Hard to find something as good and as free as say, squidfont or poprockband-233.

Legion303
12-23-2009, 02:41 PM
so it'll stay a minute or two of wip foreverandeverandeverandeverandever.

You and me both. I've got about 150 of those according to the sequential numbering, of which I went back and completed maybe 3.

Malcos
01-01-2010, 08:47 AM
There are a few ways to deal with this kind of thing. If I get block, I don't allow myself to even touch my keyboard for a whole week. I just take a break from music altogether. Sometimes you just have to allow time for your creativity to recharge.

Another thing you can do is listen to as many different types of music that you can in order to stretch your subconcious musical mind. Classical, jazz and rock are good because they are quite complex and varied. You can try listening to genres/styles you wouldn't normally. As some friends for recommendations.

Thirdly, try different sounds/instruments that you wouldn't normally use. Don't try to make a song, just play about with the sounds. This is all about just getting an idea or two that you can start a song with.

There are times when possibilites are endless and that can paradoxically leave you with no ideas! Every time I start working on an album I set myself a rule that I have to stick to. That helps to narrow things down and focus my mind.

Sometimes if you force it too hard, or sit down to 'make a song' it doesn't work. Relieve yourself of that pressure and allow your mind to express itself. I suppose that doesn't apply to pros who are on strict deadlines!

Shadix
01-02-2010, 12:24 AM
My problem isn't complete writers block, more I'll write something a minute of something, have it sound decent, and just have no clue where to take it from there, so it'll stay a minute or two of wip foreverandeverandeverandeverandever.

This pretty much hits the spot.

The Biznut
01-05-2010, 07:49 AM
All the time, sometimes the only real motivation to crank something out is the pending deadline.

Nothin' like the thrill of delivering assets by the skin of your [insert body part].

Puts hair on your chest.

This is so true, and in retrospect may be the reason my chest is decently hairy.

My problem isn't complete writers block, more I'll write something a minute of something, have it sound decent, and just have no clue where to take it from there, so it'll stay a minute or two of wip foreverandeverandeverandeverandever.

Do what I do, take the best section of your song, loop it, add some n-ts n-ts n-ts and call it techno.

Actaully don't, cause I have like 20 techno WIPS that haven't gone anywhere in the last year :(

halc
01-19-2010, 07:16 PM
like everyone else, posting to say that skryp pretty much nailed it.

Groovemaster303
02-06-2010, 04:42 PM
There are a few ways to deal with this kind of thing. If I get block, I don't allow myself to even touch my keyboard for a whole week. I just take a break from music altogether. Sometimes you just have to allow time for your creativity to recharge.

I totally agree with this. Whenever I feel like I have no ideas or nothing is working, taking a break can work wonders.