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Composers Block

Posted by MarkySpark - October 16th, 2011

Hi Everyone,
What to do when composers block strikes? I don't know... I need inspiration from somewhere. If you can help me or have a story to tell that could inspire, please write back. I feel dried up at the moment and have not composed anything worthy for over a month. Someone save me and give me an incentive to compose again.


I recommend trying different genres, and thinking about music as sound rather than structure of form. Just think about noise itself. Make something completely different to your usual that is just interesting in terms of the noise.

Use an old song file to jump start your selection of instruments, listen to other artists and genres to try and learn new things/ get inspiration, have an objective in mind when starting a new track (as in: this song is going to be a really hard dance track with a soothing pad that comes in out of nowhere half way through), look at a picture and try to write a song about it/ how you feel about it, take an old melody you really liked and play it backwards, remix an old song you really liked as a new genre, try out some new samples to see what kinds of sounds or feelings you can get out of them, WRITERS BLOCK IS ALWAYS TEMPORARY. Keep yourself on your toes and realize that music is always ephemeral. You can't get stuck. If I don't like where a track is going after the first hour of work or if it fails to amuse me by the end of the day I delete the file. There's no point in getting hung up on anything when you can learn to compose music like breathing...

Once I realize I throw away any ideas of making something good. take a break for a few days if i want it. then listen to some tracks i like and let anything that interests me take my notice. then i make a song using one thing i liked from that track. not a song to be good or anything, just a song for me. and it reminds me of the fun of making music and i get back to where i love being.

main thing is throw away the idea "ok, i have to make something good, go!", it's judging your work like that that's stopping you feel good and enjoy the work you're doing!

Take a break man. I had composers block pretty bad for a few months a while ago, and I just stopped making music (mainly because my headphones broke, but a good enough reason as any, right?) You might think you want to keep composing, but it's just your mind telling you to stop for a while. You'll thank me in a month or two when your head is exploding with ideas and you can't WAIT to get back into it.

For me, personally, I try a different style. Although you're different from me by a long way; my method of composing allows me to think about what I play long before I export the final version of it as an mp3, whereas you tend more to improvise...

Might seem of a bit of a generalisation, but why not try doing what traditional classical composers did and try some form of programme music (Music inspired by anything; nature, current world events, things that feel relevant to you)

Either that, or perhaps try collabing with someone. They start with an initial idea, then you can perhaps build up from that, or the other way around.

Anyways, I wish you good luck. Its always temporary, as Quarl says, but I think everyone who's experienced it knows exactly how annoying it is.