We all know that feeling of sitting in front of your screen, staring at your current project, and your mind feels all empty and you have no idea what could possibly improve the track you’re working on. Don’t worry, I am experiencing the same problems every now and then. Sometimes that feeling remains for several weeks!
Fortunately, there are several ways that can help you get to work again on your projects. I will tell you some of my own personal tricks to get creative again and sometimes can give you ideas for hours, days or maybe weeks to come!
It might be one of the most obvious tips of all time that I can give you, but go outside! Staying inside the studio doing nothing will not help you get that amazing idea you’re waiting for. Stroll around for a bit in your neighbourhood or head into town, experience the busy city life. If you live far away from civilization or your hometown is not that lively, don’t hesitate to explore the area for a bit: the smallest things around you could possibly become the biggest source of inspiration you have found yet.
When I was walking home in the winter of 2011, everything around me was covered in snow. The entire world around me was white. This scenery inspired me to create “Winterlove”. In 2012, when I was home alone on a rainy Saturday evening, the skyline of my hometown looked all blurry and somehow warm because of the lights of the cars and street lights. This resulted into “Always”, my lo-fi chillout track.
Knowledge is the key.
Sometimes discovering something new can change your vision entirely. The same thing can happen to music production sometimes. Browse the internet for new techniques or watch some tutorials on sound designing, mixdown, arrangement etc. You might come across something that you wish you knew earlier. It could completely change the way your project feels and sounds!
The video tutorials of TranceCrafter helped a lot during the production of all trance tracks on my album “So There I Am / Progress”. Without his videos, the tracks would sound a lot different and probably a lot less professional than they are right now.
Music is the medicine to the mind.
Listen to tracks of other artists! And with “listening” I mean listening very attentively. Try to seperate the song in layers, like in drums, bass, pads, leads etc. Try to figure out how the artist created that sound or how he achieved that effect he used. Sometimes you discover a track that uses a technique or has a sound you have never heard before! Listening to other people’s tracks can influence your style and possibly enhance your projects. Maybe you develop an entire new style because of one new technique or sound, or by combining them with your current style!
A lot of my own tracks include elements and techniques that I have heard in other tracks from all kind of artists. Especially listening to different artists from the same genre can give you a clear image on what kind of styles or variations can be done in that music genre.
Let it go for a bit.
Even when you don’t feel like doing so, it can be a wise choice to leave music production for a while. No, I am not talking about quitting music production or taking a break for several years. Just have a time-out for a few days or a week. After you come back, your mind could bulge of new and exciting ideas. If you still don’t have any inspiration after a few days or a week, then take a longer break. Don’t get frustrated because you can’t come up with anything, it won’t help. Just take a little rest and do something else.
In 2012, there was a long period of time that I didn’t compose anything, but after a few months, I couldn’t stop working on new projects. “Tiffania”, my remix of Bissen’s “Exhale” and a few other hardcore and trance tracks were made in a very short period of time.
These are some of the tricks that work the best for me. I hope they will work out for you as well and helped you get back working on your projects again. If you want more tips and tricks on inspiration, tell me in the comments and I might do another article with more tips and tricks.
Have a nice day and good luck!