Creativity is a mystical force.
Music is creation at its finest.
You often hear famous songwriters talk about how the creative process is unpredicatble. The best songs just “arrive”. You could be strumming a g-chord one day and come up with nothing. The very next day, something fantastic will come from strumming the same g-chord.
I was thinking about what I do or don’t try to do that sparks a creative flow for me and thought I’d share to see what other ideas people have.
1. Forget the Destination
When you’re trying to write a song in a certain way, you put up these mental blocks and restrict any flow that could have developed if you just let it go. Follow the flow. Don’t control it.
2. Foster a Desire to Explore
Trying something new opens up new dimensions.
a.) Trying a new instrument will put your head in a different space if you’re used to playing only one instrument. Once you get somewhat competent, you can apply the mind-frame of playing that instrument to your original instrument. A new approach could develop and lead to an abundance of creative output.
b.) Consciously push yourself to play in a style you’re not used to. The new shapes, rhythms, and feels will all have an influence on developing an original sound and foster continual inspiration.
3. Don’t Create for an Extended Period
It may be hard, but not picking up that guitar for a few days will only be that much sweeter when you do pick it up. You can feed your subconscious by checking out new music, art, and whatever else you find inspiring. You can also simmer in the anticipation of what may come, which is its own enjoyable experience.
4. See Constraints as a Blessing
Breaking a string can be buzz-kill, but it doesn’t have to be. What if you tried working WITH the broken string. How can you create chords that sound good without that string? What scale patterns can you imagine now that you don’t have that string?
There’s a wealth of inspiration to discover if you’re open to it.