• It's all about Ideas ... writers block
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It's all about Ideas ... writers block
on: June 20, 2019, 12:23:38
I spent the time posting a reply to a guy on a Cubase forum I am part of.

Although this was mainly for somebody writing orchestral cues, I thought I'd post my reply here too in case it's of any use  and in case it might inspire other ideas from Kitchen members.


Quote
We are creatures of habit and tend to set aside certain bits of time for certain things. I'm sure like many, most of my melodic ideas appear at the edges of my mind when I'm busy doing the dishes or other humdrum tasks. When that happens I make a point of getting the idea down. A mobile phone is a great sound recorder. After a while you have this 'snippet jar' to dig in when looking for inspiration, not the dreaded blank page.

It might be worth breaking up your composing routine, effectively doodling, thinking about new subjects that you might set music to. Perhaps even mundane subjects like say 'washing the dishes' or more unusual ones like describing the thrill of BASE-jumping or standing out in the cold air watching the Northern Lights. Try describing these new topics musically, emoting the sensations without thinking about 'music' too much. Just a snippet of a melody or a few nice chords might act as springboard for further development.

Breaking out of the keyboard mindset might be a good idea too. As a guitarist I was obviously drawn to other string instruments like bouzouki and uke. Since I like Irish music I got hold of a low whistle and that has transformed my music ideas capture and taken me down the road of learning about playing a different sort of instrument, in my case wind. I've also got an instrument that can easily integrate with my compositions.
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Re: It's all about Ideas ... writers block
Reply #1 on: July 14, 2019, 02:02:22
I spent the time posting a reply to a guy on a Cubase forum I am part of.

Although this was mainly for somebody writing orchestral cues, I thought I'd post my reply here too in case it's of any use  and in case it might inspire other ideas from Kitchen members.


Quote
We are creatures of habit and tend to set aside certain bits of time for certain things. I'm sure like many, most of my melodic ideas appear at the edges of my mind when I'm busy doing the dishes or other humdrum tasks. When that happens I make a point of getting the idea down. A mobile phone is a great sound recorder. After a while you have this 'snippet jar' to dig in when looking for inspiration, not the dreaded blank page.

It might be worth breaking up your composing routine, effectively doodling, thinking about new subjects that you might set music to. Perhaps even mundane subjects like say 'washing the dishes' or more unusual ones like describing the thrill of BASE-jumping or standing out in the cold air watching the Northern Lights. Try describing these new topics musically, emoting the sensations without thinking about 'music' too much. Just a snippet of a melody or a few nice chords might act as springboard for further development.

Breaking out of the keyboard mindset might be a good idea too. As a guitarist I was obviously drawn to other string instruments like bouzouki and uke. Since I like Irish music I got hold of a low whistle and that has transformed my music ideas capture and taken me down the road of learning about playing a different sort of instrument, in my case wind. I've also got an instrument that can easily integrate with my compositions.

This speaks to me. I have a folder on my I phone called Music Misc. where I put random thoughts and ideas about subjects or production techniques or sound engineering. I also have a folder called Unfinished Lyrics where every snippet that comes in to my head, no matter how short, gets stored their.

If Iím stumped for what to do (which is rare) I go to one of those folders. Usually something different comes to me than what Ií browsing through... itís just about engaging in SOMETHING until something happens.

And yes it helps to explore different instruments... playing a melody instrument is very different than playing a polyphonic instrument like  piano or guitar. Drums and percussion are a whole world unto themselves.... they all have a different voice to inspire you.... just pick something up and play... you will feel better. 😎


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Re: It's all about Ideas ... writers block
Reply #2 on: July 14, 2019, 09:40:58
This is a very valuable (valuable says GTranslate) piece for a writers forum @MrBouzouki !
Some 25 years ago there was a three or four hour broadcast on BBC4 about writers blocks and what various writers did or didn't do to avoid them. Or if they were already hit by one.

I listened breathlessly, as i heard the most hocus pocus ever on a BBC broadcast. Some things did make sense however.
Like standing under the shower and having a marvelous idea. Doing the dishes. Parallel to you ideas.

Personally, i have a folder in my telephone. I promise myself to use one of the (here in) present tunes, but never get around to checking what is in the file. I always use the last minute itch that presents itself only seconds before I hit the red button. Beginning of 2019 I deleted everything in the file and made a clean restart.

I do keep track of my refrains/choruses I jot down while traveling.
I am superstitious too: I often get the feeling that I get help. That I only have to reach out and grab a melody that's been going around. Waiting for me or for somebody else? But I love working that way.

I don't know if there's a fool proof way around it. The more we tell each other of our creative process, the more there is to fall back on if the need arises.
Thanks for posting!!!
Kind regards, Gus



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Re: It's all about Ideas ... writers block
Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 11:28:50
Writers block implies the need to produce something and the inability to do so. Since my agent has not asked for any new material in quite some time I don't have that problem. .....I can just wait for the river to wash something up.  ;)

Seriously, though.....when I am between songs I keep a session open in my DAW and a microphone at the ready. I track ideas that drift across my mind....usually a guitar riff with some scratch vocals. I'll often have two or three pretty diverse tracks in that session before one of them resonates enough to stick.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

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Re: It's all about Ideas ... writers block
Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 20:50:02
"Scrambled Egg ... how I'd love to eat a scrambled egg" ... eh @Leonard Scaper  ;D ;D ;D

It's good to see replies to this topic, I wasn't sure if it would be one of those tumble-weed ones.

I'm glad this resonated with you @1roomstudio, (I can't keep calling you that Mark), we all have our own ways of sparking ideas, but it's good to see that some ideas are popular ones.

Gus @LePlongeur , you are the champion of the now, hit that red button and see what appears. A great way to make music. It happens to me sometimes, particularly with lyric writing, but less so with music. Then it's more about layers to me, and layers take time. 


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Re: It's all about Ideas ... writers block
Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 21:31:20
"Scrambled Egg ... how I'd love to eat a scrambled egg" ... eh @Leonard Scaper  ;D ;D ;D

I believe the original lyrics by Sir Paul, written in the attic bedroom of Jane Asher's house were.... ďScrambled eggs, Oh youíve got such lovely legs, Scrambled eggs. Oh, my baby, how I love your legs.Ē

Whatever works, right?   :)


Re: It's all about Ideas ... writers block
Reply #6 on: July 16, 2019, 05:49:25
Quote
I keep a session open in my DAW and a microphone at the ready. I track ideas that drift across my mind...

This speaks to me... Iíve been working towards this goal. In order to achieve it I need a laptop dedicated to the studio. Iíve been using my work laptop (itís cool...)... on Thursday my work laptop died... opportunity knocks... but itís a little disorienting for the moment.... so Iíve been putting some time into the sketches I have in the pipeline on my IPad.

I also hooked up my Zippy Zither to a contact mic and some guitar pedals... itís all good.... something will come. 😎


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Re: It's all about Ideas ... writers block
Reply #7 on: July 16, 2019, 06:42:33
Writers block implies the need to produce something and the inability to do so. Since my agent has not asked for any new material in quite some time I don't have that problem. .....I can just wait for the river to wash something up.  ;)

Seriously, though.....when I am between songs I keep a session open in my DAW and a microphone at the ready. I track ideas that drift across my mind....usually a guitar riff with some scratch vocals. I'll often have two or three pretty diverse tracks in that session before one of them resonates enough to stick.

I've suffered from a writer's block once, and it was very scary. As if parts of my brain were taken away and that i could only pray to get them back.
Don't know what caused the problem. And even less do I know about how the solution came about.

The need to write and the inability not to do so is very recognisable, @Leonard Scaper . But your vision about things excludes the need to create period. I was told to get to work by a painter, and (like him) I've produced something everyday. He treated his work as a job. Regular hours at his atelier. That need is completely disconnected from wishes or demands from the outside world. He sold his paintings very (VERY) well but had a huge warehouse in Switserland to store the excess of his work.

Like him, I spend regular hours to things that must be done. Compulsive maybe in the sense that I am a much happier person if I do this, not compulsive in the sense that I can easily live with 1,5 hours per day for the music and the rest for 'us'.

In short:
What I need to do could easily come from what you/I expect from ourselves. I am more complete this way.

@MrBouzouki
It's not perse 'now', but a different way of working.
Some people need a degree of plotting, planning, etc before trying to 'concrete' the plans. I'm the opposite. I start and await what presents itself.
Structured vs unstructured perhaps?

An interesting thread, this one. I love questions that make me think.
Kind regards, Gus






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