audio tips

10 tips to Fight the Songwriter’s Creative Block.

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Howdy SEA Fans, welcome to another Tiptuesday blog post and today we are talking about tricks that boost your creativity in beats building and arranging.

For the past several weeks we have been discussing various technical aspects regarding Studio Recording, Music Production and topics related to Live Sound Reinforcement.

As a Sound Engineer, the 2 basic things you need to become a successful professional is high-level of creativity and a passion to learn new things.

Most of the Sound Engineers are creative persons and they have a passion for art, they write songs for music albums and films, stories and screenplays for movies and some sound engineers choose their career in the field of movie direction.

In order to sustain your career in the media/entertainment industry, one needs to be creative and it is fact that as human beings one person might not always be ignited with a high amount of creativity all the time, there will be some hindrances or blockage to the same and it is collectively mentioned as creative block.

Musicians, Songwriters, Scriptwriters and those involved in creative work will have to encounter this during their career in one way or the other.

Everyone has their own ways to overcome this situation and it may differ based on the industry and the work, today we are talking about how songwriters can overcome this blockade and let’s talk about the same,

The studio is set up, hardware cabled and software installed.
You can start the songwriting now.
But just at the time when you least need it, it is suddenly there!
The most unproductive phase a musician has to go through writing a song: the creative block.
Here are 10 simple tips and tricks that can help you to create beats and arrangements during this undesirable phase.

1. Open and work on old projects
On your computer, you may find a thousand unfinished projects?
Perfect! Open one of them and bring your thoughts to an end!
There are often forgotten treasures worth exploring.
With a little time interval, you approach the projects with completely new ideas. Build in new learned methods or ways of playing and see what comes out of it.
And above all: Complete the project!

2. Use the coincidence!
Many DAWs have generators that generate melodies and figures almost on their own, including randomizers, arpeggiators, or note repeat features.
Use these functions to develop a melody.
For example, the combination of a randomizer and a pitch quantization (scale quantization) can produce a harmonic melody without having to invent something on its own.

3. Focus on the music, not the technique!
Not only sound engineers know this problem, but also those who just want to try out their latest equipment.
Of course, for example, you want to adjust the new pre-amp sounds and also try the sweetspots of the latest plug-in.
But especially in songwriting, you can go from the creative to the technical phase and the ideas that you had just a few minutes ago have disappeared from the short-term memory.
Therefore: Stay focused on the musical part; You can live out the technical later!

4. Optimize your workflow!
Hardly anything disturbs the creativity of the songwriting like a permanently interrupted workflow.
Customize your workflow so that you can completely concentrate on songwriting.
Of course, music does not just consist of standard processes, but there are some things that are constantly being reiterated in the DAW.
Routings, the number of tracks or even favourite tone generators do not need to be set up again for each project. In our article “6 tips for a better DAW workflow” you will find more useful tips to ensure a smoother workflow!

5. Record memos and make sketches
Unfortunately, a brilliant idea does not always come at the time when you’re sitting in the studio and you could really use it.
Some of you are probably familiar with the phenomenon that the inspiration for the next song appears in the fall asleep.
Of course, that can also be another moment.
The fact is that this precious idea is often forgotten after a short time. Therefore: Speak, sing, hum or whiz your ideas into the audio demo app of your smartphone.
Anyone who better captures his ideas in writing, chords, tabs, etc., uses the notes app accordingly. The next time you’re in the studio, you have the stuff to work on!
If you want to be a little more professional, you can stick your ideas in mobile DAWs like Steinberg Cubasis, Apple Garageband or FL Studio Mobile and work on the large version of the studio computer.

6. Use composition aids
Some people like to start their compositions and arrangements with chord progressions.
Those who have a blockage in this part of songwriting can take advantage of pre-set chord sets or software and hardware chord triggering features.
Many DAWs, such as Cubase, Logic, FL Studio and Ableton, are inherently equipped with functions that fire chords that match the root and scale, even though you only play one note on the MIDI controller.

Many software controller combinations, such as the Native Instruments Maschine or the Komplete Kontrol Keyboard series, also feature chord triggers and pre-set chord sets, which can be used to create harmonic chord progressions in just a few simple steps.
Some manufacturers have completely focused on this topic and developed special composition aids, such as the plug-in WaveDNA Liquid Music Melody or the standalone software Mixed in Key Odesi.

7. Activates the flight mode
As banal as that may sound, but: distraction harms your creativity!
Therefore, the title of this tip is meant in the figurative sense.
Not only the constant WhatsApp messages on your smartphone distract you.
If you really want to work in a focused way, you should at least for 30 minutes break away from the meanwhile permanent accessibility and just make music.
A tip that you get drunk, incidentally, not least in time management seminars. Set a timer and go.
You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve in half an hour if you just keep up the good work!
The latest funny pics and videos you can still look at it if necessary. Or you stay on the ball and work out the achievements so far!

8. Sampling
Many hits are based on a sample.
Whole genres, such as hip-hop and house, have been created by merging samples and own grooves.
Why should not you use this method in your songs ?!
Instead of starting with a self-composed line, start with a sample!
Those who can not agree with their conscience to use a passage from an already existing work simply pick themselves: import a track of their own song, for example. Transpose them, break them up into small pieces and put the appetizers back together in a different order.
The whole thing goes with both MIDI and audio tracks.
If you want to go on a very experimental journey, grab your smartphone, tablet or laptop including interface and microphone or a mobile digital recorder and sample objects or sounds from the city and nature. Back in the studio, you import parts of the samples into a sampler of your choice and mix them as an instrument or drum track with a beat.
Incidentally, hard-quantized beats usually become more lively when enriched with one or the other self-sampled and sampled percussion instruments such as Shaker, Cajon or Tambourine!

9.Start a jam session!
You have to fight through as a “solo entertainer”.
Meet with fellow musicians or start a collaboration online.
Hardly anything is more inspiring and boosts creativity like a proper jam session!
Many DAW manufacturers offer their own exchange platform and communities where you can network with other users.

10. Take a break
If none of the above points helped you get out of the creative block, take a break!
Sometimes it just helps to leave the studio for a few minutes, to get a coffee or to devote to another day’s task.
Although you do not push the project forward in the short term, at least you clear your head again and frees you from the blockade.
So you come back from the creative block!

We hope that our tips have helped you overcome the creative block!
What are your tricks that boost your creativity?
Write us in the comments!

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