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Get in the zone with these genius songwriting tips

Songwriting

Few people truly understand the plight of the creative. Making art is a complex process that requires heavy doses of inspiration, concentration, energy, and motivation in equal measures. This is especially so when you’re attempting to craft something as layered, multifaceted, and personal as music.

Songwriting is a process which has caused frustration to even the most acclaimed artists in history, with everyone from Mozart to Rihanna suffering from writer’s block and a lack of motivation. However, all it takes is the ability to unlock the talent and motivation lurking inside of you.

Creating the right environment is critical to effective songwriting, so follow these genius hacks next time you need to get in the zone and make some music.

1. Find your inspiration

Music is a personal and emotional process. Trying to approach songwriting from a scientific standpoint isn’t going to produce the result that yourself or anybody else will ever want to listen to. You need to find inspiration that speaks to your soul and floods your mind with ideas. The best way to do this is simply to step outside and chase some beauty. Go to the park, an art gallery, a crowded cocktail bar, a nightclub, or anywhere else where there is source material just waiting to inspire you.

2. Opt for sensory overload

Some people might recommend that you lock yourself in a dark room with no distractions in order to get your work done. This might work fine if you have a big assignment coming up or a project at work, but it is not the way to make good music. Sensory overload is the best way – fill your ears, eyes, and brain with as much as you can and see what it inspires. Tom Waits was known to play five radios at once, getting inspiration from the overlapping sounds.

3. Find inspiration in unconventional places

Music is everywhere and you don’t need to fire up Spotify to be inspired. Learn to appreciate the music in the background and see where it takes you. Video games are one example; successful DJs including Calvin Harris and Skrillex have admitted to getting inspired by compositions in popular video games such as Super Mario and Metal Gear Solid. Melodic, repetitive, and layered compositions such as those found in slot machine games can also prove a source of creative inspiration. Before sitting down to write, try listening to a few of the surprisingly varied soundtracks to online slot games. Consult some online casino sites beforehand, where you’ll see hundreds of different slots offered by dozens of different casinos. Just keep exploring until you’ve found the music that helps you write.

4. Pile on the pressure

Fun fact; Rihanna’s hit song Diamonds was written by Sia in just 14 minutes. She knew she had to get the song written and that setting herself a week to do it wasn’t getting her anywhere. Set yourself an absolutely insane time limit and see how your brain responds. Sometimes the greatest works of art are created under immense pressure, so don’t be afraid to see how far you can push yourself. You might be very pleasantly surprised.

Songwriting is an incredibly personal process, so don’t feel like all of these should automatically work for you. Try them all out and see which hacks inspire you the most.

Photograph by Vandalen Music

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