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Three ideas to help you through composer’s block

Sheet music/score

Musicians suffer from mental blocks just like everyone else in the creative industries. It always happens at the most inopportune time when you’re struggling with a deadline and can make composing feel like an impossible task – you just have no idea where to start or how to finish this track.

Here are three options that might just help you to get back into the right head-space to get back to songwriting or recording.

1. Set a schedule

Musicians are just like every other self-employed person, and often struggle with the same motivational problems. The single best way to convince yourself to get up early to work on your next piece is to set a schedule.

This routine will mean that you should feel less rushed or under pressure, because you always know what you want to achieve that day/week/month, and by breaking that into smaller tasks everything becomes more achievable. Whilst you may not feel like you are making progress some days, by the simple effort of ploughing through you will eventually complete your tasks and feel a sense of achievement.

2. Perform what you have so far

This is more relevant to trying to finish a piece, but by just playing through what you have already got down can get those creative juices flowing once more and push you over the finish line.

Music has an uncanny ability to get help you remember idea,s situations, and feelings, and all of those can come together to help you finish a track. No matter what you are writing about, just playing what you already have down should help you remember the original idea you wrote the song form and that could be enough to help you write those last few bars.

3. Musician’s Dice

Musicians rarely discuss so-called “musician’s dice“, but adding an element of chance or randomness to your compositions can be just what you need to jump back into the songwriting process.

We’ve all played with dice over the years, whether that is the traditional six-sided dice with a game of monopoly, the crazy 20-sided dice of D&D, or even just rolling the virtual dice at Paddy Power casino, and musician’s dice work in the same way. The 12 sides of the dice display every note in the chromatic scale, and they can be great for composing Aleatory and 12 tone-music. When you’re struggling, there’s no harm in seeing if serendipity will help you out!

Photograph by Unsplash

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