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Thread: Inspiration Fuel?

  1. #1
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    Inspiration Fuel?

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    ever run out of steam in the middle of a project? happens to me all the time. There are so many things that knock me out of my "creative flow". I've got work issues, custody issues, teenage son issues etc. etc. we all got 'em...
    I recently read an interview with David Hirschfelder (http://www.davidhirschfelder.com/) in Keyboard magazine. He mentions that it helps him to go out for a walk when he's stuck.

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Getting out and clearing your head can probably do alot of good in other ways too. What else can we do to help unclog our brains?
    Anybody have any other good methods of restoring the motivation?
    If you could see crime in a mans face we wouldn't have any mirrors - H. Bogart
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    i'll sometimes not play guitar for a few days. then i might have a line pop into my head and i'll write it down. and that's when i'll pick up the guitar again and try to go from there. sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.
    before you ask....i use a Behringer Eurorack 1202 mixer, Adobe Audtion, an SM58, and Behringer XM8500, MCA SP2 condensor, Behringer C1 condensor, Epiphone Les Paul Standard, Fender Stage 100 amp, and a Silvertone bass

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    a walk is a good idea, sometimes I do that, ususally if it's in a rural area (otherwise I just get stressed out from so many people everywhere)... My advice might not be good for you or it might be great (depending on what you tend to write music about) I will often do things like... read up on stories such as at crimelibrary.com (that gets me feeling pretty emotional, to see what people do to people for no good reason at all)... Sometimes I will look at some visual art... I often will listen to some operas to get inspiration (wow! Some of those have such rediculously amazing hooks (to put it in vulgar modern descriptions).

    Really, what you describe of your life... there is a wealth of stuff to draw from. The thing I find with songwriting, you have to allow yourself to lose control and be a vessel for your emotions, even if they aren't concious emotions, even if they disturb you, or creep you out. Embrace your unconcious regardless of what you think is correct (nothing is correct, anyone who tells you songwriting is done this way or that way or THIS MAKES A GOOD SONG or that does, makes shitty music, or just wants to throw you off). I've found out a lot about myself from music I come up with, that I would have never thought of by just sitting and pondering about it. One thing to think about with your frustrations... say you are feeling a lot about these custody issues... you don't nessisarily have to write a song about that, but allow yourself to feel the emotions and hurt that goes allong with it. Think, feel, what notes are that hurt. What texture, what sound does that emotion create in your subconcious? If you close your eyes when emotions are high, do you hear anything, even noise? (nothing wrong with noise...it's all part of music, hand and hand with melodies and rythm) When you feel that noise, do you hear any aural textures in your head? Do any notes (even two notes... so many amazing melodies can start by only one interval, and just playing with that interval in different ways) speak your pain in ways that you could never use something as vulgar and disgusting as human language to describe? Does any of this make sense? I think really you have to treat it like you would if a psychologist was giving you a word association test. Your worst enemy when writing is your brain. Don't think about what you are doing as much as you would think, just sometimes it's a matter of stretching your fingers out on the keyboard, or fretboard, or whatever you stretch your fingers, or other members (heh) onto in order to express your art, and just play. Even if it's stupid. Stupid isn't always bad, sometimes it works perfectly, and sometimes stupid becomes brilliance. Just write...A LOT....tons of riffs, melodies, sequences, embarsing ones, good ones, stupid ones, anything that you feel: record them, archive them and lots of them, the first things that come to mind in response to your emotions. If you have a huge collection of bits and pieces, if you are stuck sometimes that one thing you did back a few months ago that you thought was stupid might just click, and therefore become perfect, and will just complete your auditory story. Sometimes great music is written part at a time even, not all at once. If you can't think of lyrics, start with instruments, if yu can't think of melody, start with rythm, if you can't think of arrangement, start with simple melodies on a piano or simple instrument, or vice versa. You can always utilize many styles of writing and keep with your writing style, as your writing style is essentially what you experience, what you feel, and how you approach the instrument that you are using to compose. I use several different methods of writing, depending on this.

    Anyway, beyond that. It's never a bad idea to do what most people suggest for this (which actually do work quite a bit) Take a break from the song for a while, listen to lots of music (a variety, and not just the type of music you are trying to write). Sometimes just breathe, have a drink, or a smoke, or meditate, do something you enjoy. Sometimes before a writing session I'll play some video games, or watch a very funny show, or listen to some funny music, because that is something that relaxes me, and makes me feel well. Not saying, do that... just giving an example. If you love fishing go out and have a nice relaxing time fishing, and pondering, and feeling. The most important thing though, regardless of what type of music you write, or the subject. Day dream, and feel. Never deny yourself those two beautiful ecstacies, it'll de-humanize you, and will take away from such an essential piece of the human emotional experience, in which all art is an expression of.

    Just really, don't let your common sense get in the way, leave that for the mix and arrangement. great music is from the heart, and doesn't always come from genius riffs, perfect lyrics or great melodies, just from the pure passion and emotion that is sometimes beyond what we even realize conciously is happening constantly within us. Let your music have a life of it's own if it takes one, let it tell you what it wants to do, let it guide you, let it develope into whatever it turns into. If it doesn't fit with the project your concentrating on, it will fit with something, sometime: Maybe even a project you haven't thought about yet.

    Use everything, nature, animals, hate, love, intillect, stupidness, selfishness, selflessness, throw your mind in the garbage and feel, and it will happen, and you'll feel better. Oh and, good luck about your issues man, I've been going through a very rough patch lately and I know how difficult it can be. Just let your music be your therapy.
    Last edited by TerraMortim; 06-04-2007 at 00:48.

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    Everyone has enhanced periods of creative flow and the occational slow periods. Life does create distractions which the artist must either overcome or use as a creative tool.

    I find the songwriting process (or creating/playing music in general) in and of itself allows me the escape I need from life's challenges. I am probably too one dimentional, but I find sitting at a piano or sitting with a guitar in hand is every bit as relaxing as a walk in the woods (if you ever saw my lack of tan - or "studio pale" as some of the session guys call it - you would beleive that I rarely use the great outdoors as an escape )

    I've studied the works and the history of the great writers from the Tin Pan Alley and Brill Building eras and the one common factor in the success of these people - they wrote! Every day, no matter what. Now in many cases, they had to write to pay the bills (a great motivation ) - but the point is, they were disiplined, focused and highly motivated. They did not allow life's distractions to interfere with their primary goal - writing.

    Now most people who write songs/music do not depend on that skill to pay the bills, so I may not be comparing apples to apples - however, as writers, we must not allow ourselves to use life's little distractions to compromise our passion to write.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh
    I've studied the works and the history of the great writers from the Tin Pan Alley and Brill Building eras and the one common factor in the success of these people - they wrote! Every day, no matter what. Now in many cases, they had to write to pay the bills (a great motivation ) - but the point is, they were disiplined, focused and highly motivated. They did not allow life's distractions to interfere with their primary goal - writing.
    Whrrrr......zinggggg.....Pull the string and up-fiddler says "Bingo". Mikeh is right on the money with this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh
    Everyone has enhanced periods of creative flow and the occational slow periods. Life does create distractions which the artist must either overcome or use as a creative tool.

    I find the songwriting process (or creating/playing music in general) in and of itself allows me the escape I need from life's challenges. I am probably too one dimentional, but I find sitting at a piano or sitting with a guitar in hand is every bit as relaxing as a walk in the woods (if you ever saw my lack of tan - or "studio pale" as some of the session guys call it - you would beleive that I rarely use the great outdoors as an escape )

    I've studied the works and the history of the great writers from the Tin Pan Alley and Brill Building eras and the one common factor in the success of these people - they wrote! Every day, no matter what. Now in many cases, they had to write to pay the bills (a great motivation ) - but the point is, they were disiplined, focused and highly motivated. They did not allow life's distractions to interfere with their primary goal - writing.

    Now most people who write songs/music do not depend on that skill to pay the bills, so I may not be comparing apples to apples - however, as writers, we must not allow ourselves to use life's little distractions to compromise our passion to write.

    absolutely!

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    walk

    I've read that no less a composer than Beethoven took a long walk every morning & that he was strictly not to be disturbed during these walks.
    -small

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    A leading metal health charity, The Mind, reports a 71% decrease in depression after a green walk and an increase of 22% after an urban walk. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medi...p?newsid=71692 r

    Does a green walk enhance your creativity?
    Comfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1ply
    A leading metal health charity, The Mind, reports a 71% decrease in depression after a green walk and an increase of 22% after an urban walk. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medi...p?newsid=71692 r

    Does a green walk enhance your creativity?
    It does for me. Taking in natural beauty has a profound effect on my state of mind. The article says the other environment used for the comparison study was actually a mall. I completely understand that environment having a negative effect. Usually a visit to a mall instills in me borderline homocidal tendencies and a mild form of pyromania

    Here are a few things I have tried in the past week which I found to be somewhat helpful to my situation.

    Not going to work (I'm a contractor and now between contracts)
    Watching History channel shows about space exploration
    Working out in the hot sun all day doing a brake job on a car
    sex (suprised this hasn't been mentioned yet)
    staying up late watching intense lightning during a thunderstorm
    playing some new CDs (Joy Division, Substance and Depeche Mode, Abroken Frame)
    Not working on music
    If you could see crime in a mans face we wouldn't have any mirrors - H. Bogart
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    Thunderstorms very cool – loads in Hong Kong at the moment and particular interesting when your are try to calm it to your 3 y.o. at 3am whose afraid of thunder.

    Actually things my 3 y.o. say are usually very inspiring – the way she mixes language up and perceives situations is very interesting – that where ‘what my say’ originated.

    Living on the Southside of HK Island (very green unlike typical Victoria Harbour Skyscraper vista of all the postcards) I must get 71% happier, then 22% depressed every day because I get both majestic landscape and densely pop cityscape every day – that’s a 49% brake even. Getting out amongst either environment really helps my creativity.

    People watching is great source of inspiration for me – I love to analyse peoples physicality and think why one person’s shoulder might be higher than the other or think about what their home looks like. Also trying to understand peoples motives for actions - I went to that crime website above though and it just depressed me – I don’t think I am ready to write about why a serial killer does what they do.

    I teach dram and media in a school of highly motivated students so I am lucky to help bright students develop scripts and stories, make videos and animation, write and produce music for performance or soundtracks – so going to work is often a great source of inspiration. On that one maybe I am in the minority.

    I think knowing when to take a walk is important – apparently our subconscious is sorting out the answers for us all the time we just don’t have a constant contact with it. I really like to exhaust myself mentally trying to bust a log jam before I walk away – that way my subconscious is fully fuelled to do its magic.

    Sex is good – alone or with friends – but I have enough trouble staying awake afterwards I doubt I’ll dash off to the studio to work on my music!
    [QUOTE=dhollmusik;3463888] That is irresponsible posting, and reads like scaremongering.[/QUOTE]

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