Every writer or composer comes up against a number of challenges when writing. Personally, it’s easy to fall into the same pattern of writing 8 bars, repeat 4x, 8 bars of a chorus 2x, etc. It’s super easy to write boring music, right? But when it comes to being creative, it’s handy to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are some of mine.
1. Randomly Erase Something
This is super easy to do in your DAW. When looking at all of your tracks, choose a splice tool or eraser tool and start hacking things up. Pretend you’re playing fruit ninja with your song. These don’t have to be huge, big cuts. They can be small, just a quarter note or half note. Doing this can help you hear things you didn’t notice before and maybe even find a new groove. I did this extensively with the track Corrupted.
Corrupted – In the Midst of
2. Do Something Unexpected
This isn’t something random by any means. If you’re building a track and everyone know where it’s headed, it can be great. Or it can be boring. Sort of like an underdog movie plot that’s overdone. We all know how it ends. Find the spot in your song that is most predictable. Mark it. This is where you do something no one would expect. This is what made dub-step popular. Artists were suddenly throwing things in that no one expected. Got a big bass drop moment? Build it, fake everyone out, let them down, and then hit them hard.
When Will the Bass Drop?
3. Change Your Instrument
This one can be a little tricky. It’s not the same as browsing through keyboard or sampler patches. Sometimes, I will change things up completely. Take your synth patch and swap it for a percussion kit. Take your lead and make it a bass. Mixing up your instruments can open doorways to discovering new aspects to your song. Once you swap instruments, you may have to tweak things a little to make them work for you, but you might hear something new.
Dreams Again – Deadset AD
Dreams Again (remix) – Deadset AD
What do you do to stir up the creative?
My secret is God, my might and strength, my Father who lives.