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MichalskiMusic says

I tend not to worry about inspiration. If I sit down and start playing something, usually there is something that will pop out that works as an ostinato and I just go from there.

The most important thing I have ever done as a composer is participate in FAWM. FAWM is an event where you attempt to write 14 tracks in the month of February. In order to do this, you pretty much have to accept that some of them will not be to your liking. But what you will find is that more of them are to your liking than you would have thought and you begin writing faster, even when you don’t particularly feel inspired. You learn to view the act of music composition as a craft rather than an art. Since I have changed my perspective on this, I find that I am rarely faced with writer’s block and I rarely feel uninspired.

When I do feel uninspired, I just turn on Audiojungle Radio and I listen to the fine new tracks from all of you and realize that everybody is doing it. That means I can do it, too.

When my ears need a break, I head for the XBox. ;-)

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Gae47 says

A lot of the time I hear a tune in my head and then work it out at the piano then develop and record it as a piano midi file. I like to have 2 or 3 of these each week ready for arranging at the weekend. Other times I will get inspired by some music that I have heard and then have a go at composing something different but in that style. e.g. it might start with a catchy piano riff or have heavy percussion with orchestral stabs or maybe a lush, romantic piece for strings etc etc. Inspiration is all around us in music. Other times I might just dabble with a sample at the computer and compose something from the inspiration of that initial sound.

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RedAudioUK says

If I’m having trouble getting inspired I find doing normal everyday tasks in different ways helps me get creative. I know this is going to sound real weird, but doing stupid stuff like; when I make cheese & beans on toast for breakfast, instead of putting the beans and cheese on top of the bread I’ll put the cheese on the plate first, then the beans and bread on top. I find if you get too set in your ways you become less creative, so it’s a case of approaching things in a different way so it feels new and inspiring.

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L-RayMusic says

I start jammin´ and improvising with my guitar or piano, and ideas keep coming!

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EvAndree says

City walks and Bike rides do me just right for inspiration…

..Or a 12 year old scotch.

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LumenMedia says

I am struggling with another problem – a lot of ideas and not enough time to make them real. Usually my ideas coming from listening to other great tracks, or by jamming on my midi keyboard.

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PaBlikMM says

The best inspiration is the project deadline IMO :D Its Saturday – Midnight – i´m still working :D I have to write and produce 18 minutes of music in sync for a documentary :)

Deadline in 20 hours :)

LOL

Pavel “CHA!”

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JBlanks says

I couldn’t agree more Pavel. I find a deadline always highly motivating. :)

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Coriiander says

I couldn’t agree more Pavel. I find a deadline always highly motivating. :)

Same here. This one assignment for example, I had about 2 months time to make it. But I couldn’t find the inspiration. Also I was afraid to mess it up for them. Then the last day was there and I was like oh noes… now what. Surpringly I was done in 2 hours time haha (was only a gig intro of 1.5 minutes length).

I think that while on a deadline you go more with your instincts. You overthink things less, and leave room for some slopiness, which is fun because that can actually suite the music pretty well (depending on style ofcourse). More importantly, at least that’s how it works for me, I usually can spend alot of time on perfecting that one phrase, but guess what: while it’s ok to always strife for good, better, better, there’s no such thing as perfection; it’s subjective to the listener in this case anyway. While on a deadline you just jump in with what you came up and you’ll just make it work (maybe some minor tweak here and there, but that’s about it).

I love it :)

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Coriiander says

On topic though: if you lack inspiration then it will probably work to change scenery for abit. I can be at my computer 14 hours per day (or more…), for 3 weeks in a row really, but at some point I’m empty. It is however surprising that when I then go out to the pub with some friends, I wake up the next morning with new inspiration again. Coming from the music I heard, the relaxing (with a couple of pints), the people I talk to, the memory of the feeling I had when I saw the deep brown eyes of that one girl, etc. Have a walk in the woods, go to the pub, do whatever you like :)

Like the great lady Dorothy Wordsworth once said to the great poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Poetry is not written from inside a damp room amongst dusty tomes and cobwebs. Poetry is given birth in nature, by surrounding yourself with the sound of the wind, of the birds, of that little creek: with the music of poetry itself. Free yourself from this, Samuel. She obviously ment to surround yourself with (living your) life.

Actually Dorothy ment opium as well with that. Coleridge’s main addiction which was cause for many a marvelous setting he wrote (e.g. Kubla Khan, which is one tremendous piece of scenery if you ask me). I suppose things like alcohol or drugs can help some people too, but that’s got to be your thing or not. Being from The Netherlands I smoked some pot in my younger days like 20 years ago, and it helped me. Nowadays I don’t do that anymore.

And also: silence may work. Inspiration can come at the strangest moment. When brushing your teeth for example, or while just sitting relax in the park or wherever. I like to call this “the ensemble of silence”, for great stillness makes you thoughts and/or emotions about audible to you. The Ensemble of Silence is the best music there is. Embrace it.

Also I can advise you to look at the following 2 great movies. One is about the life of Coleridge (and guess deep into things about inspiration, it’s a beautiful film also with nice humour and lovely scenery): Pandaemonium
And: Shadowdancer / Shadows in the sun. That movie is about some young guy working at a writer’s publishing office, while he has ambition to become a great writer himself. He gets a task from his boss to go to rural Italy to try to get some other writer to start writing again. He was a master writer but he stopped writing and moved from USA to some small village in Italy. Far away from everything. So he goes there and he learns it’s not an easy task to get this person to start writing again. Because, well, I won’t say that. This movie too goes deeper into the workings of inspiration. Again: lush scenery, some nice humour and some beautiful ladies :)

Writing and composing aren’t really all that different. The same principles of creativity applies, as do other principles.

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