Creative roadblocks come with the territory of being an artist, regardless of what type of music you’re writing. Whether you’re working in the realm of hip-hop or are a struggling singer-songwriter, feelings of stagnation or boredom signal a definite need for change.
However, coming about such change is easier said than done when you’ve become accustomed to a particular sound or don’t know how to escape your current creative rut. Although everyone’s different in terms of what inspires them, any combination of the following six ideas can help reinvigorate any struggling musicians who may find themselves in a slump.
Experiment with New Effects
Simply put, sometimes you need to add some new tones and effects to your repertoire to give your tracks a fresher feel. From VST plugins and virtual instruments to free downloadable sound effect packs, there are a ton of resources out there if you’re looking to add tools to your toolbox. Don’t underestimate the importance of experimentation when it comes time to break through a creative plateau.
Switch Your Songwriting Routine
When in doubt, flipping the script on your routine is a great way to disrupt your brain and explore new creative avenues.
Do you write lyrics prior to instrumentation? Do you lay some tracks before coming up with a melody? Do the opposite. If you always write during a certain time or day or at a particular location, go somewhere new.
Again, these seemingly small changes can make a big difference.
Check Out Some New Artists
Going outside of your comfort zone is a must-do for musicians looking to explore new territory. By checking out new genres and artists who are fellow up-and-comers, you can get a better pulse on what sort of sounds resonate with audiences today. Platforms such as YouTube and Spotify both boast recommendation algorithms that can feed you a steady stream of tracks to ensure you stay inspired.
Consider Going Solo…
If you’re part of a band or group, perhaps it’s time to focus on your own songwriting chops versus playing second fiddle to someone else. While you probably don’t want to disrupt the chemistry of your current band, you should never put yourself in a position where you sacrifice your creative output for the sake of others.
…Or Collaborate with Someone New
Likewise, seeking out new musical partners serves an awesome way to reinvigorate your enthusiasm for music and introduce yourself to new artistic perspectives. Even if you’re just jamming or bouncing ideas off of each other, don’t neglect the power of collaborating with a fellow artist.
Pick Up a New Instrument
This might sound like backward advice; however, there’s a huge difference between banging on the drums and slaving away behind a keyboard to compose tracks. Whether it means a hip-hop composer picking up a guitar or a guitarist experimenting with beat-making, once again recall the importance of going outside of your comfort zone. You never know what you might create when you open your mind to new ideas.
Don’t worry about being stuck in a creative rut forever. By finding unique ways to switch up your routine as a musician, you better position yourself to get your creative mojo back sooner rather than later.