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Old February 8th, 2011, 07:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
Element77
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What you do when you're discouraged?

Hopefully this is the right place to put this... Considering I have no "production"

I'm seriously over this right now. I have hit such a brickwall in writing/recording. I can't get a song far enough to have it considered a song... I can't get past a tone enough to get a song going. I'm sick of sitting at a computer for hours on end just to go... "Oh, Seinfeld is on..." I haven't written anything worth considering in months, and when I go "OK, today's the day" I end up sitting there like Jack Black and Kyle Gass in the search for Inspirado.

I constantly second guess everything. So my question is, what do YOU do to get out of a rut, to start getting things flowing, to get encouraged again????
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Old February 8th, 2011, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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^ step away from the pc and just fucking play

like the good 'ole days
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Old February 8th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When it cones to writing you can't force it.
I start a song by 1 of 2 methods:

I create a riff or idea in my head and see if I can get the big picture to sound right in my head. Then I try to play it.
Otherwise, I just liteally play randomness on my guitar until I hear something that sounds fresh and I figure of how to move what I played into a part.

Also, just write a damn song. Don't second guess it. Sometimes i spend a whole week or 2 writing a song because i try to just write the song in small bits as i hear the next smooth transistion in my head. If you get some work done that sounds good, dont force more. Leave it alone until the next day
Just do what feels right in the moment.
When you're done, put it away for a week and come back to it and clean it up more
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Old February 8th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When it cones to writing you can't force it.
Sorry, but this is simply not true. As with of all music/arts projects, the way I understand the thing, the ratio is always 5% Inspiration, and 95% perspiration.

That 5% can be anything from a riff, a song title, a melody, a lyrics line, some song you heard and thought "I gotta write a song with this kind of vibe".
To me, that's pretty much the only part you can't force out, but bear in mind it's only 5% of the total output.
Also, let's say you're killing time at a party or whatever where...KEEP AN EYE AND AN EAR OPEN FOR IDEAS. Always. It may be something catchy someone told you, or the music at the supermarket's radio, it really doesn't matter. Get your ideas in books or even on TV.

Ok, now let's say you got a new song title, what do you do now? Easy.
Go get your notebook where you write down all your music ideas, lyrics, etc [and if you don't have one, run to Dollarama to get one before I go kick your ass for only asking how to write a song!].
Get on a blank page, write your song title on top of the page, and just throw down words, ideas, lexical fields, whatever cross your mind. It doesn't have to rhyme or sound good at this point. Do that for 10-15 minutes, more if you feel you need more. Fill at least 3/4 of a page.
Then go do something else then come back and read it back. Any perticular words stand out? Got some similar sounding words? It doesn't have to necessarly rhyme at the end of the word, for example the words distort and destroy are similar sounding, yet they don't rhyme.
At this point you should have AT LEAST ONE idea for a line, or even an entire chorus if you're a bit lucky.
Then you can go in books or on the internet to get some quotes about your subject, a poem, existing lyrics, etc... go read that it may veeeery well spark an idea. I don't have to say the idea here is not to steal, but to get inspired.

Well, honestly I could go on and on about songwriting, but you see how it's done. It's everything but a divine touch mysteriously guiding your way into the glory of having wrote a great song, but a hard and meticulous craft at best. I would say there about 0% magic involved in the whole process of writing. It also goes the same if you start with a guitar riff or whatever, you got to explore all the avenues and let it all out. Of course, all your lyrics ideas neither your riffs are going to make the final cut, but if you force yourself to write 2 riffs a day, no matter what, there's a very good chance you'll have a song at the end of the week.

So, my advice is to take it one small bite at the time, and to get out of your head that because you have no "inspiration" you're stuck here without anything you can do. If you want to learn more about songwriting, there's a ton of resources on the internet, and if there's something you can't find you can ask me and I'll try to help you in the best way I can.

Happy writing.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 10:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Lots of good advice in here, but I always feel obligated to add a bit on threads like this considering I have been in the same situation a few times.

If you have ever written anything thing that you are truly proud of, then you can rest on that knowing you are capable of writing good material. Take a break and listen to some albums that inspire you and just try and write material without recording it. Once you have your confidence back, then go in to you studio to document your ideas.

I truly believe that you have to feel confident in what you are doing in order to write. If you know you are capable of writing great stuff, then it becomes a lot easier to "force" yourself into creating new material.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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One thing that I have learned that seems especially hard for traditional artists (Painting, drawing ect.) to learn is sometimes you just need to leave it alone for a bit. Seriously, put the brush, pick, pen, chisel, bloody limb, or what ever it may be down and do something else. But, never give up.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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These are all good pointers and I appreciate it. I think I get such a "tone-boner" that if I'm not satisfied off the bat, i get frustrated. And I know that's the incorrect way of looking at it, because I've written stuff that I think is pretty good, my style has always been "gently" shoe-horning parts in.. I always have one super-mint riff, then that's it, "where do I go from here?" constantly. I have a full HD of files called "test1.wav" "test_newsong.wav" etc., etc.

Right now, to switch shit up, I litterally just punch in a random tempo in and go, I always find myself sticking to the same tempos, same keys, etc...
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Old February 8th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Simon, I believe we're refering to 2 different parts of songwriting

and while alot of what you say is true, most will agree that 5% can make or break a song.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Fap to clear your head.
Try writing in a new style.
Listen to music you don't usually listen to.

and all of the above. (what they said) I always thought it was 1% inspiration and 99% hard fucking work though.

Anyways, I suck and none of this has been working for me.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If fapping helped, I'd have a Grammy by now.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 12:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If fapping helped, I'd have a Grammy by now.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Smoke a bowl or 2, usually does the trick for me. Or working out, that always clears my head.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Smoke a bowl or 2, usually does the trick for me. Or working out, that always clears my head.


+1
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TUTORIALS:
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Old February 8th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Turn it up because it surely is not loud enough. but seriously, I just try to keep it as simple as possible without too many elements to wrry about, the more tracks and parts you add the more complicated it gets, usually one bad ass riff will make it worth doing in the first place.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 06:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i think getting inspiration from somewhere, anywhere, is the key. for me it can come from just listening to something new that's either got killer production, song writing, playing or everything! always picking up a new toy helps. i just got superior 2 and it's inspired almost 10 new songs! if you do a lot of the writing yourself - maybe try a collab. i'm doing that and it really helps offset those days where you get stuck because you can let the other person (people if it's a band) push it pass the block.

the point is, mix it up - deliberately do something, anything, different than what you normal do. you might be surprised.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 06:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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showtunes and rootbeer
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Old February 8th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If fapping helped, I'd have a Grammy by now.
Lol. Sig'd
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Old February 9th, 2011, 09:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Simon, I believe we're refering to 2 different parts of songwriting

and while alot of what you say is true, most will agree that 5% can make or break a song.
Well, it's kinda hard for me to put all I have to say in a single thread...these things fit better in a regular conversation.

And I totally agree about that 5% thing, and I'll never say something opposite to that, because it is true.
Although, for the regular guy/band, I would say that there's not a lot of genius involved, and the output is more the outcome of the amount of work put in.
Nonetheless, that 5% is important, but it's also the only variable which you cannot control, so therefore the only thing you shouldn't really pay attention to.


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Fuck, I love this forum fo bad
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Old September 1st, 2011, 11:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Smoke a bowl or 2, usually does the trick for me.
yeah a huge amount of the metal songs that you'll hear on the radio/MTV are actually written while the song-writer was stoned out of his mind

also
song-writing and song singing are 2 completely different skill-sets, for most metal bands the guy that writes lyrics is not the lead singer, so it's possible that your "writer's block" might just simply be that you're a better at singer than you are at writing, but i gotta say that you should definately at least see if the getting high helps with the writing first, cuz there are a lot of song-writers who find it impossible to write a song while sober
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Old September 1st, 2011, 11:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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recording your own music can destroy your creative process. You start worrying about the production side of things rather then the content of your music. both are important, but if the music isnt good, production isnt going to help. I would write songs WITHOUT worrying about recording them. Finish them and map them out in your head of what you want and where. Then record them.... almost like you are going to someone elses studio when you have a bunch of material, except you are recording it yourself. Its so easy to get discouraged when you are sitting at a computer wondering what you should do next. Take a break from the recording world and just play and write.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 11:36 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I have a very hard time with writing/arranging songs.

I'm talking about guitar.

I normally start by making some random drum tracks, and by the time I get about a 2:00 drum track, my brain is about to explode and I realize I'm just creating beat after beat with no real direction or riffs as a guide.

So then I sit there with my guitar and freestyle to these drums over, and over, and over, and over until I come up with something that I like. A lot of times I just can not come up with anything and get frustrated and just put the guitar down.

A lot of times, I write my "best" material when I'm depressed or down and bummed. I think this may be the case for a lot of people, sadly, but if that's what it takes......

Right now my band is starting to work on new material and I have a few 1-2 minute pieces of work that we're trying to splice together and its aggravating. The band likes a lot of stuff that I think sounds boring or cheesy.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 04:04 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Get some new experience. Go fight the bears, jump out of the 35 floor's window. Some fresh impressions could wake up your mind. Also you can try to get inspired by something you like - films, games, anime , ANYTHING. I wrote one of my best songs, thinking of film "Alien" lol. And I've RECORDED AND MIXED IT as well, hehe ))))))

IMHO
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 01:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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5% inspiration 95% perspiration : i like that one
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 01:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Sorry, but this is simply not true. As with of all music/arts projects, the way I understand the thing, the ratio is always 5% Inspiration, and 95% perspiration.
this is also why 95% of art sucks shit

do some drugs and get sad
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Old September 5th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #25 (permalink)
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As far as writing lyrics goes, I never write down the title first. You will sit there staring at it thinking "what can I write to tie it in to the title?". For me, that's a terrible way to write lyrics. They should flow and go wherever you're feeling. Writing a title down - more often than not - locks them into a box.

When I'm writing guitar I first identify the "feel" of the song (as previously stated), then I just sit there are riff; for me that is the best way. I usually have a drum section in my head by the time I figure out a "keeper" riff.

Also for me, no metronome while writing.
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