#1
I have encountered a major writing block right now. I used to love all the metal songs I wrote, they'd fuel me with excitement and I'd show them to the bands I was in at the time and we'd love them. Now, as I've gotten older and my knowledge of things like theory, scales, my attention to various rhythms etc. has all vastly improved since I was in my first band when I was 12/13 (I'm 19 now) I find it very rare that I write a song and generally like it. I know think more "yeah the riffs ok but I've written like 3 other songs in this key recently with a similar choice of note patterns etc." What can I do to break out of this rut? I love playing and listening to music and I really want to enjoy writing it again. Has my inspiration died and is that it for me musically? Should I honestly consider starting my covers band now? Hope someone can help as im feeling really desperate right now.
#3
Hmmm....This exact same thing has happened to me before and the only thing I can say about it is that it passes and you get back into it one way or another. Not very helpful lol, but that's what happened with me. Then again every person is different.

Maybe you could draw inspiration from other genres...I dunno...classical? jazz? Study particular musicians' styles and get ideas (but don't copy!). Mess around with note sequences that you don't usually go for. Learn some odd new scales and incorporate them with your usual vibe. I often find that taking walks around the neighborhood, camping, hiking etc. to clear my head a bit often sets me up for some new interesting composition ideas. Bounce ideas off a buddy, he/she may come back with a "Hey! How about this?" moment. I don't know what your vibe is at the moment so I'm just throwing some generic stuff out there that may (or may not) be helpful.

Whatever you do - just don't force your own creativity, I've tried and failed tremendously at writing non-generic music. Writer's block happens to everyone, even the best, and it takes time to get out of ruts.

Hope that helps to some degree
#4
Stop thinking so much dude. I've fallen into the "I've written three other songs in this key." thing a few times myself. When it gets to that point you're not really thinking about the music. Theory is all good and well, but it should just help you do what you want to do, as opposed to you trying to show off your theory knowledge, or even worse stopping yourself because something is very similar to something else.

Going and doing a cover band might be helpful to get your brain into a different space for a while, then maybe you'll get excited about your music again. Or like the other guy said, getting into some new music. Just try to take a breather and change some things up. And stop thinking so much.
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#5
Like Keth said try listening and writing some music of different genres. I sometimes try to improve the ones that I dont like anymore, like making a solo out of it, or playing other stuff at the same spot on the neck
#6
Also you may try to do the songs you've written acoustically, it will be a challenge to make the sound mellower and cam give you a new perspective
#7
try something new

maybe its time you moved forward like a real musician. adapt yourself to what your ears prefer and what music gets in your soul. metal can get very boring (and most of the time it is).
#8
I hit that rut not too long ago. I got out of it by listening to other music, actually stopped writing for a little bit and read a book or something. Messed around with tunings and then after a bit of a break, motivation to write came back and I began coming up with riffs that were interesting (to me at least).

Sometimes a break is all you need to clear the head.
#9
Don't think of notes, don't look at frets. Explore the neck if you stick to certain keys, and just play until you find something that sounds good. I've come up with chord progressions and riffs that, had I approached it purely theoretically, I never would've stumbled upon, esp when chromatics and accidentals are involved.

Analyze after you write, not before or during. If you think it's redundant when it's done, change it or scrap it. If you think bits don't fit, change or scrap them. It's a painful process of trial and error at times, but you'll start to work your own way out of your hole and eventually you can just crank them out sounding fantastic.
modes are a social construct
#10
You dont only have to move to a different genre or anything like that, even though it is very very helpful to get out and experience new music, techniques and melodies, but try tuning your guitar to something else. Whether its just tuning to a sharper or more flat tune, and i would even go as far as saying get a seven string! lol just having that one more string opens up a whole new world and mood for a guitarist and musician. Another tip that i have done myself if try a different tone with your amp. My personal preference that i use is an ibanez prestige played through a 5150 head and mesa cab. The 5150 has a very tight tone that you can get a good "bounce" out of, like the band Periphery. Then i can go to a clean channel and try something else that isnt as heavy but can still fit into the music im writing. Key is a HUGE part in music, but dont worry about it soooo much. Write something you like and if you think is sounds like something else you've written, change a note here, add a bend or slide there and just make it more interesting to yourself, cause in the end if you like your own music, who gives a **** who else will like it or not. You will always have people that like your shit and have people that hate it....if you have haters then your doing something right :P