So ive just been playing guitar for 3 years, when i started and really couldnt play for shit i came up with cool riffs and harmony progressions just by going note for note, using my ear, making chords, without knowing what they were, but it sounded awesome.

Now 3 years later ive been learning alot of stuff theory and technique wise, i got a good base knowledge but when it comes to making up stuff like i used to i find myself just playing random notes to start something up or chords, and i dont get any ideas, i dont hear the next note or chord like i used to, i hope i didnt loose "it".
its so rare now, i do a healthy amount of ear training as well.
Whats happening?

Start off with a few basic ideas, then use theory to go from there.

Btw, there's nothing to "lose". Everyone goes through short, dry spells when it comes to composing.
maybe your standards for "cool riffs" has changed? i bet you're able to come up with something musically sound pretty easily since you've been paying attention to theory, but your ear is tired of hearing those so you're not inspired. try listening to different music.
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The ability shouldn't disappear because you learned theory. Theory operates in the intellectual part of the brain. The music you imagine comes from a different place. They shouldn't interfere.

It could be anxiety. Perhaps you had an off-day and attributed it to your study of theory. Now the anxiety that you've 'lost it' is blocking out your musical ear.

Just relax and let it start to flow again.
Last edited by Jehannum at Aug 16, 2013,
I remember when I started playing the guitar and came up with these "cool" riffs. Now that I listen to them, they sound terrible. But back then they sounded awesome. You have just got better. If I now came up with such a cliche and boring sounding idea, I wouldn't bother using it. I know I came up with some cool things too but most of them are generic and boring cliche riffs that only back then sounded "cool".

But yeah, maybe just improvise over some backing tracks. That may help. Or maybe try writing with a friend. Me and my friend come up with some awesome stuff. Sometimes we just start jamming and sometimes we continue an old idea. Sometimes we listen to some songs and get inspired and write new stuff.
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