I enjoy writing little instrumental guitar pieces. However, I haven't been able to come up with anything in months... It's as if I've run out of ideas completely... I just can't seem to get inspired, and the music just isn't coming to me. Having lots of school work and activities and such and not being able to pick up the guitar very often doesn't help either. I especially seem to struggle with coming up with riffs... Any advice on how to get my creative mind going again? Thanks in advance to any replies. They are much appreciated!!
Try out or buy a new piece of gear. Whether it be a guitar, amp, or most likely, a new pedal. Adding a new texture to your sound helps me get more creative.

Or, try playing with new or other people. If they play different style of music than you it might help you get out of you rut.

Also, try listening to new music outside of your comfort zone. Like death metal? Listen to 80's funk.

Just my $.02.
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

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Whenever i am in a creative rut i try to learn something that is way beyond my ears.

So, i'm a jazz and fusion guy. Not very good, but that's what i study mostly. Whenever i have hit a rut in my playing or my creativity i try to learn something REALLY out there like allan holdsworth. It's amazing what learning a phrase by him can cure.

So that's my advice. Firstly, if you aren't already, learn by ear. It helps greatly with creativity and being able to get more constant results when you have an idea in your head and you want to find it on the guitar.

Secondly, find something within the music you like that is way above you in terms of understanding. Something you can't wrap your ears around yet. And learn a very short phrase from that.

That usually does it for me, hope that helped.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”

Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
Learn full songs including the rhythm parts if you haven't already.

Join a band.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
All of the above is good stuff. Just wanted to add that for me, sometimes going back and doing different stuff with songs I've known for a long time can help too. Like if I know two songs use...say... a I, V, III progression (lol. I suck with theory but you get the idea). I might transpose some of the parts from song 1 to the key of song 2 and then rework song 2 with those parts from song 1 and then a lot of times that will spark new ideas for me.

I dunno. Just a suggestion.
I liked the idea to learn full songs. I do this as just part of my daily practice. Try recording what you have written in a video or audio file. Hearing it through speakers makes everything you play sound so different. When you notice a skill that's lacking in one of the files, make an entire song based on using that technique. I've written songs this way.
I usually get inspired by other songs so I would just recommend listening to music. Also if you try to get inspired too hard, you may not get inspired. Just don't think about it too much.

Writing with friends helps me a lot. We always come up with some new ideas when we write together.

Do you already have some unfinished song ideas? Maybe try finishing them. Don't just write guitar parts - add all parts and it will sound a lot better. You may want to try to write a song based on a bassline instead of a guitar riff. Or a drum beat or something. Maybe try experiment with keys, brass, whatever. Guitar doesn't have to be the #1 instrument all the time.
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Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


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Look for bands that you've never heard of, listen to new genres. Try a new guitar or a new effect, or a new amp.
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Turn on a microphone/dictophone/webcam/phone and record yourself improvizing for 15 minutes (or how ever long you go for). Let yourself really get in to it. Listen to the recording back and pick out what you like. Build on those things.

I can recommend some books with good advice in them.

The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten and The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green.

Another tip. Try go back to the very basics. Choose a very simple common chord progression you like. Strum a simple rhythm (or arpeggiate, or what ever you like). Record it. Listen back and see what melodies come to your mind. Record yourself singing/humbing/lalaing these melodies over that recording. Listen back to it and begin to transfer it in to a guitar instrumental.
Last edited by jkielq91 at Oct 21, 2013,